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Notebook - Sept. 23, 2011

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
BROSSARD – In today’s notebook: Very unlikely roommates, a new face on the point, and Engqvist goes 3-for-3.


You stayed at my house!: After picking up an assist in his first NHL preseason outing, Brendan Gallagher will find himself back in action Friday night against the Sens, this time rounding out a line with Scott Gomez and Max Pacioretty. While this may be 19-year-old Gallagher’s first time on the same line as Gomez, the two players actually have a history that stretches back nearly a decade…to when they were roommates.

“When I was about 10 years old, Scott hurt his shoulder and my dad was his strength coach at the time, so while he was recovering they were doing some training together and he ended up living at my house over the summer,” explained Gallagher of his unlikely housemate. “So when I came to camp last year I was sure to mention it to him and ask him if he remembered it and he did, so that was cool. I remember that my one regret from that was that I never asked him for his autograph, and I still haven’t. Maybe I’ll get the chance now,” he grinned.

On point: Preseason games are the perfect forum for a coach to run some practical experiments and Jacques Martin has a plan to do just that. During the Habs’ Friday morning skate, hours away from their matchup against the Ottawa Senators, the Canadiens head coach, called on an unexpected candidate to man the point on the powerplay.

“When you look at tonight’s lineup, we can only have defensemen Weber, Diaz and Yemelin on the blue-line for our powerplay. This gives us the chance to try out Andrei [Kostitsyn] on the point during the man advantage,” explained Martin, while also pointing out that this could become a common occurrence during the regular season depending on how things go. “We know that during the year we sometimes need a forward to play that position. Last year Tomas Plekanec filled that roll from time to time. Tonight will be an experiment. After all, that’s what training camp is for.”

Three-peat:
After being called to play in both Tuesday and Wednesday’s games, Andreas Engqvist will lace up again Friday night as the only Hab to hit the ice for all three of the team’s preseason matchups to date. Two years ago, playing so many games in such a short span of time might have been a problem for the 23-year-old Swede, but not these days.

“In Sweden, we would play 55 games, but here it’s more like 80, so I had to adapt to that. When you play that many games, you have to take care of your body to make sure that you’re in shape to play again the next day,” pointed out Engqvist, who will center a line with Erik Cole and Andrei Kostitsyn against Ottawa. “It’s a big test for me, but I’m treating it like a positive. I’m playing with two very skilled players tonight. Maybe I’ll even get a goal. Who knows.”

Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.



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