Roman Hamrlik’s left knee injury stretched the limits of the term “day-to-day”. It has been ‘day-to-day’ since September 17th when he arrived in training camp having suffered it in an unofficial practice session collision with Jaroslav Spacek.

Fortunately, the Canadiens coaching and medical staff is more patient than the average fan or even the media, which is always a good thing.

At last, Hamrlik has been declared fit to play and will be in the lineup tomorrow night against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Rumours are also being spread that Andrei Markov is very close to returning as well, which would make him a month ahead of schedule.

Hamrlik’s knee is now 36 years old and has been through well over 1200 grinding NHL games. You don’t heal as quickly at thirty-six as you did when you were twenty-six.

Hamrlik, who has not skated competitively since last May will be paired with Ryan O’Byrne tomorrow night. Spacek will remain with P.K. Subban. It leaves two defense setups with desirable left/right shots.

After doing a lot of early line-juggling Thursday in Toronto, Jacques Martin kept his lines together for the most part on Saturday against Pittsburgh mainly because of Benoit Pouliot’s improvement. Pouliot will be back on the Gomez line tomorrow night.

Expect Carey Price in goal again.

The Lines

            LW                              C                              RW

57- Benoit Pouliot         11 ScottGomez          21 Brian Gionta

13-Michael Cammalleri 14 TomasPlekanec    46-Andrei Kostitsyn

81-Lars Eller                15-Jeff Halpern          40-Maxim Lapierre

32- Travis Moen          17-Dustin Boyd          94-Tom Pyatt

81-Lars Eller               15-Jeff Halpern           40-Maxim Lapierre

Defence                 Left                      Right

                    6-Jaroslav Spacek 76- P.K. Subban

                  75-Hal Gill               26-Josh Gorges

                  44-Roman Hamrlik  20-Ryan O’Byrne

Goal                             31-Carey Price

                                    35-Alex Auld

Scratches – Mathieu Darche; Alexandre Picard