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The Habs ended their 2010 preseason with a bang as they trounced the New York
Islanders’ split squad by a 7-2 score.  However, the key event of this game
wasn’t on the scoreboard, as Mike Cammalleri was ejected late in the second
period for a slash on Islander rookie Nino Niederreiter, a play that could lead
to disciplinary action.  Carey Price got the win in goal while Manny Legace,
on a tryout for New York, took the loss.

No fewer than 5 different Habs hit the scoreboard: Cammalleri, Tomas Plekanec,
P.K. Subban, Benoit Pouliot, and Lars Eller.  Jon Sim and Jesse Joensuu
replied for New York.

1st Star: Tomas Plekanec (2 goals, 2 assists)

Another fantastic effort from the Czech pivot as he took over the NHL
preseason scoring lead with his sixth through ninth points.  He was simply
dominant in all facets of the game.  Here’s hoping he has something left in
the tank for the start of the season on Thursday.

2nd Star: Benoit Pouliot (2 goals)

We were all wondering if he was going to have a breakout game to help his
odds of starting in the top-six and this was it without question.  His
first goal was an easy tap in and that got his confidence up.  At the time
of this writing, his second goal may wind up being Eller’s but if nothing else,
he was in the right spot (screening Koskinen) which is a good sign in itself.

3rd Star: Josh Gorges (2 assists)

Very steady defensively, making a couple of plays that arguably saved a goal,
or at the very least, a legitimate scoring chance early on when the game was
close.  It was nice to see him get a couple of helpers as well, though he
showed why no one wants him out there on powerplays.

Honourable Mention: Lars Eller (1 goal, 1 assist)

See below for his write-up in the stock watch.

Stock Watch:

There were five players in the lineup who you could argue were legitimately
fighting for a roster spot.  Here’s a quick thought on those players from
this game:

Mathieu Darche: Got better as the game went along, especially after being
moved up when Cammalleri was ejected.  It’s most likely his roster spot to
lose and he didn’t do anything to lose it tonight.

Lars Eller: Nothing flashy, just continued solid play through 2 periods and then
stepped it up a notch in the 3rd.  He even unleashed a few good slap shots,
something we hadn’t seen much of yet.  He’s done more than enough to make
the team.

Ryan O’Byrne: As the game became more physical, he became more invisible. 
Granted, that isn’t entirely bad as he didn’t make too many mistakes overall but
as the game became more chippy, he lost a chance to make a positive impression.

Alexandre Picard: When he was signed, most felt he was brought in to help the powerplay but he hasn’t done that at all. Sadly, his defence hasn’t been overly impressive either.

Ryan White: A disappointment given what was at stake.  His game reminded me
of Ben Maxwell last year, a couple good shifts but mostly quiet overall. 
He’s ensured he’ll be a quick call up so there will be more opportunities for
him this season.

The Habs are now off until Thursday where they’ll open the 2010-11 campaign
in Toronto.  The Hamilton Bulldogs, however, have one preseason game left
against Binghamton which will be played tomorrow afternoon at 12:30 PM EST.