November 5, 2009
In his first NHL game, Lars Eller scored his first goal on the powerplay against future linemate Rene Bourque. His goal broke a Blues 171 minute scoreless drought at home, and also broke a run of 26 failed powerplay attempts. Even as a rookie, Eller had a penchant for scoring big goals. He also quickly established himself as a player who would go to the dirty areas and win along the boards.
Against the Flames, he got mobbed for crashing the crease, and his refusal to back down had the Blues announcer proclaiming with delight, "He's got some moxie!". Against the Flyers, he got in a scuffle with Hartnell AND Pronger, and his line, despite being the youngest on the team, dominated - though Eller didn't score.
He would play most of the year in the AHL, putting up 57 points (18 goals, 39 assists) where he would be named AHL rookie of the month in March 2010, and be selected (along with future teammate P.K. Subban) to the AHL rookie all-star team.
Traded to Habs
In the summer of 2010, Eller was traded to the Canadiens for Jaroslav Halak, which caused a good deal of consternation. However, with the ascension of Carey Price, and Eller's development as a strong, all-around player, it's fairly safe to say the trade worked out better for the Habs in the long run.
4 point night
4 goals and an assist. Enough said.
The goal that sparked the comeback
Eller's nothing goal is the pebble that began an avalanche.
The 2014 playoffs saw Eller as the centre for the Canadiens' most consistently lethal line, Eller, Bourque, and Brian Gionta teamed up for 31 points in 17 games. Eller was second on the team in points behind Subban, with 5 goals and 8 assists.
In 2014-15 Eller was relied on to carry the Habs' defensive shutdown line, which he did with a rotating cast of wingers. He scored 15 goals, seven of which were game winners, including the OT winner in Carey Price's historic 43rd victory.
Eller has added NHL left-winger to his toolbox, and he and Galchenyuk have developed some serious chemistry.
Happy holidays, and here's to another 400 games!