The Canadiens acquired right wing Aaron Palushaj from the St. Louis Blues in return for a struggling Matt D’Agostini in march of last year. A former teammate of Max Pacioretty at the University of Michigan, Palushaj came to the Canadiens organization highly praised fr his on-ice vision and scoring touch. The 5’11”, 183 pound Palushaj played in the Bulldog’s final 18 games of the season with 3 goals and 7 assists and followed that with twelve points in the Bulldogs 19 game playoff run. .
He was looking forward to a strong comeback with Hamiton this season. It hasn’t happened. After 35 games he has 7 goals and 19 assists; hardly a breakout season. He snapped a 12 game goalscoring drought last Tuesday against Rochester and added his third and fourth points of the week Friday in Hartford. Handicapping his game this season has been a nagging high ankle sprain which, he told the Hamilton Spectator this weekend, is now behind him. –
“I hurt my ankle and rehabbed it, came back healthy and then 10 games after I came back, I hurt it again,” he says. “When I came back again I was hesitant on it and I wasn’t playing my game and moving my feet. I wasn’t doing the things that made me successful when I first came back.”
Palushaj says that’s all behind him now. The ankle, he says, is 100 per cent.
“I feel like my game is really good now,” he says. “I’m moving my feet now, and I’m winning battles for pucks and I just have to keep playing my game.”
The timing couldn’t be better for Palushaj to come alive.
The Montreal Canadiens called up Ryan White Wednesday and he follows Andreas Engqvist who was brought up the day before.
Toss in the fact that the Dogs have three forwards, Ian Schultz (ankle), Andrew Conboy (knee) and Olivier Fortier (hand) all out with injuries and it will be important that the Dogs have other players who can fill the scoring void.