Jan 14, 2012, 7:42 PM EST
There’s been plenty of debate surrounding Michael Cammalleri, Rene Bourque, and the trade that was designed to shake-up two organizations north of the border. The next step in the process is watching the two players attempt to fit in with their new teammates. While Cammalleri is set to appear with his new team against the Kings tonight in Calgary, Bourque practiced with his new team for the first time on Saturday morning.
Bourque is unavailable for the Habs tonight against the Senators as he serves the final game of his five-game suspension for delivering an elbow to Nicklas Backstrom’s head. He’ll be available to Randy Cunneyworth and the Canadiens starting tomorrow night against the Rangers.
Even though he’s sidelined from tonight’s actions for the dirty hit he made while with the Flames, Cunneyworth is excited to add that type of player into the mix.
“It’s an expensive mistake, but you’re playing hard, rugged, there’s a bit of reckless abandon,” Cunneyworth told The Hockey News. “But that’s OK as long as you’re going to those other areas and making sure they pay offensively.”
“It makes others wary a bit when you know that a guy has that reckless tendency and if other guys shy from that, that’s where you win those battles.”
When Bourque is at his best, he is a forward that can fill up the net while he’s playing with an edge. He’s shown in the past that he’s capable of playing the type of game that physically punishes the opposition on the ice, while adding more punishment on the scoreboard. That’s when he’s at his best.
When he’s at his worst, he’s a player that isn’t as engaged as his coach, teammates, or fans would like him to be. What makes it even worse is that he’ll show glimpses of his potential, and then frustrate people by floating though extended periods of a given game. Or worse yet, extended periods of multiple games.
If he can put it together and play with consistency, he should be a good fit for a team that could use a physical presence. That’s exactly what Mr. Gauthier and Mr. Cunneyworth are betting on.
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