Jacques Martin has seen enough of Benoit Pouliot. Or maybe it’s not enough of him. In his three playoff games Pouliot has attempted only one shot and it was blocked. So. Enter Jeff Halpern. He of the lower body injury that has kept him out of eight of the last twelve games.
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Centre Andreas Engqvist logged 6:21 ice time Saturday night against Anaheim, including almost three minutes of penalty killing time, an indication of Jacques Martin’s confidence in his ability. Unfortunately, with Jeff Halpern due to return to the lineup, Engqvist is caught up in the numbers game. Today Engqvist was returned the Hamilton Bulldogs. Ryan White remains with the team for now.
Andreas Engqvist is a 6’4” centre. His name has been showing up on the Hamiton Bulldogs scoresheets with increasing regularity in recent weeks. His last two games he has 2 goals and 2 assists and plus-4. The Canadiens signed Engqvist to a free agent’s contract two seasons ago. Part of the agreement allowed him to remain with Djurgarden of the Swedish Elite League for the final year of his contract with them. This is his rookie year in North America.
Canadiens coach Jacques Martin will make changes to his third and fourth lines tonight for the game against the Los Angeles Kings. Mathieu Darche, who was a healthy scratch Monday night in favour of Yannick Weber, will return to the lineup to play with Lars Eller and Benoit Pouliot. Tom Pyatt will be joining Jeff Halpern and Maxim Lapierre on the Canadiens other secondary unit. (read more)
The Canadiens were lucky in the injury department through the first month of the season. Then Andrei Markov messed up his knee in game seventeen. Canadiens officials seem willing to go as far as terming the injury “long term”. “How long term?’ is the only remaining question.
The Canadiens got additional scares in last night’s 3-0 win over Philadelphia when both Josh Gorges and Jeff Halpern were shaken up during a headhunting mission by the Flyers Darroll Powe in the game’s second and third period. Neither took part in today’s practice, but the two are expected to play tomorrow night against Nashville
It was like there was a Game-8 in last spring’s Canadiens/Penguins playoff series. In a game that took on the aspects of a war at times, the Canadiens scored two goals in the span of 25 seconds late in the third period to beat the Penguins 3-2 in a game that featured all of the intensity of a Stanley Cup game. Michael Cammalleri was given credit for the tieing goal with 2:12 remaining and twenty-five seconds later Scott Gomez scored what turned out to be the game winner. Carey Price stopped 36 of 38 Pittsburgh shots.
The Canadiens added depth to their centre ice/rightwing positions with the signing of 34 year old Jeff Halpern to a one-year 600-thousand dollar contract. Last season Halpern completed a four year contract at two million dollars per season. A hard worker but not a gifted scorer, Halpern is destined to be either a centre or right winger on the Canadiens third or fourth lines this season.
The Canadiens now have twenty-three players on their roster, twenty under NHL contract and three more, Lars Eller, P.K. Subban and Alexandre Picard, on two-way contracts.