ST. LOUIS – Lars Eller
feels pretty comfortable in St. Louis.
Hours from playing back in his first NHL home, Eller was looking forward to reacquainting himself with his former teammates on the ice on Thursday night.
“It was special to step out on the ice where I played my first NHL game,” offered the rookie winger, who was drafted 13th
overall by the Blues in 2007. “I think once the game gets going tonight, it’s going to be like any other game; we’re here to take two points.”
Having scored just two goals in seven games with St. Louis last season, Eller has been on an offensive tear of late, matching his entire 2009-10 production in a single game with two goals against the Bruins on Tuesday night. With five points – including four goals – during the Canadiens’ current five-game win streak, the 21-year-old will be a big part of the two points he’s looking to steal from his former team.
“Lars has been very good. I think right from the start, Lars showed he has a good understanding of the game and he’s done a good job at both ends of the ice,” lauded Habs head coach Jacques Martin. “He’s responsible defensively and lately he’s gotten more production offensively. He’s a young player with lots of talent and he’s still just adapting to the National Hockey League.”
After being dealt to the Canadiens this summer for Jaroslav Halak – who will also be facing his former team for the first time on Thursday night – Eller is more focused on proving his current GM right than showing the Blues they were wrong.
“I don’t think about it like that. It’s just a big motivation for me,” confirmed Eller. “It’s not like I feel I need to prove anything or that I think they did something wrong by trading me or anything like that.
“But I’m motivated and I think it’s going to be fun and there are a lot of familiar faces here. Even though I only played a couple of games here, I was a part of the organization for almost three years,” he added. “I think the whole team has been playing really well lately. I don’t see why we shouldn’t keep that going tonight.” Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.
Pre-game comments: Eller
, MartinSend get-well messages to Max Pacioretty hereThree peas in a pod My Playlist: Lars Eller My Essentials: Lars Eller Jaroslav Halak to the St. Louis Blues for Lars Eller and Ian Schultz