Andrei Markov’s knee is not 100 per cent, but his sense of humour is ready for the hockey season.
“Are you nervous about your knee?” Markov was asked at the end of his 10-minute media scrum Friday morning.
“I’m more nervous about you guys,” the defenceman replied, with the speed of one of his power-play point drives.
Does he have water on his injured knee?
“I have water in my basement.”
Markov said he would love to be scrimmaging with his teammates when drills begin Saturday morning, but admitted that’s not going to happen.
“I try stay positive and carry through with the (rehabilitation) plan,” Markov added. He is taking things “day by day” (first time that phrase has been used this season … but not the last) and sees improvement in his knee almost every day.
Markov says there’s “a chance” he will play in the Canadiens’ season opener in Toronto – at an ACC rink that has not been kind to his health.
Markov visited Dr. James Andrews last month to deal with swelling in his right knee. The acclaimed American surgeon was satisfied with the progress of recovery and told Markov a bit of swelling is to be expected after a second knee surgery.
Markov debunked rumours of a rift with team management and resentment that the Canadiens had neglected to monitor his skating drills.
“There are days when I’m disappointed at the progress of my rehab,” Markov said. “But I have nothing against the team or the medical staff.”
“I try to stay positive,” he reiterated. “I’m not going to play tomorrow, but the day is coming.”
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Hal Gill, a reliable source of good one-liners, was also in mid-season form.
On his best fitness test: “Reach.”
His least-favourite: “The VO2. You get on a bicycle and pedal until you puke.”
On competition between Josh Gorges and P.K. Subban to be his D partner: “I feel like the good-looking girl at the prom.”
On enduring Bruins’ fans during his offseason in Massachusetts: “It’s nice to be back in Montreal. I’ve had enough hearing about the best team evah.”
Video to come this afternoon from David Stubbs
Looks like the new guy’s been on the Pat Hickey Power Diet.
Pass the blinis, Ma!
The players began the morning down at the gym level, going through fitness drills and being assessed by people carrying clipboards.
In the media division, Patrick V. Hickey topped the vertical jump, rising three inches of his seat and yelling “Waiter!”
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Interesting to note – and 24Cups has – that each camp team includes an intact line that is likely to start the season.