Lars Eller reported to an abbreviated Canadiens training camp last January in the best shape of his life — fitter stronger and faster than at any previous time in his young NHL career.
Next month when the Habs open camp for 2013-14 Eller expects to be superior in every way.
The 24-year-old centre/forward enjoyed a breakout season in the lockout-shortened campaign his 30 points in 46 games two points better than what he recorded in 79 games the year before.
If there was any bitter residue from the Canadiens having traded goalie Jaroslav Halak to St. Louis in June 2010 to acquire Eller the forward’s performance last season should have erased it.
And then suddenly it came to a sickening bloody end at the Bell Centre in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Eller flattened by Ottawa defenceman Eric Gryba at the Canadiens blue line.
Eller was knocked colder than a banker’s heart suffering a concussion broken nose and shattered teeth that marked the beginning of the Canadien...