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Notebook - Sept. 28, 2011

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
BROSSARD – In today’s notebook: Powerplay possibilities, locker room discussions, Gallagher’s stayin’ alive.

Work in progress: With Andrei Markov still on the mend, the job of manning the point on the Canadiens’ powerplay is still up for grabs with two games left to go in the preseason. The tryouts continued Wednesday morning, with Tomas Plekanec getting his kick at the can.

“We’re still experimenting to be completely sure who’s going to be on our back end, and one thing is that in the absence of Markov, we’re trying to find someone to quarterback our powerplay on the first unit. Right now we’re experimenting with a forward in that position,” explained head coach Jacques Martin, who will have until Oct. 6 to tinker with the possibilities.

“We have a player like P.K. who’s got a dangerous shot and can score goals, so we want to find another player who can compliment that and help him set up that shot,” he added.

Say anything: After coming off a season that saw him between the pipes for a record-breaking 72 games for the Habs, Carey Price is ready to ride again. His two biggest assets heading into 2011-12:  Knowing what to expect on the ice and knowing what to expect from his teammates.

“I think after going through it last year I know better how to prepare for a big workload. Rest is a big thing. For me when I’m playing lots of games, having the time to be able to recover is huge. I wanted to be able to come back to training camp this fall fresh and ready to go,” explained Price before going on to stress the cohesiveness of the current edition of the team.  “There’s no awkwardness in our group. We’re all very familiar with each other and we can really bring up any topic no matter how weird it is or how serious it is, we can talk about anything. When you have a group like that, trust is easy.”

New sheriff in town: Brendan Shanahan may only have occupied the post of NHL disciplinarian for a few weeks now, but it’s clear he wasting no time making his presence felt; an effort that Michael Cammalleri can definitely appreciate.

“I think he’s been doing an excellent job. It’s not an easy task and he’s definitely been very busy lately,” mentioned Cammalleri in reference to the numerous suspensions handed down by Shanahan over the course of the preseason. “It sends a clear message that the league is making a big push to protect players. What I really like is that this should have an impact even at younger levels of hockey. If Brendan Shanahan’s on the Internet explaining what you can and can’t do at our level, it should be the same thing for kids.”

Stayin’ alive: After another wave of cuts, Brendan Gallagher can count himself among the final few prospects still in the mix on the 13th day of training camp. And if it’s up to him, he’ll be sticking around for a while longer still.

“The best way to develop is to surround yourself with players who are better than you. I definitely have a lot mentors here. Even since the beginning of camp, I feel like I’ve become a better hockey player,” expressed Gallagher. “I feel ready to play. I know the intensity level goes up a notch when the regular season starts, but right now, I feel comfortable.”

Justin Fragapane is a writer for

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