Montreal Canadiens Roundup: January 14, 2011
The Montreal Canadiens are enjoying a few days rest right now and, according to Tomas Plekanec, not a moment too soon.
The Canadiens looked listless in their 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday and won't play again until Saturday night against the New York Rangers. But according to the Habs' top center, many of the players are suffering from a milder form of whatever flu is ailing sniper Michael Cammalleri.
As such, many of the players are both physically and mentally tired so the rest should do them all some good. The problem is so bad that second line winger Max Pacioretty had to skip practice this morning due to illness.
As for Cammalleri, he was back playing soccer with his teammates this morning at the Canadiens' Brossard practice facility and should be back in the lineup for practice this morning and against the Rangers on Saturday.
That's a good thing for a team that has been having all kinds of trouble scoring of late.
With only 12 goals through 41 games, Cammalleri is currently on pace to pot 22 goals this season. That would be his second lowest goal total in his last six seasons and clearly a disappointing total for the Habs' top sniper.
Hopefully these few days off will go a long way towards clearing Cammalleri's mind and freeing him of whatever baggage that's been making him grip his stick too tight. If so, then maybe we'll see a resurgence by Cammalleri similar to the one Gomez experienced after missing a few games earlier in the season.
On the trade front, the name of Andrei Kostitsyn has been floating around the rumour mill for a while now. That's not really surprising, either, since Andrei is having an abysmal season and is currently on pace to score only 19 goals.
More importantly, however, in recent games, AK46 looks like he has already checked out of town. He is showing zero intensity and really just looks like he is going through the motions.
According to RDS, GM Pierre Gauthier has been knocking on everyone's door in an effort to move the enigmatic winger. But as of yet, no one is interested in Kostitsyn and his $3.5 million salary.
RDS also went on to say that Jacques Martin no longer knows what to do to motivate Kostitsyn.
AK46 won't yield much in return by himself so maybe the Canadiens can figure out some way to package him with other players, prospects or picks in order to try and get something of value in return.
If the Habs are unable to move him by the deadline, they will likely try to move him at the June NHL entry draft or just leave him unsigned, making him a UFA during the summer.
The failure on the Canadiens part to properly develop Andrei Kostitsyn into a bonafide 30-plus goal scoring winger is one that has been haunting them for the last five years. If they aren't able to get anything of value in return for him, it is a wasted draft pick that will continue to haunt for the foreseeable future, as they now have a gaping hole on the top line that is not easy to fill.
Hopefully for Habs fans Gauthier has another rabbit up his sleeve, but somehow I doubt it.
So what do you think will happen to Andrei Kostitsyn? Will he be traded? Are the Habs stuck with him? What about Michael Cammalleri? Will he bounce back once he returns to the lineup?
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