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Markov sounds off

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

BROSSARD –Markov talks recovery, Cole braces for the ‘Canes, and Price gives his take on the team’s string of injuries.

Markov on Markov: Almost a year to the day after re-injuring his knee against the Carolina Hurricanes on Nov. 13, 2010, Andrei Markov met with the media following his second full practice of 2011-12 to discuss his progress and current frame of mind.

“I wasn’t happy with my progress for a long time to be honest with you, but at the same time I realized that this was my second surgery. Believe me, it wasn’t easy – it’s still not easy. I’d obviously rather be playing,” dropped Markov of the long road to recovery he’s spent the last 12 months traveling.

Markov addresses the media

“They did a really good job with me over there for three weeks in Florida. My knee is much stronger than before and right now, it’s just another step in the recovery process and hopefully tomorrow will feel even better than today,” continued No. 79 who sported a turquoise no-contact jersey at practice and still has no official return date to announce. “I’m happy to be back with the guys and to be practicing with the team and to get to enjoy doing something different for a change. It’s a big difference to be skating with the team compared to skating by myself. The speed and the timing is different, but it’s fun getting to be with all the guys on the ice again, and I feel happy right now.”

Friendly foes: While the Habs may have played their fair share of games against the Hurricanes over the course of the years, it’s a safe bet that no one on the team knows the Carolina squad better than Erik Cole. With nine seasons as a Hurricane under his belt, Cole will be looking to rattle his former teammates’ when the puck drops Wednesday night – but all in good fun.

“I’m a nice enough guy when I’m on the ice and I like to kid around a lot. I’m sure I’ll be able to bug them with a few of my comments. It should be funny,” said Cole of his impending first encounter with the ‘Canes as a Hab. “When you play against a bunch of guys that you know really well, it’s always different.

“Eric [Staal] is a very good friend of mine. Over the summer we were with Cam Ward at Andrew Ladd’s wedding, and I remember hearing Staal say to Ward, ‘Whatever happens, we can’t let this guy score on us,’ So tomorrow should be a really fun game,” added the Oswego, NY native.

Vicious circle: With the injuries continuing to stack up for the Habs, netminder Carey Price offered up his theory on the team’s current situation while also chiming in on taking hits as a goalie.

“When someone hurts themselves, everyone winds up having to play more minutes during the game and fatigue can start to set in,” explained Price. “Then the more tired you are, the more chance there is that you might not be as alert as you should be and all of a sudden boom! – you get hit into the boards and you’re hurt too.

“I got hit almost the same way by Cam Jensen and he didn’t get a suspension for it,” continued Price on the subject of Milan Lucic’s hit on the Sabres’ Ryan Miller. “At the same time, I didn’t get a concussion from the hit. Hockey’s a rough sport. It’s a forward’s job to get in the goalie’s face and make their life as miserable as possible. At the same time, the idea isn’t to hit goaltenders or put them in danger. It’s a really thin line.”

Justin Fragapane is a writer for

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