Palushaj makes a point, plus video

Montreal Canadiens goalie Price tries to cover up puck against Senators during second period pre-season NHL hockey action in Montreal
Two in fact.
Aaron Palushaj, vying for one of the precious few open spots on the Canadiens’ roster, played his best game of the prfeseason, assisting on both of Michael Cammalleri’s goals in a 3-2 loss to Ottawa

The effort impressed coach Jacques Martin, who praised Palushaj’s speed and dogged pursuit of the puck.

Martin alluded to training camp competition among Palushaj, Andreas Engqvist, Michael Blunden and Brock Trotter – AHL veterans trying to jump to The Show.

AUDIO of Jacques Martin’s press conference

(Photo by Christinne Muschi/Reuters)

• Forwards going to Halifax to face Boston on Sunday night: Gomez, Kostitsyn, Cole, Darche, Gallagher, Avstin, Archambault, Blunden, Engqvist, Lefebvre, Massé, Palushaj, Willsie

Dmen making the trip: Gill, Weber, Yemelin,  Beaulieu, Ellis and Henry

•  •  •

Postgame video:

Michael Cammalleri:

Aaron Palushaj:

Carey Price:

Gabriel Dumont:


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  2. Neutral says:

    PG knows what players were gonna go with, this is just a matter of playing out the pre-season maybe keep a couple of the young guns around when it’s all over. looking at our regular team we should be somewhere around the last four playoff positions. washington and pittsburgh should be fighting for number one buffalo has improved a lot so they should be battling tampa bay for third, fourth, that leaves Montreal to contend for one of the last four. if markov can play 40 or so games montreal will be right up there with washington and pittsburgh, like every year there’s a lot of if’s with this team they improved a little up front the “D” not so sure. a couple of good D-men were let go and unless markov, yemelin or Diaz can pull it off we’re gonna hurt back there, only PK to really depend on anyway good luck to them and I hope they go all the way….

    just my opinion and I could be 100% wrong in any case they should make the playoffs.

  3. dasbooth says:

    I thought Schultz was looking good in the first, and that Spacek looked composed and fit.

    “Shutouts are really more of a team stat” – Carey Price

  4. HabFab says:

    Updated Injury List;
    Berger, Bishop, Bournival, Conboy, Delmas, Desharnais, Eller, Fortier,
    Leblanc, Markov, McFadden, Nash, Nattinen, Schultz, Subban, White,
    17 out of 59 bodies, most are short term however none can be sent down until they are healthy is my understanding.

  5. habstrinifan says:

    Two things I would like to see happen. WOYWITKA kept around for a long hard look…. likely??

    Enquist or (someone??) take their cue from the youngster Gallagher and devlops an energy-game and thus sticks with the team or Gallagher overdoses on Popeye’s Spinach and grows into a MAN-BOY overnight.

    It would be nice to go into the season with both an extra capable, big, calm defenseman and a sparkplug-energy forward.

    • HabFab says:

      Woywitka is insurance in case Andre’s not ready to play. After that only if Yemelin falls flat on his face or injuries call up..
      White can handle the energy when he is healthy, we do need a defensive forward…who? I’m not sure if Engqvist is NHL ready and this is not a role for either Trotter or Palushaj (don’t believe either are NHL ready anyhow)

      • habstrinifan says:

        Share your opinion on Trotter/Palushaj. Need a complement for White. Moens already already looks burnt out.

        • VancouverHab says:

          Moen (sp) is burnt out–you must be joking.

          It’s the PRE-SEASON. Moen is a veteran who has earned–many times over–his spot on this, or any other, team. To play his style of game in the PRE-SEASON he would have to be a lunatic.

          He’s giving it what it deserves, and what his coach expects, in the PRE-SEASON.


  6. habstrinifan says:

    Advisory before you read this. These are personal observations, containing only the virtuosity of uneasiness of fandom. So please enough with the tiresome “you are a troll” responses.

    The pre-season so far has shown less of the promise of any individual player, veteran or prospect, and more of a disarray of coaching solutions.

    The impression left is of a team of puzzle-solvers upon whose lap has been dumped 101 puzzle pieces to solve a 99 piece puzzle of a silhouette. Instead of detailedly studying the picture on the box and proceeding to assuredly organize the pieces, the team has decided to “grab and affix”. They may solve the puzzle and, serendipitously, even in a timely manner, but the process looks messy and provides no guidelines to copy in the future nor benchmark to judge progress in the present.

