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Habs Notebook - Oct. 13, 2009

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL -- In today’s notebook, Gionta and Cammalleri get physical, Gorges on his increased workload and Martin talks training techniques.

Starting from zero: The Canadiens’ new coach isn’t just a master strategist on the ice; he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve when it comes to off-ice training as well. Leading up to the Habs’ home opener this Thursday, Jacques Martin isn’t planning on easing up on his squad any time soon.

“It’s really rare to have two days off before a game to train,” explained Martin. “It’s an excellent time to do some more physically taxing exercises, to have the guys really max out 48 hours before the game, which will help build up a surplus of energy for the game. I’ll try to do that type of training as much as possible this year whenever the schedule permits.

Memories of Vancouver: The ever-grinning Brian Gionta is still looking at the water bottle as half-full these days, despite the intense skating sessions he and his teammates have been put through over the past week.

“We had two good days off. You almost never get the chance to have two practices in a row before a game during the season. Besides, a little extra skating isn’t as bad as you think – at least it’s not Vancouver!” joked the speedy winger about the 20 minute bag-skate Martin ran following the loss to the Canucks last weekend.

High octane practice: Gionta’s take on Tuesday’s intense practice was echoed by Mike Cammalleri, who sees only the bright side of being pushed so hard by his head coach. 

“Sure Jacques is proving a point by working us through such an intense practice, but I also think he wants us to be in the best possible shape which is the way to go this early in the season. As long as guys are taking care of themselves, there’s nothing wrong with pumping up the old heart rate every now and then.”

Cammalleri’s ticker is also getting a workout as he looks forward to making his regular season home-ice debut in front of 21,273 fans at the Bell Centre on Thursday night.

“Having played in a few preseason games here, I kind of know what to expect, but I’m still really looking forward to the experience. It’s going to be awesome.”

Josh Markov?: With All-Star Andrei Markov still on the shelf, Josh Gorges has seen his workload increase to say the least with the young defenseman averaging 22:45 of ice-time so far this season.

“I’m not trying to be like Marky or Roman Hamrlik,” said Gorges, who doesn’t speak Russian or Czech yet. “Even with the guys we have out of the lineup, we’re still all the same players. The game situations we’ll find ourselves in are what will be different and sometimes completely new. Sure we need to raise our games a few levels to help out, but we can’t try to be players we’re not.”

Vincent Cauchy is a writer for Translated by Shauna Denis and Manny Almela.

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