The Habs finally lost a game this week, but
managed to gain overall in the standings, and find themselves teetering on the
edge of the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Hamilton Bulldogs kept pace with
division leader Manitoba in the hunt for top spot in the division. We’ll
also look at the standings, plus the status of the Canadiens’ CHL prospects, and
a final thought of what’s gone wrong recently and what needs to go right for the
Habs to make the playoffs this week, in the Recap.
Comparatives in brackets.
C+ May have won 2 of 3 this week, but
allowed 11 goals and more than a few were shaky. (A-)
B+ Picked up a few points, and
compensated for a few mistakes by other players on the ice with poise. (B)
B Physical play picking up to match the added intensity, more of a
force now than earlier on. (B)
Francis Bouillon: B-
Didn’t see a whole lot of him…and considering where he is on the depth chart,
that’s not all bad. (C+)
Mathieu Dandenault: B-
Led the team offside quite a few times, trying to do too much with his speed
(which is better than not enough mind you.) (B-)
Janne Ninnimaa: C+
Finally got a point for the first time in 4 months…and was subsequently
Sheldon Souray: C-
An abysmal week in the defensive zone aside from a couple of good plays here and
A- An absolute gnat on both ends of
the ice this week.
Saku Koivu: A- Goal of the
week, plus an impressive 4-point night. (B-)
Michael Ryder: B+ Out of
seemingly nowhere, is the only Hab with a remote chance of getting 30+. (B+)
Maxim Lapierre: B+ Guess I
was wrong in predicting he would be sent back down by this point in time. (B-)
Andrei Kostitsyn: B- An
average of a goal every quarter-season needs to be improved.
Mark Streit: B Now playing
his 4th position of the season (LD, RD, RW, and now LW.) (C)
Chris Higgins: B
Another one that hit 20 this week, closer to the player he was early on in the
Steve Begin: B Scored
a key goal while reminding fans that he is not one that should shoot often on
Radek Bonk: B- Scored a nice
goal, nothing overly spectacular after that. (B-)
Guillaume Latendresse: C
Almost invisible after a few strong weeks back-to-back. (A-)
Alexei Kovalev: C Yes, he
had a 2-goal game, but was his normal inconsistent and seemingly disinterested
self the last two games. (B-)
Mike Johnson: C Is leaps
and bounds below his play from the first quarter of the season. (C+)
Another 2-1 week for the Bulldogs, as they find
themselves days away from clinching a playoff spot.
March 30, 2007 – Hamilton 4, Grand
Lambert (11), Baines (12), Jancevski (5), Chipchura (11)
Shots: 44-26 Hamilton
PP: 1-8 PK:
March 31, 2007 – Hamilton 7, Rochester
Grabovski (17), Biron (10), Ferland 2 (20/21), Baines (13), Chipchura (12),
Shots: 38-18 Hamilton
PP: 3-6 PK:
April 1, 2007 – Toronto 4, Hamilton 1
Hamilton Goal: Locke (19)
Shots: 33-21 Toronto
PP: 0-7 PK:
3 Key Notes:
The Bulldogs have managed to keep winning, despite missing leading point-getter
Duncan Milroy for more than 3 weeks, plus every other seemingly talented player
to the NHL.
2) Despite missing 20 AHL games total this year, Milroy somehow
still leads the team in goals and points.
3) Corey Locke has picked up his play during Milroy and Co’s
absence, notching 15 points in the last 15 games.
It’s the final week of the season, and still
nothing has really been decided.
|6||NY Rangers||91||3||3rd @ NYI,
5th vs MTL, 7th @ PIT
3rd vs CAR, 6th vs FLA, 7th @ ATL
|88||3||3rd vs BOS, 5th
@ NYR, 7th @ TOR
3rd vs PHI, 5th @ NYI, 7th vs MTL
|86||3||3rd @ TB,
6th vs ATL, 7th vs FLA
3rd vs NYR, 5th vs TOR, 7th @ PHI, 8th @ NJ
Standings as of games through April 1st.
Bolded games are ones vs other teams in the hunt.
By Jason Brisebois
We’ll continue our coverage of Habs’
prospects currently in the CHL playoffs. Much has changed since last week, with
three prospects moving on to the 2nd round, two being eliminated and two still
playing. The lone series still underway involving Habs’ property is
Kootenay against Calgary. However, each team does have one player involved with
the Canadiens, meaning by the end of the series, there will be a total of three
prospects moving on.
Tri-City vs Seattle
Seattle wins series 4-2
G Carey Price (Tri-City)
After tying the series at one game apiece, Tri-City would head to Seattle. It
would be a long trip, however, as the Americans would drop two straight. They
would stay alive with a thrilling 5-4 overtime win at home, only to return to
Seattle and lose the series in a 7-2 blowout. Price would finish with a 2.93 GAA
and a save percentage of .911.
Kootenay vs Calgary
Calgary leads series 3-2
C Ben Maxwell (Kootenay)
C Ryan White (Calgary)
Calgary managed to put its home ice to use, winning two in a row there since
last week. This gave them a two game advantage in the series. Kootenay would do
the same, however, staying alive with a 4-0 shutout at home. In the last three
games, Maxwell has notched 2 assists, while White has two assists and also a
London vs Owen Sound
London wins series 4-0
RW Sergei Kostitsyn (London)
London managed to finish the series with two straight wins on the road. A
reloaded London team appears ready for another deep run into the spring, as it
easily handled the Owen Sound Attack. In those four games, Kostitsyn had a very
impressive 4 goals and 6 assists.
Oshawa vs Kingston
Oshawa wins series 4-1
G Loic Lacasse (Oshawa)
After a decent game in a 7-4 win, Oshawa would take a commanding 3-0 series lead
over Kingston. Oshawa would finish their trip with an embarrassing 7-1 loss
though. Lacasse bounced back, however, stopping 36 of 38 shots to close the
series in 5 games. Lacasse did have a weak series though. In 5 games, he posted
a GAA of 4.66 and a save percentage of .866.
Rouyn-Noranda vs Gatineau
Rouyn-Noranda wins series 4-1
D Mathieu Carle (Rouyn-Noranda)
Rouyn-Noranda managed to close out their series on Saturday, notching a 4-3 win
over Gatineau. That would end the 5 game series, which was controlled for the
most part by Rouyn-Noranda. In the final 4 games of the series, Carle would
score twice and also add two assists.
Chicoutimi vs Val D’Or
Val D’Or wins series 4-0
RW Juraj Mikus (Chicoutimi)
Despite the fact Mikus had been on fire at the end of the regular season, it was
not enough to help his team overcome Val D’Or in the playoffs. They would lose 4
straight, and make a quick exit from the playoffs. No stats are available for
In a time like this, the final week of the
season, teams must be on the same page and working towards the same goal.
Despite the team’s success of late, I don’t see this from the Montreal Canadiens.
Alexei Kovalev’s effort changes from shift to shift, while Guy Carbonneau’s
constant line juggling makes it almost impossible to develop any potential
chemistry. The latter can produce short-term results, but it has for a
couple of weeks, how long can it continue? Not to mention the fact that
he’s consistently calling out his veteran players, and all is not rosy heading
to the stretch run. It’s not surprising that the opposite of these 3
things are exactly what the Habs need to get deep into the postseason…Kovalev
to show up for all 3 games, and Carbo to leave the lines together, while keeping
his mouth shut to the media – let the players do the talking, coach.