MONTREAL – Dedication and a ferocious work ethic are a few of the things Habs fans have come to expect from sharpshooter Michael Cammalleri.
From the second the Habs 2010-11 season wrapped with an opening round Game 7 loss to the Boston Bruins, Cammalleri was already setting his sights on the first puck drop of 2011-12. After only a couple of days well-deserved rest following his team’s exit from the playoffs, Cammalleri was back to business, throwing himself headlong into summer training with the goal, as always, to return in better shape than ever for the Canadiens’ next training camp.
Over the course of his first two seasons sporting the bleu-blanc-rouge, Cammalleri has found himself sidelined by injuries for a total of 32 regular season games. During his most recent campaign it was a shoulder injury that forced him out of the lineup for 15 games in the middle of the season. Despite the setback, the 29-year-old sniper closed out the season with a respectable record, tallying 19 goals and 28 helpers for a total of 47 points on the year.
While his flair for rocketing one-timers is a key ingredient in the Habs regular season success, it’s come playoff time that Cammalleri really shows his stripes as the clutch second-season force that fans have come to know him as.
After potting an NHL-high 13 goals during the Canadiens never-say-die postseason run of 2010 that finished with him posting 19 points in 19 games, Cammalleri kept his streak alive and well in 2011, putting up 10 points in only seven playoff games. His offensive output against the Bruins was enough to help boost him to a point-per-game average for his career with 32 points in 32 second-season matchups.
After once again spending the majority of his season in 2010-11 alongside Tomas Plekanec
as part of Jacques Martin’s top line, Cammalleri will be hoping to make use of his chemistry with the Czech center to help him repeat his accomplishments of 2008-09. Following a season in which he also scored 19 goals with the Kings in 2007-08, Cammalleri stormed back in his next campaign with the Flames to notch a career-high, 39 goals on the season.
The 2011-12 season also has the potential to be full of milestones for the left-winger who needs to hit the ice only four more time to reach his 500th NHL game, as well as 23 more goals to crack the 200 mark, and 16 points to boost his career total to 400.Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.ALSO SEE:The Showdown Game, Set, MatchErik Cole: Fan QuestionsSummer of Budaj Summer of Subban