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Notebook Oct. 9 - 2010

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
PITTSBURGH - In the room this morning, Subban gets challenged, Boyd goes back to school, Pouilot prepares to explode and Hamrlik inches closer.

Wearing a bull’s eye: The NHL can be a small world. After playing together for four years with the OHL’s Belleville Bulls, P.K. Subban and the Pittsburgh’s Eric Tangradi will face off for the first time as NHL opponents. In a move he may live to regret, the Penguins’ rookie winger poked his ex-teammate with some friendly trash talk.

“Eric is a great guy and I think that’s all he can try to do is out-chirp me tonight because he’s not winning any battles with me on the ice that’s for sure. So I’ll let him do all the talking,” quipped Subban. “But seriously, I’m really happy he made the team here in Pittsburgh. He was a great captain for us in Belleville and I wish him the best of luck.”

Master and apprentice: At practice this morning, veteran Jeff Halpern spent some one-on-one time with fellow-centerman Dustin Boyd to impart some face-off circle wisdom on the 24-year-old. 

“It’s great to have a guy like Jeff out there to show you a few tricks on how to win draws,” said Boyd. “He’s such a great face-off man and he’s’ got so much knowledge from his years in this game. I had Craig Conroy help me out when I was with the Flames and that was huge for me, too.”

Benny’s breakout?: After suffering through a tough final leg of the 2009-10 season, Benoit Pouliot cranked up his offseason training. With Scott Gomez and captain Brian Gionta by his side, the big winger is hoping to break the ice in the scoring department tonight.

“I work really hard this summer to get back to where I was when I joined the Canadiens last season,” admitted Pouliot who was on fire from his December debut until being injured in February. “I’m feeling good right now. I’m getting another chance to play with Scott and Brian and the last thing I want to do is waste this opportunity.”

Lineup shuffle(s): With Michael Cammalleri making his heavily-anticipated return to the lineup after his one-game suspension, Darche will be the odd man out tonight. Darche spent an extra half hour on the ice joined injured defenseman Andrei Markov and Roman Hamrlik. Speaking of which, Jacques Martin might have another lineup change on his hands in the coming days.

“There is no real update on our injured defensemen, but the planned return date for Roman is Wednesday against Tampa Bay,” said Martin. “We still don’t have a precise timeline for Andrei.”

Manny Almela is a writer for

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