BROSSARD – Cammalleri’s injury in his own words, and Price's potential Thursday night milestone.
Most people wouldn’t consider themselves “lucky” after having a skate blade slice open their leg, but having witnessed teammate Andrei Markov sidelined for four months with a similar injury in 2009-10, Michael Cammalleri knows how fortunate he’ll be to only miss two weeks following Sunday night’s incident.
“I was scared at the time. I’m not a doctor, but I just know that I looked down and I could see the cut was deep and the blood was coming out fast. I wasn’t panicking, but I had no idea what had been cut, if it was an artery or anything – I just figured I should get some attention for it as quickly as possible,” recounted Cammalleri, who, like Markov was also accidentally cut by his own teammate’s skate.
“You try and protect yourself as best you can with your equipment, but skates are pretty sharp. By me bending the way I did, it exposed an area that was unprotected. I wear cut-proof socks but they just don’t go that high. I feel I got pretty lucky because it could have been a lot worse,” added No. 13, who registered the Habs first goal of 2011-12. “I was just sitting there hoping the doctor was going to give me good news, and it was a big relief to know my leg was going to be okay.”
While Cammalleri will be out of action Thursday night, Carey Price will have the chance to enter the record books during the Habs home-opener. With a victory, the young netminder would join the likes of Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur and Terry Sawchuk among the ranks of goaltenders to have won 100 games by the age of 24.
“Things have been going great for me so far. This would be a great milestone to reach, but at the same time, I hope I can add another hundred wins on top of it,” expressed Price, who would become only the 13th goaltender in NHL history to accomplish the feat at such a young age.
“Carey is a top-tier goalie. He proved that last year,” praised Canadiens head-coach Jacques Martin. “When you look at his track record and what he’s accomplished at his age, it’s extraordinary. He gained a lot of maturity over the last few years and you can see it in the way he plays.”
The young goaltender will be supported by an equally young defensive-core against the Flames, as the Canadiens find themselves short three veteran blue-liners early in the season, with Andrei Markov, Chris Campoli and Jaroslav Spacek all on the shelf.
“Being down three veterans like that three games into the year is tough for everyone. You end up expecting a lot from guys who don’t have much NHL experience, but all our younger players have been great for us so far,” said Josh Gorges of teammates Emelin, Diaz, Weber and Subban who only have a combined 135 games played in the NHL.
“I’m really proud of what they’ve accomplished to this point,” continued Gorges, who along with Hal Gill combine for 1362 games worth of NHL experience. “I know I learned a lot from the veterans I played with when I started out, so I really hope I can help out guys in the same way now.”
Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.
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