Despite scoring only 5 goals the entire week,
the Habs managed to win 2 of 3, and were only minutes away from making a clean
sweep. In Hamilton, it was the exact opposite, the team could score, but
couldn’t buy a save en route to another 0-2 week. The Burning Issue
segment looks at how bad the scoring numbers have been recently, while the Final
Thought discusses why it’s highly unlikely that a goalie move is imminent.
This, plus the weekly grades, in the Recap.
8.5 – 10: Player has exceeded
expectations for the week, very strong contributions.
6.5 – 8: Player has met expectations
for the week, is not hurting the lineup.
5 – 6: Player has performed below
expectations for the week, play has negatively affected the team.
Under 4.5: Player has had a week to
forget, questions should soon be arising about his future with the organization.
#39 – Cristobal Huet: 9.5
Minutes away from back-to-back shutouts, and the goals he allowed came from
defensive mishaps rather than poor positioning. (Season Average:
#31 – Carey Price: 9.0
Very strong against the Bruins, didn’t face many big chances, but made the key
saves when they came. (Season Average: 8.0)
#8 – Mike Komisarek: 8.5 He
always seemed to be standing up for his teammates, and made a pair of very
strong goal-saving plays. (Season Average:
#79 – Andrei Markov: 7.5
Steady for the most part but I didn’t like seeing him having to get bailed out
by Komisarek more than once. (Season Average:
#44 – Roman Hamrlik: 7.0
Physical as usual, but seemed to be fighting the puck more often that usual,
certainly didn’t help things.
(Season Average: 7.42)
#71 – Patrice Brisebois: 7.0
His ice time is starting to creep up a little much for my liking, but otherwise
nothing terribly wrong with his week. (Season Average:
#32 – Mark Streit: 7.0
I notice he’s tending to rush his shots on the PP as if he feels he’s not going
to see the puck the rest of the shift – he needs to let the play come to him.
(Season Average: 7.17)
#26 – Josh Gorges: 7.0 He
was starting to find something of a comfort zone before Bouillon returned, good
game this week from him.
(Season Average: 6.75)
#51 – Francis Bouillon: 6.5 He’s
coming back from injury, but he was still too invisible this week, hopefully he
can rebound quickly.
(Season Average: 6.9)
#27 – Alexei Kovalev: 8.0
Kovalev and Plekanec are slowly becoming the team’s scariest duo to defend.
(Season Average: 7.92)
#14 – Tomas Plekanec: 8.0 Had the
highlight goal of the week, and made several good things happen at both ends.
(Season Average: 7.67)
#11 – Saku Koivu: 8.0
Stood out in the Ottawa game, but otherwise, not the captain’s best week despite
picking up some points. (Season Average:
#46 – Andrei Kostitsyn: 7.5
Very good with the puck this week, and actually showed remnants of a physical
game at times. (Season Average:
#21 – Chris Higgins: 7.5 Not his
greatest week in the offensive zone by any stretch of the means, that line was
off. (Season Average: 8.17)
#28 – Kyle Chipchura: 7.0 A couple
of nice offensive moves were the pinnacle of a quiet week from the first-year
#22 – Steve Begin: 7.0 He wasn’t
100%, and it showed at times. Still, one can’t help but wonder what impact
he could’ve had on the Ottawa game.
(Season Average: 7.25)
#20 – Bryan Smolinski: 7.0
Other than the odd chance, was invisible offensively, but at least he continues
to play well in his own end. (Season Average:
#25 – Mathieu Dandenault: 7.0
Coach Carbonneau needs to realize that he cannot be a viable option on a line
higher than the 3rd.
(Season Average: 7.42)
#6 – Tom Kostopoulos: 7.0
Quiet, but steady week from him, but really cannot play as a regular winger on
the top line.
(Season Average: 6.92)
#59 – Mikhail Grabovski: 6.5
Got benched in the first game, and would’ve been back in the pressbox had it not
been for Begin’s injury. (Season Average:
#73 – Michael Ryder: 6.5
Some good plays were overshadowed by some dumb ones, but at least there were
some good ones this week. (Season
#84 – Guillaume Latendresse: 6.0
I’d say his time was numbered in Montreal (for now of course), but for whatever
reason, I don’t see him being demoted, despite deserving it. (Season Average:
At least the offensive turned it around this
week, too bad the goalies decided to collapse this time.
Games 12-13 of the season.
3 Stars: 1) Milroy – HAM 2) Hunter – RCH 3) Meyer – RCH
3 Stars: 1) Sterling – CHI 2) Lahti – HAM 3) Krog – CHI
Mathieu Carle made his season debut for the
Bulldogs this week, which breathes a bit of new life into a defence that still
needs a ton of work.
Goals: Lapierre (7)
Assists: Kostitsyn (10)
Points: Kostitsyn (13)
+/-: 6 tied (+3)
PIMS: O’Byrne (39)
Hamilton vs Hartford
November 17: Hamilton vs Binghamton
The Habs may still be winning, but their lack
of goal production cannot continue for much longer if this team is to keep up
their current pace. They’ve scored just 2 or less in 5 of their last 6
games, and have managed to come up with 7 of 12 points in that stretch. If
this goes on much longer, the call to Hamilton may be for an offensive player
like Sergei Kostitsyn or Matt D’Agostini, rather than for Maxim Lapierre.
To trade a goalie, or not, that is the
question. To many, the answer is a resounding yes, but to me, it has to be
a no, for a couple of reasons. For one, the goalie market is flooded at
the moment, any potential return would be lowered as a result. But also,
look at who’s in the system for Montreal, Jaroslav Halak whose SV% is barely
over .900, and Yann Danis, who assuredly is walking at year’s end, and his stats
aren’t eye popping at the moment either. Which one of these guys is going
to be the capable NHL backup to Carey Price, he of 5 games experience if
Huet is dealt? And which team is going to want Halak, he of the losing AHL
record despite playing for the defending Calder Cup champs? As much as
fans may want to see a goalie dealt, this is not the right time for them to do
so, and you can be assured that every GM in the league knows that too. The
opportunity to make a deal is there for Montreal, but it won’t be from the
The first edition of the mailbag appeared on
HabsWorld earlier this week. Get your questions in for the next issue,
which will appear in the next couple of weeks, by e-mailing any of our writers,
or in the comment field below.