It was a week that typified the season of the
Montreal Canadiens, both good and bad efforts from the goalies, a lack of timely
scoring, and key players disappearing at the wrong time. Their loss is the
Bulldogs gain, and they could use the help after another so-so week. We’ll
also keep track of the remaining CHL prospects, plus look at who’s still signed
for next season, plus a final thought on why the whining about a certain
incident in Saturday’s loss should stop now, in the Recap.
Comparatives in brackets. Final season
grades will appear in a future edition.
B- May have won 2 of 3 this week, but
allowed 11 goals and more than a few were shaky. (C+)
Cristobal Huet: B- A strong
first 40 minutes of the week, a less than steady final 40. (N/A)
B One of the few defencemen who was
reasonably consistent during the week. (B+)
Francis Bouillon: B Stepped up
his play this week compared to weeks prior. (B-)
B- Not a liability by any means, but not his best week nor the
time to struggle. (B)
Mark Streit: B- Was
decent as a forward, and didn’t struggle much after being shifted back to D. (C)
Mathieu Dandenault: C+
Was scrambly for most of the week, most evident in the late stretches against
Toronto which proved costly. (B-)
Sheldon Souray: C+
It was nice that he got the NHL record for PPG’s by a d-man, but how much does
that make his demands go up? (C-)
Janne Ninnimaa: C
Regressed after showing signs that he could possibly still play a little in the
A A hat trick in a do-or-die game
merits an A in itself. (B+)
Saku Koivu: A- The costly
penalty notwithstanding, you can’t ask for much more from Koivu over the week. (A-)
Chris Higgins: B+
Missed a lot of scoring chances this week, but scored a pair in the game that
Maxim Lapierre: B Overall a
steady, yet unspectacular week, certainly didn’t hurt the cause. (B+)
Tomas Plekanec: B- The
offence finally slowed down for him…at the absolute worst time.
Steve Begin: C+ Inexcusable
penalty overshadows a strong defensive effort.
Andrei Kostitsyn: C
Invisible this week, lacking the drive that got him the playing time a month
Radek Bonk: C May have
played himself right out of the Canadiens plans in the last few weeks. (B-)
Guillaume Latendresse: C
Simply put, he’s out of gas, but that’s to be expected from a rookie. (C)
Alexander Perezhogin: C He played
this week, but not enough to really be noticed one way or another. (N/A)
Mike Johnson: C- Another
costly penalty, while the offence is still AWOL. (C)
Alexei Kovalev: F He should
be ashamed of himself after the atrocious and embarrassing effort he put forth
this week, an absolute sellout to his teammates. (C)
The Dogs struggled this week, and find
themselves losing the battle for home ice in the 1st round of the playoffs.
April 5, 2007 – Syracuse 5, Hamilton 1
Shots: 34-24 Hamilton
PP: 0-8 PK:
April 6, 2007 – Rochester 2, Hamilton 1
Shots: 30-21 Rochester
PP: 1-5 PK:
April 7, 2007 – Hamilton 1, Toronto 0
Shootout: D’Agostini 1/1, Locke 1/1,
Chipchura 1/1, Milroy 0/1
Shots: 39-18 Toronto
PP: 0-2 PK:
3 Key Notes:
In the blowout vs Syracuse, the Crunch weren’t able to dress a full complement
of players, yet still scored 4 in the first period.
2) Dov Grumet-Morris, who played briefly with the Bulldogs, is now
with division rival Manitoba.
3) Jaroslav Halak, Andrei Kostitsyn, and Maxim Lapierre will be
joining the Bulldogs for their playoff run after finishing the season with
With the season over, let’s look at the
statuses of each player heading into the summer:
Montreal: Aebischer, Bonk,
Johnson, Markov, Niinimaa, Souray
Hamilton: Cote (VI), Danis (VI), Downey, Groulx (VI), Jancevski
Higgins, Komisarek, Leighton, Perezhogin, Plekanec, Ryder
Hamilton: Archer, Biron, Benoit, Ferland, Lambert, Locke, Milroy,
Bouillon, Dandenault, Halak, Huet, Kostitsyn, Koivu, Kovalev, Lapierre,
Latendresse, Murray, Samsonov, Streit
Hamilton: Aubin, Bonneau, Chipchura, D’Agostini, Desjardins,
Grabovski, Lacasse (signed last summer), Lemieux, O’Byrne, Stewart
By Jason Brisebois
The 2nd round of the CHL playoffs are
now underway. Since the beginning of the post-season, three prospects and their
teams have been knocked out of contention. Carey Price, as well as Juraj Mikus
and Ben Maxwell have all been eliminated.
Brandon vs Calgary
Brandon leads series 2-0
C Ryan White (Calgary)
After scoring only seconds into the series, White and Calgary have been unable
to sustain that pressure. They have lost two close game, and are currently
trailing Brandon in the series two games to none.
London vs Sault Ste. Marie
London leads series 2-0
RW Sergei Kostitsyn (London)
Sergei has played well so far in two games. Thanks to his help, and London’s
star studded cast, the Knights have take a two game lead in the series.
Kostitsyn has two goals in two games.
Oshawa vs Belleville
Belleville leads series 2-0
G Loic Lacasse (Oshawa)
Loic’s has continued to struggle into the 2nd round. He would have a weak game
in the series opener, letting in 7 goals on 37 shots. Lacasse would play
somewhat better in game two, making 41 saves. It was not enough, however, as
Belleville has now taken a commanding two game lead in the series.
Rouyn-Noranda vs Drummondville
Series tied at 1-1
D Mathieu Carle (Rouyn-Noranda)
After a commanding 8-3 win on Thursday, Rouyn-Noranda could not hold onto their
lead in the series. They would lose game two Saturday night, and are now gearing
up for game three on Monday. Carle has two assists in two games.
Was the Koivu trip deserving of a penalty?
In all honesty, it’s debatable, but that’s not the reason they lost, and fans
need to stop saying that it is. The following are more deserving things to
complain about, that are bigger reasons that we’re sitting here today thinking
of these things:
– The pathetic effort vs the Rangers…all they needed was a point there, 3
goals isn’t overly impossible to get.
– The pathetic start vs the Leafs that put them in a hole after 1…if they’d
showed up, the outcome (and style of the game) would’ve been different.
– The fact that Guy Carbonneau was flat out outcoached by Paul Maurice…the
latter had the guts to pull his goalie to shake his team up, the former didn’t.
Carbo rotated his lines at least 10 times after the first period (I gave up
counting after that) while Maurice stuck with the game plan, even when they were
down by 2.
And the biggest reason of all:
They had but 5 measly shots in the 3rd period of a wide-open game that
was to make or break their season. More than 15 minutes to recover, and
this is what the players put forth. In a game that everything needed to be
laid out on the line, nothing left in the tank, and other generic clichés, this
was not obviously the case. And if this was all the team had left in the
tank, then Bob Gainey’s job just got much tougher, as the team cannot be
successful if this is what’s available for a do-or-die game. Fans, these
are things that deserve discussion, questions, and frustration, not a penalty
call with 17 minutes left in the 3rd period.
Note: Even though the season for the Habs is over, the HW Recap
shall live on, as the Bulldogs will soon begin their playoff drive. In the
coming weeks, we will be placing greater emphasis on the boys from Steeltown, as
we will temporairily go back towards the format in which the Recap evolved from.
The first revised edition will appear next week.