MONTREAL – A strong power play can often be a difference maker, especially come spring time.
While Turbo B and Snap haven’t been heard from since the early 90s, the Canadiens just might in fact have “The Power” with the return of both Michael Cammalleri and Marc-Andre Bergeron. Though the Habs sharpshooters missed 16 and 14 games respectively, they still remain among the team leaders in PP scoring.
For blue-line master blaster Bergeron, the man advantage remains the key to him remaining an integral part of the Habs' race for the playoffs.
“The closer we get to the playoffs, the more important power play goals get,” explained Bergeron. “I don’t think any teams in playoff races right now are interested in taking bad penalties at this time of year or in the playoffs. The power play can often make them pay the price for those mistakes.”
The Canadiens' not-so-secret power-play weapon and his head coach are on the same page.
“A power play can often shift the momentum in a game,” said Jacques Martin. “Having Bergeron back gives our power play a whole other dimension with his heavy shot and getting Cammalleri back now gives us two units that can do damage and will battle for power play time which gives us great depth.”
Martin’s longing for the return of his snipers should come as no surprise. Prior to losing Cammalleri, the Canadiens' power play was humming along at a 28.9% clip. Once he went down with a knee injury, the Habs dropped to an anemic 15.6% during his absence.
“In hockey, a power play isn’t like a faucet you can just turn on and off whenever you want,” warned Cammalleri. “You have to keep working at it all the time to get the best results. It’s a gradual thing and we hope to get things rolling as early as Wednesday night in Buffalo.”
With Bergeron and Cammalleri now back in business, the penalty box is the last
place the opposition should want to be. Vincent Cauchy is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Manny Almela.See alsoPlayoff raceHabs notebook - March 23, 2010 Vote for the play of the weekStymied at homeThe one that got away Cementing his place Riding the Metro