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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Montreal Canadiens Gameday update: Michael Cammalleri returns, New Lineup Awaits

As you've likely heard by now, Habs sniper Michael Cammalleri is poised to make a return to the lineup tonight as Montreal takes on the Penguins.

Despite only missing three games with a cut above his knee, Cammalleri's return is much needed for a team that has too many sputtering parts.

While no lineup has been confirmed, expect Cammalleri to start on the top line with Tomas Plekanec and Erik Cole. This will be a great test for this line that was penciled in to start the season together until Coach Martin had a change of heart and inserted Andrei Kostitsyn into Cole's spot.

Since then, AK46 has found a nice home on the second line with David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty.

The combo of Pacioretty and AK provides the diminutive Desharnais with two big, strong scoring wingers who can create room for him to work his magic. And so far, the experiment has been a great success.

It kind of reminds me of the Boston Bruins' top line with Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton flanking David Krejci.

If the Plekanec line can get rolling tonight and the Desharnais keeps doing their thing, the Habs will have a formidable one-two punch.

Take Lars Eller and put him on the third line wing with Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta (yes, that is the third line now) and the Habs might have three solid lines to roll out.

Eller, who has looked great since coming back from offseason shoulder surgery, should provide that spark of life and skill that the Gomez/Gionta combo is badly missing. No disrespect meant to Travis Moen on that one, but he doesn't have anything on the skill and speed of Eller.

Game time is 7 pm with the puck dropping about ten minutes after that.

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Kamal is a freelance writer, Senior Writer/Editor-in-Chief of HabsAddict.com and Montreal Canadiens Blogger on Hockeybuzz.com. Kamal is also a weekly contributor to the Sunday Shinny on TSN Radio 990 (AM 990) every Sunday from 9 - 10 AM. Listen live at http://www.tsn.ca/montreal/

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(Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images North America)

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