Habs relying on backups

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:35 AM ET

On the eve of their 2010-11 curtain raiser, the Montreal Canadiens are relying on their supporting cast to fill in for some of their ailing stars.

They’d better hope any opening-night jitters quickly evaporate. Forward Mike Cammalleri is suspended, defencemen Andrei Markov and Roman Hamrlik are still recovering from respective knee injuries, and starting goalie Carey Price is ill heading into Thursday’s matchup against the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.

Of the three, only Price has a chance to play, although he was being referred to as “doubtful” by some close to the team.

If he can’t, backup Alex Auld is ready to answer the ACC bell.

“I feel like I’ve been getting better and better every day of camp,” Auld told reporters. “Being ready is part of the job.”

With Richmond Hill’s Cammalleri forced to watch in civvies, young Lars Eller will take his left-wing position on a line with Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Kostitsyn.

Eller was one of the prospects acquired from St. Louis in the controversial trade that sent popular goalie Jaroslav Halak to the Blues.

With Hamrlik and Markov out of the lineup, Rexdale’s P.K. Subban will receive plenty of power-play time on the point.

This is the same personable Subban who, upon being drafted by the Habs in ’07, said he’d hoist the Stanley Cup in Montreal one day, then parade the coveted trophy through his Toronto neighbourhood in front of bitter Leaf fans.


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