    Notwithstanding the above I went away with the following:

    Price was focussed and stellar early and for most of the game.

    Woywitka plays a calm-game which I hope is noticed by the powers that be and is not mis-interpreted as a ‘placid game’.

    If Trotter makes this team this season then we have added more of the same which will end with more of the same.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      I fail to understand your points in paragraphs 1-3.

      • HabFab says:

        Probably suspects your trolling instead of curious.

      • habstrinifan says:

        Paragraph 1:

        Main point is that my only expertise is that I have become a vituoso in uneasily following the team.

        Paragraph 2 and 3:
        Puzzle-solvers = the coaching staff. More pieces provided and yet when closely examined only TWO extra and difficult pieces to identify and complete the puzzle. I used ‘puzzle of a silhouette’ to indicate that it is no easy puzzle to solve… as a silhouette is of itself a vague form.
        But nevertheless, in my opinion, they are approaching the solution in a messy and hit and miss method … again in my worried-fan opinion.

        • HabinBurlington says:

          And you glean this based on exhibition games where the team is assessing future talent. The fact the team is dressing the league minimum of current roster players, how is it that the preseason games gives us insight into the plans for this coming REGULAR season?

          • habstrinifan says:

            “How is it that the preseason games gives us insight into the plans for this coming REGULAR season?”

            If the pre-season gives absolutely no insight into the plans and fixes for the REGULAR season then what is its ultimate goal.. simply to clear some cobwebs?

          • HabinBurlington says:

            The purpose of the Preseason is to line the pockets of wealthy team owners and the pockets of the owners who thought they were wealthy when joining this league.

            Look at any professional sports league in North America and tell me aside from assessing future talent what is the purpose of preseason. In the NFL the final preseason game is the game in which starters are used the least.

            I would argue the only position player working on his timing is that of the goalies.

            The youngsters are measuring themselves agains the NHL’ers only to find out they aren’t playing against NHL’ers giving their all.

            Todays game is so high in risk for injury that I am happy our team is risking the least number of players game in game out during this period of Charades.

  7. zak says:

    Trotter playing himself off the team

    • Mike D says:

      How so? I missed most of last night’s game but thought he was one of the favourites to potentially make the club or be the first call-up from Hamilton?

      – Honestly yours

    • habstrinifan says:

      OOOPS.. edit note. This reply was meant to continue the discussion with habsburlington above.
      You have a point.. unfortunately. And it makes it harder to judge now how well the team’s needs have been addressed for the new season.

      Luckily PRICE showed yesterday he is gonna be ready and hopefully Subban’s injury isnt chronic or symptomatic of ongoing missed games for he too showed that he is ready to pick up where he left off.. scoring the last goal for the team in 2010-2011 season.

  8. Paulin98C says:

    @adam76 I was looking forward to MaxP and PK as well… Plekanec usually plays good here as well. But least we get Beaulieu and Cole… And GOMEZ! We will win tonight!

  9. adam76 says:

    I thought for sure we would see PK and Max Pacioretty in Halifax.

  10. Danno says:

    What is the minimum required of players with NHL experience which must be on the roster for a pre-season game? Anybody know this rule? And did the Habs meet that requirement last night?

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”

  11. Paulin98C says:

    So Marchand is playing. Not that the Bruins lack the players to taunt but Marchand is my primary target.

  12. Paulin98C says:

    Marchand doesn’t want to play here… He never did anything for the mooseheads when he was here…

    • j2w4habs25 says:

      Hes just scared to lose in his home town against the Habs! 😉 Hopefully Habs nation will drown the Marchand/Bruins fans there.

      Carey Price #31

      • HabFab says:

        Marchand is not a popular person in Halifax. That being said winning the SC does elevate his stature.

      • RGM says:

        Don’t worry, it will be at least 70-30 in favour of us Habs fans at the game. Outside of his immediate family (and I hear that even his own mother tries to keep him at arm’s length) there are not many Marchand fans here, no sir.

        GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

        • HabinBurlington says:

          Enjoy yourself tonight RGM, hope you guys get a good game to watch. Cheers!

          • RGM says:

            Thank you my friend. I’m not overly inspired by the Habs taking the ice tonight, but here’s hoping that Cole & Gomez can continue to build their chemistry. That’s all I got. LOL

            GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

    • HabinBurlington says:

      If indeed it comes down to him not wanting to play there, speaks volumes of his character. Perhaps he wants to play but was told he has to wear a sweater, he can’t wear his clothing of choice from the summer….limited clothing.

