In terms of points, it wasn’t entirely a bad
week for the Montreal Canadiens, although that stinker in Ottawa makes it harder
to remember that. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs came down with what the Habs
were suffering through recently as well, lack-of-goal-itis, while continuing
their recent slide. We’ll also have our weekly grades, a closer look at
Juraj Mikus in our In the System feature, and we’ll have a final thought on a
few pet peeves that have arisen throughout the season, in the recap.
Previous week’s grades in parentheses.
Bear in mind that the grades encompass the pair of victories this week as well
as the debacle in Ottawa, otherwise, most of the grades would be significantly
David Aebischer: B Steadied the team in Philly, even the
two he allowed vs Ottawa weren’t his fault. (B-)
Cristobal Huet: C-
Goals against increases almost 20 points this week, this was one to forget. (C)
Mike Komisarek: B Most consistent d-man this week,
although that isn’t necessairily as good as it sounds.
Sheldon Souray: B- Shaky game Saturday, otherwise fairly
strong week overall. (B-)
Craig Rivet: B- Fairly strong week except for the Sens
Francis Bouillon: C Offensive pace is comparable to last
year, but he is far from the same defender the team signed to a 3-year contract
in the offseason. (C)
Mathieu Dandenault: C Even Mr. Cool and Collected wasn’t
himself this week, and that’s generally all he’s good for. (B-)
Andrei Markov: C- He was shaky early in the week, and
beyond pathetic against Ottawa, braincramps beginning to look Kovalev-esque. (C+)
Michael Ryder: B+
Switching back to his old stick paid early dividends. (B-)
Chris Higgins: B Regained his scoring touch, nice to see,
steady defensively as well. (C)
Tomas Plekanec: B If only he’d produce like this with a
little more regularity.
Mike Johnson: B New linemates have rejuvenated his play. (C)
Guillaume Latendresse: B- Quiet week overall for the
rookie, but that goes with the territory. (B)
Mark Streit: B Creating the chances as a forward, needs
to score more at a forward’s pace now. (B)
Saku Koivu: B- Hit the big milestone, celebration (and
his play) were lacking. (B-)
Alexei Kovalev: B- Strong game in Philly, not much
else after that. (D-)
Garth Murray: B- Creating more chances, but he’s the only
forward on the team that has a goalless streak worse than Samsonov. (N/A)
Alexander Perezhogin: C+ Offensive game has gone down the
toilet, same thing happened to him last year, needs to bounce back soon.
Sergei Samsonov: C I’m calling it: Samsonov will
score a pair of goals this week. (D-)
Maxim Lapierre: C Not the answer as the second line
Aaron Downey: C I know he played, but I hardly remember
him…which isn’t good or bad. (C)
The Bulldogs, had another iffy week,
winning just 1 of 3 games, for the 2nd straight go-round. Offence
continues to be an issue for the team, as they have scored just 13 goals in
their last 6 games.
January 3, 2007 – Manitoba 4, Hamilton
Milroy (17), Lambert (5)
PP: 1-5 PK:
January 5, 2007 – Manitoba 3,
Shots: 19-17 Hamilton
PP: 0-4 PK:
January 6, 2007 – Hamilton 6, Chicago 3
Stortini (9), Cote (2), Ferland (10), Grabovski (11), Benoit (4), Baines (8)
Shots: 41-31 Chicago
PP: 2-4 PK:
3-14 (that’s not a typo either, PP chances were indeed 14-4)
3 Key Notes:
D-man Andre Benoit has just 5 points in his last 20 contests, and 3 of them
were in the victory over Chicago this week.
2) 3 Bulldogs were named to the AHL All-Star Game: Andrei Kostitsyn,
Jaroslav Halak, and Mathieu Roy (currently up with Edmonton).
3) Eric Manlow, who scored 25 goals last season, currently has…0
in 35 outings this year. It should be noted that the last time I mentioned
a stat like this, the player wound up being traded.
By Jason Brisebois
Today’s prospect is Juraj Mikus. A native of Skalica, Slovakia,
Juraj was drafted 121st overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Canadiens.
Juraj is coming off a very good showing at the World Junior Championships.
It was one that would see him notch 5 goals in 6 games, tying him for the lead
on a fairly weak team. He is also currently enjoying a very good season
with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the QMJHL, after coming over in the CHL import
draft. Mikus plays a very offensive game. He has an up-tempo, high
energy style. He can also play any forward position very efficiently.
He however needs to learn how to finish. He has a lot of skill, but
struggles to finish in a similar manner as Maxim Afinogenov in past years.
He also needs to work on his defensive play, like many young players.
Despite his flaws, Juraj has a bright future. Look for him to make a jump to the
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Skalica HK 36
Next week: To be determined.
Throughout the course of the season,
there seem to be a few things that tend to irritate me when watching the
Canadiens games, pet peeves of the team if you will. These are all just
little things that I find myself thinking over and over again "If only they
did this, they’d be better." The following is part of my list:
1) Can’t string a consistent 60 minutes together: It
seems that every game, the team is largely inconsistent in their play for a full
period. And lately, they’ve been inconsistent in the period in which
they’re inconsistent in. Recently, they’ve been flat in the first, and
look what keeps happening.
2) Huet on the PP: If you sit and watch when the opposite
team clears the puck, 9 times out of 10, Cristobal Huet either leaves the puck
for the d-man to go get it, or stops it for the d-man, who then circles the net.
If he’d play the puck up, even to centre, the team could counter quicker and
spend more time attacking, but yet, it rarely happens.
3) The PP overall: Despite the team’s success rate, the lack
of creativity on the powerplay is mind-numbing at times. It seems as if
plans A through Y are get the puck to Souray, while Z is scramble and hope
Souray gets open. Kovalev and Ryder have strong shots from the hash marks,
they need to start using them and keeping the PK honest.
I’d like to hear from you on any pet peeves you may have about the team,
regardless of how miniscule they may be. Remember, if you have a question
and want a reply, you need to leave an e-mail address so I can contact you back.
I’ve received lots of good questions and other feedback, but have nowhere to