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After three injury-filled seasons, Andrei Markov is healthy

Jan 19, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT

Andrei Markov AP

The last time Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov played more than 70 games in a season was during the 2008-09 campaign when he saw 78 out of 82 games. After playing just 65 games the last three seasons combined (73 if you count the postseason), he’s finally fully healthy and ready to go.

Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette hears from Markov about getting back to full speed and he credits playing in the KHL for getting him ready for the season.

“The games I played in Russia were huge, especially because I didn’t play many the last two years,” Markov said. “Playing in Russia gave me confidence in myself. I feel good and I’m ready to go.”

One thing he’s always been is a leader for the Habs and while he’s been out with various ailments, P.K. Subban had taken over as their puck-moving set-up man on the blue line. With Subban still yet unsigned, it’s almost fitting it falls back on Markov to be the man once again in that role. One thing’s for sure, it’s been a long time coming.

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