  13. j2w4habs25 says:

    I know its pre season but is this a sign for this year? going 1-3 in 4 games. We wont see the playoffs if they play the way they have been. Pre season should be easy!!

    Carey Price #31

    • Bill J says:

      Why do you think it’s supposed to be easy ?

      Kids playing is a two way street, and lacking chemistry does not help.

      If you want to add an avatar here, read this and follow the steps

      Go Habs Go!

      • j2w4habs25 says:

        everyone esle is making it look easy by beating us. They are in the same position as the Habs- playing with the young stars. Plus I hope we dont lose to the Bruins today.

        Carey Price #31

    • HabFab says:

      Relax, Habs have been playing only 40% veterans (league minimum) last night Woywitka counted as the 8th and tonight Alex Henry makes 8. Hardly the team we will be playing the regular season games with.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      In looking at boxscores from various NHL Preseason games Montreal is clearly playing alot more CHL/AHL players than many other teams.

      I think it is a positive that we have developed our farm system so much that we actually have lots of youth to assess and decide what is their best next step.

      Reality is we are such a passionate fanbase that we analyze things far more than most other teams fans do.

      • j2w4habs25 says:

        Do you have any clue why Montreal wasn’t in that young stars (nhl) hockey tournament in BC. I’m pretty sure it was in BC but it was like a few weeks ago.

        Carey Price #31

        • HabinBurlington says:

          I have no insight to offer on that, could only speculate that JM/PG want to watch their youngsters mixed in with the others to get an assessment. Good question though.

          Edit: The Redwings also ran a mini rookie tournament in Michigan just prior to the Exhibition schedule which about 4-6 teams participated in. Too lazy to look up, but I know the Leafs/Rangers were there.

        • HabFab says:

          There are three Rookie tournaments held around the country, we used to participate in the one with Toronto, Ottawa and Pittsburgh but for some reason we stopped about 3-4 seasons ago. Remember reading Timmins explanation but it escapes me right now…still consuming Java to recover from my screw up below.

    • RGM says:

      My friend, I don’t know if you follow the NFL much, but the Indianapolis Colts have the worst pre-season record of any club in the past decade. That’s how much the pre-season means to anything in the grand scheme.

      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

      • HabinBurlington says:

        Haha, just don’t look at their team this year, while you make a good point, this isn’t the best year to bring them up as an example.

        • RGM says:

          Well they’re kinda missing a key piece of the puzzle so far this season – but prior to this year the point stands. They can’t get Peyton back soon enough.

          GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

          • HabinBurlington says:

            Agreed, if I’m Indy though, I am worried if this guy ever comes back like he used to be.

          • LA Loyalist says:

            I don’t follow NFL, but by accident I saw some Peyton Manning video – the guy is hilarious, he has a career in comedy after the NFL. There is on where he relegates a teenage football player to the porta-potty, then whips the ball at his head when he tries to come out. Really funny.

            There is no such thing as too much humour. Hear that, coach JM?

    • VJ says:

      I think if you look back, historically you will see that the teams who “struggle” in the pre-season typically do better in the regular season. Moreso then teams who dominate in the pre-season. Montreal has yet to ice a full lineup, and are giving a lot of minutes to rookies and unproven players, which is a factor (although our goaltending could be better). But hey, it’s just pre-season! Chill out! Nothing to be concerned about yet

  14. HabinBurlington says:

    This is just plain bizzarre. One of the owners of the New Jersey Devils is selling his remaining ownership in the team, the catch? He is paying someone $25Million to take his shares. Okay that is a dumbed down version, but is essentially what is happening.

    Given the economic conditions globally, one really has to wonder how much longer there will be a 30 team NHL. Given there are at least 4 teams teetering, one of the interesting teams to watch is Columbus. This team is losing money each year and yet this year have broken the bank on their payroll. If this team does not make the playoffs this year, the losses in Columbus will be huge.

  15. HabinBurlington says:

    Here is a trip down memory lane for tonights tilt out East.

    I am hoping we fare a little better than our Maroon cousins did way back when.

    • HabFab says:

      Rich! How things have changed…but remain the same. Doesn’t look like Marchaud is playing tonight.

      • j2w4habs25 says:

        GOOD – the first good newss i see today

        Carey Price #31

      • HabinBurlington says:

        While I am quite happy not to have to watch the little puke play tonight, this really is a curious decision. Given this is essentially a home game for Marchand why wouldn’t they play him?

