BROSSARD – Fans at the Bell Centre for Monday night’s game can look forward to a preview of the upcoming Heritage Classic as the Flames wrap up their Eastern Conference tilt against the Canadiens.
The Habs will be gunning for a little payback after being swept by the Flames in both the clubs’ meetings last season. Former Flame Michael Cammalleri, currently in the midst of a 10 game scoring drought, will be looking for a breakout night against his old team.
“For whatever reason the results that you’re getting just aren’t what you want them to be, but as long as you keep playing hard and stay positive, things always start going your way eventually. I’m not worried at all right now,” explained Cammalleri.
Cammalleri’s teammate Hal Gill didn’t hesitate in coming to the defense of the Habs’ sniper and his 170 goals in 471 career games.
“It’s hard to be a goal-scorer. Not like I have much experience in that department…but I imagine it’s tough,” kidded Gill who’s had a slightly less prolific scoring career with 33 goals in 964 games. “You can go out there and do all the right things, but sometimes the puck just doesn’t find its way in.”
No. 13 will hopefully be able to put some knowledge of his old team to use in helping him to find the back of the net Monday night. If nothing else, playing against old friends always acts as a good motivator.
“I’ve definitely still got friends over there. Going up against old teammates like that adds a little extra “oomph” to the game for sure and makes you want to come out and play a little harder,” dropped Cammalleri, who will do his best to exploit any of Miikka Kiprusoff’s weaknesses he may be privy to.
While Cammalleri may be well acquainted with the Flames, other members of the Montreal roster aren’t able to enjoy the same luxury.
“When you’re playing against a team you don’t see very often it’s always different. There are new players, new faces. You sometimes even end up seeing guys whose names you’ve never even heard before,” explained Gill on a team he’s rarely faced off against. “It makes for an interesting experience. It’s up to us to impose our style of play on the game early on to make sure we’re the ones setting the pace. You want to have the momentum in your favor especially against a team that you don’t play often.”
With two sets of back-to-back games for the Canadiens this week, Habs’ backup netminder Alex Auld will be getting his first crack Monday night at a start in front of the home crowd after strong performances against the Rangers and Panthers.
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.ALSO READ:In preview of Heritage Classic, Habs host Flames 2011 Heritage ClassicVote for the Play of the WeekHabs this week - January 16, 2011 At close range