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Notebook - Dec. 15, 2010

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
BROSSARD – In today’s Notebook: Pacioretty on his new linemates, Gill on measuring up, and Christmas comes early for Lars Eller.

Christmas comes early: Lars Eller will be getting an early Christmas present this year. As the Canadiens prepare to play host to the Flyers and the Bruins in back-to-back games, the young Dane will also be playing host to a special guest days before the Habs embark on their seven game road trip.

“My father’s arriving today and he’ll be at tonight’s game. It’s great that he’s coming here for the first time – he’s never seen me play live before since I’ve been in the NHL. It’s always great to play at the Bell Centre, you appreciate it every time, and I want him to have an experience he won’t forget any time soon,” expressed Eller. “We always spend Christmas together and this is the first year we won’t, so getting to see him now before we leave on our road trip is like an early Christmas present for me. It makes me proud that I get to make him proud.”

New and improved: Called up from the Hamilton Bulldogs on Sunday, Max Pacioretty will make his 2010-11 debut when he steps on to the ice Wednesday night to take on the Flyers at the Bell Centre. The young winger will find himself playing on a line with veterans Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez.

“I’ve seen them play, and I know what my role is going to be on that line. I’m going to need to play with conviction and follow their lead. I can help them and I know they’ll be able to help me too, so I’m planning on doing my best and hopefully we pull out the win,” said Pacioretty. “I’m looking to bring an aggressive style and I know with guys like that, there are going to be loose pucks and chances to score and set up plays. I’m not that nervous right now. Last year, it was a different situation and I was very nervous – but not this time around.”

Measuring Up: As they get set to square off against two Eastern Conference rivals in as many days, the Canadiens will be looking to put some distance between themselves and the Bruins while closing the gap on Philadelphia.

“You hear the term “measuring stick” used a lot, but really, every game is measuring stick,” admitted Hal Gill. “We’re going to be playing against two of the best teams in the league over the next two days and we’re going to have to beat them if we want to be the best ourselves and really see where we stand.”

Justin Fragapane is a writer for

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