        • HabFab says:

          Alias, believe I misread your article. Missed the first paragraph and got the wrong message from the second. My apologizes! Martha!!! Need more JAVA, right now!

          “Tonight, the latest Nova Scotia-born Bruin will skate in front of his hometown fans when the Bruins play the Canadiens in downtown Halifax.
          Although Brad Marchand won’t suit up at the legendary north end rink where Flash Hollett skated years ago, these two Nova Scotians are forever linked — both have their names engraved in silver on the Stanley Cup.”

    • RGM says:

      Hell, I hope we fare a lot better than we did the last time they played each other in Sept 2008. Bruins won like 8-1 in a thugfest.

      GO HABS GO! 2011-12 is our year!

  16. HabFab says:

    @ Berkshire….egregious….????

  17. HabFab says:

    Pat Hickey in Halifax via twitter no less…with tonight’s roster;
    In Halifax, waiting for #Habs with Budaj and Mayer in goal; Gill, Weber, Yemelin, Beauluieu, Ellis and Henry on defence. Forwards in Halifax: Gomez, Kostitsyn, Cole, Darche, Gallagher, Avstin, Archambault, Blunden, Engqvist, Lefebvre, Palushaj, Willsie


  18. habs001 says:

    we dont know when markov will be back and even when he returns how long will it take him to be in top form?… without markov we have one legitimate pp point player (pk)..the last two years until we added a second quality pp point player(mab,wiz)our pp struggled…we have weber,yemelin and diaz to play pp point but they have no proven nhl success in doing this..martin also likes gorges on the pp but that has been a complete failure the last two years and we also have spacek who is past his pp prime…until we get markov back into top form we will struggle on the pp unless weber,yemelin or diaz suprise us…

  19. Matt. says:

    How does that DiSimone kid look? He was a -2 but over two games he has been excellent on the draw… which the Habs really need

    I’m just reading the boxscore, i didn’t watch any of the games.

  20. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I know Alexander Avstin is a longer-range prospect, with talent waiting to bust-out… but, because of the well known culture difficulties most of the Russians experience, there is an anticipation the shoe will drop and We see Him returning to Russia frustrated and isolated, …so reading this was an unexpected revelation
    …seems He’s becoming acclimated …good to hear, and hope He turns into that big-bodied skilled goal-scorer I have anticipated Him to be since His draft
    …including Our other many promising prospects, it is encouraging news that the next 4 or 5 years should remain fun to be a Habs Fan

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

  21. Timo says:

    Gomer doesn’t play and we lose. It’s just logical. i don’t understand why everybody is trying to provide whatever other explanation.

  22. Neutral says:

    I just hope these preseason games is not an indication of what our scoring is gonna be when the regular season gets underway. if so it’s gonna be a long one. in any case from what I have seen thus far the Habs will be fighting for one of the bottom 4 playoff spots, most likely 5th or 6th I think a lot will depend on the Markov situation as well as yemelin….

    • ooder says:

      actually the fact that we have scored 2-3 goals with barely an nhl roster kinda is kinda encouraging

      The 2010-11 Stanley Cup was not won, but given

      • 24moreCups says:

        I agree, I think the players who are gonna be on the team are looking good.

        You can’t expect some kids who are either still in junior or playing/gonna play in the AHL to score a bunch a goals every night, the preseason games are to help them get a taste of the NHL.

        I’m looking forward to this season, I actually think our team is looking good specially if we manage to stay healthy.

    • HabFanSince72 says:

      Unfortunately, it’s the last two years under Martin that are an indication of what our scoring is gonna be.


    wheres louis leblanc?

  24. Dulljerk says:

    I haven’t been all that impressed in the pre-season. Team looks soft. Real soft. Beaulieu and Gallagher, back to junior, they’re babies yet. Moen looks slower this year, which isn’t good. Brock Trotter is one of those natural skaters, he could be good. Should be interesting to see how (if he plays) Pouliot plays Sunday. If I remember correctly, he was the only Hab to win a fight last year (sad statement actually).

  25. Marc10 says:

    DD is NHL material. He just needs some big bodies around him. Any doubts I had about the kid were erased in the playoffs last year.

    With every game he seemed to stronger. By the 7th game, he’s the guy I wanted out there. With our stronger top 9 this year, I hope he gets another chance to step up. He seems to do it every time.

