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The notebook - April 14, 2011

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
In today’s playoff notebook, Cammalleri can’t get too much of a good thing, Gill comes home and Lars gets ready for his big debut.

Doing the math:
With just a 31.6% success rate at coming from behind when their opponent opens the scoring, it would behoove the Habs to get on the board first against the Bruins on Thursday night. But as Michael Cammalleri points out, the key is to score often rather than just early.

Cammalleri's comments
“I think that it’s important that when you shake hands, you win the series. The first goal is still one goal,” reminded Cammalleri, who led the NHL with 13 goals in the 2010 Playoffs. “Both teams should be ready to engage in a ‘whatever it takes’ type of mentality for the series here.

“A lot is being made of the styles of play in the media and that makes for interesting discussions on TV and radio, but there a lot more intricacies to the game that we’re trying to get an advantage from,” added the Habs sniper on the myth of the teams’ Big Bad Bruins vs the Flying Frenchmen personas. “For us, it’s about playing a sound game as far as executing what we want to and that doesn’t have much to do with a size or speed thing; it has more to do with how we want to play the game.

Wicked awesome:
Having grown up in Concord, MA before playing the first seven years of his career in Boston, Hal Gill feels right at home at TD Garden. About to face the Bruins in the postseason for the first time as a Hab, Gill discussed how often he imagined playing the villain in his own backyard as a kid.

“Not very often, but it’s nice being part of this rivalry and being part of this series. I had a great time in Boston, but it would be great to beat these guys,” admitted Gill, who was with the Bruins when the Habs roared back from a 3-1 deficit in the 2003-04 conference quarterfinals before clinching the series in Game 7.  “Growing up here, the games you watched were Sox-Yankees and Bruins-Habs. There’s a lot of history there and that’s what makes it so exciting.”

The real season:
With one of the most heated rivalries in NHL history, even a Saturday afternoon game between the Habs and Bruins in November can look a lot like a playoff tilt. For three rookie forwards in the Canadiens’ dressing room about to get their first taste of playoff hockey, nothing can compare to the real thing.

“I feel great and I can’t wait to get out there tonight. You get the tingling inside and you feel the atmosphere around the locker room and you can’t wait to get out there,” described Eller, who will get his NHL playoff initiation along with fellow rookies David Desharnais and Ryan White on Thursday night. “You’re going to be a little nervous when you start and I think that’s a good thing. The emotions are going to come naturally, especially with all the history between the two teams, or even just with the history from this season.

“We’ve had success against Boston this year,” added the 21-year-old Dane. “We’ve thought a lot about the 7-0 and 8-6 games in here, but we beat them four times this year, too. We know we can beat them if we play our game and we play together.”

Shauna Denis is a writer for

See also:

Gameday comments: Gill, Wisniewski, Eller, Cammalleri, Martin
Five Keys to the Game: Habs-Bruins #1
War Ready 
Quarter-finals schedule 

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