Special watch on Cammalleri

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

Knowing exactly what they're up against with Michael Cammalleri returning to town, Flames captain Jarome Iginla probably had a couple of tips about last year's linemate for his teammates and coaches.

"I'm sure we'll be trying to watch him on the powerplay," Iginla said the day before facing Cammalleri and the Montreal Canadiens at the Dome. "On the powerplay, guys will know where he is."

Cammalleri scored almost half (19) of his 39 goals last season with the man-advantage. He makes his return to the Dome tonight after signing a free-agent deal worth $6 million a season.

"It's kind of funny we already play," said Iginla on the early-season matchup.

"Both teams 2-0, Montreal coming in. It's gonna be a good game."

Cammalleri suggested on the weekend that his ex-teammates would probably play him pretty tough.

Eric Nystrom, who has been hitting opposition players hard through the first two games, said he wouldn't pass up the opportunity to lay the 5-foot-9 winger out.

"If I get a chance, for sure. It'll be fun," Nystrom said. "I'm sure he's excited to come back."

Size of game matters

The Canadiens added plenty of skill in the off-season. But size is another story.

Trading for Scott Gomez (5-foot-11) and signing unrestricted free agents Brian Gionta (5-foot-7) and Michael Cammalleri (5-foot-9), the Habs quickly formed a potential top line dubbed the Smurfs.

Cammalleri had a theory yesterday for anyone wondering whether size matters in today's NHL.

"You measure a guy in feet and inches. If you measure the size of a guy or a team or a line's game, that's a whole other thing," he said. "What's the size of your game?

"Can you shoot the puck? Can you pass the puck? Can you win battles? Can you play well defensively? Now what's the size of your game?"

Bulldog gets early call

With defencemen Andrei Markov and Ryan O'Byrne going down with injuries in the first two games, the Habs had to call up some re-inforcements.

Help came yesterday in the form of Hamilton Bulldogs blueliner Yannick Weber, who played six games -- three in the regular season and three more in the playoffs -- for the Canadiens a year ago.

"I didn't expect (the call) that early. We all knew we had seven (defencemen) and I'd have to wait for my chance," Weber said yesterday.

"It's too bad we lost a player like Markov, but for me it's just another chance to prove myself and stay up here."

STEVE.MACFARLANE@SUNMEDIA.CA


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