  26. mike3131 says:

    Yep Spacek’s back in my doghouse. He puck-watches and chases. Once Filatov went around the net, he should be St-Denis’ man and Spacek should be at net front. But nope, he doubles up unnecessarily, and leaves Neil all alone to drive the net. Seems like he didn’t lose his ability-to-screw-up-a-game along with the 10 lbs he lost this summer.
    He better not play past the 10-minute mark of the 3rd period of a tie game. Or better – he should be in the pressbox while Weber and Woywitka alternate the 6th spot.

    It’s not about the size of the dog in the fight; It’s about the size of the fight in the dog.

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      You want Woywitka as a roster D? Put down the whiskey bottle, and the hash pipe.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

    • Bouleau noir says:

      Keep your saliva to please your girl friend instead of trying to drown Spacek into it, now your description of the play is not what took place because Spacek specifically stopped following Filatov as soon as the Russian was about to go around the net leaving him for St-Denis on the other side and taking the front of the net himself…… I just watched the replay on RDS.

      ( in reply to the 11.04pm post )

      • mike3131 says:

        So did I… Then if you know so much more about d-zone coverage than I do, explain to me why Spacek’s back is turned to Neil?! If isn’t Spacek’s fault, who’s is it?
        And unless you’re in Europe, or partying downtown, what the hell keeps you awake at 4:02 AM? If it’s the latter you can’t possibly be sober…

        It’s not about the size of the dog in the fight; It’s about the size of the fight in the dog.

        • Bouleau noir says:

          Yea, 4.02 am, I was getting ready for a fishing trip up north…. just joking am affraid. I reacted to the 11.04 post content which I had perceived to be misleading to the readers all in the name of good old bashing of a player. It was said in that post that Spacek had ” double up unnecessarely ” suggesting that Spacek went blindly puck shasing Filatov around the net instead of leaving it to ST Denis on the other side…… in that matter the replay showed otherwise, Spacek did the right thing up to that point.

          Now it would be very good if Webber or Diaz would offer superior performances than a Spacek but I am not shure that it will happen this season….. will see.

  27. The Dude says:

    And tomorrow’s Bruins game will show us who’s got a pair….more from this story after the game..

  28. slapshot777 says:

    I see some players are trickling out on the waiver wire. I also see the Rangers have placed pavel valentenko on that waiver list.

    To you from failing hands we throw the torch, be yours to hold it high.

  29. Un Canadien errant says:

    Both Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Beaulieu have an opportunity to be a frontline player on their respective teams and to compete for a spot on the World Junior team. It’s not as if going back to Junior would be a step back for these guys. I would prefer that they go there and play big minutes in pressure situations instead of being on the bench or in the pressbox when they hit a speedbump. They’ll improve their game and be more mature physically and mentally next season.

    Mildly encouraged that Mr. Palushaj made a better impression tonight, I’d heard a lot about him but had been underwhelmed so far.

    The Schultz-Masse-Lefebvre line might have been concocted to provide the answer to the question: Which prospect is the furthest from graduating to the NHL?

    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

  30. SeriousFan09 says:

    Why are there 13 forwards playing tommorow?

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
    SF09 on Twitter

  31. SmartDog says:

    Yeah but is Palushaj better than Gallagher?

    Listen to the Smart Dog. He knows his poop!

    • SeriousFan09 says:

      More tuned for a pro environment ATM, in the long run I give the edge to Gallagher. Gallagher or Beaulieu simply are not physically ready for an NHL schedule it is a grind that heavily wears down the body and both of those kids have a couple years to go before they have a real pro-level physique.

      – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
      SF09 on Twitter

      • you also said that desharnais would never be an nhl regular so jury’s still out on you mr. rice 😛

        • SeriousFan09 says:

          I still don’t know if Desharnais can stick in the league long term. He’s shown more than I thought he was able to but I have my doubts.

          To me it’s about physical maturity and skills development. Ride the bench and sit in the press box behind veterans, or dominate their junior leagues, play the World Juniors and more. Give more time to train their bodies up to handling an NHL grind.

          Brendon Nash is 23 and he had a hell of an adjustment to playing the AHL last year despite having some great hockey sense and puck-moving ability.

          – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.
          SF09 on Twitter

          • i dont disagree with you in regards to gallagher or beaulieu, i just wanted to see how youd reply to the one time ya had egg on your face, well done bud 😀

            i agree with you about DD as well, lets hope well all continue to be pleasantly surprised

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