After last week’s impressive offensive display,
it was surprising to see a lack of timely scoring do the Habs in this week.
Weak starts put them behind the 8-ball, and they weren’t able to pull it out in
2 of their 3 contests. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs had yet another week to
forget, as they continue to show their offence is non-existent. The
burning issue this week discusses the top possible callups from Hamilton, while
the Final Thought looks at the Koivu issue, but not the angle everyone else has
covered, 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.
#31 – Carey Price: 8.5
He stole a point in a game the Habs decided to play about 30 minutes out of 65,
and looked very strong doing it. (Season Average: 7.75)
#39 – Cristobal Huet:
He was okay vs Philly, but 2 softies vs the Leafs hurt the Habs badly, even if
he did hold them in it during the 1st. (Season Average:
#8 – Mike Komisarek: 8.0 His
hardest working week ends with a well-earned goal. I’d like to see him
become more involved in the offence, as his hands aren’t half bad for a
defender. (Season Average:
#79 – Andrei Markov: 8.0
Logged a ton of minutes this week and played with poise and confidence in both
zones, if only that could be said for all the D. (Season Average:
#44 – Roman Hamrlik: 7.5
We saw a lot more of the physical game from him this week, and learned that he’s
not going to be a viable shoot-out option if the time comes.
(Season Average: 7.5)
#71 – Patrice Brisebois: 7.0
I like the chemistry he seems to have with Kovalev, and he even cut down
slightly on the giveaways this time. (Season Average:
#32 – Mark Streit: 7.0
He was effective on the PP, but otherwise, a very quiet week from him.
(Season Average: 7.2)
#26 – Josh Gorges: 6.5
Aside from the horrific giveaway, he wasn’t overly great nor bad, steady despite
seeing time on his off side on the blueline.
(Season Average: 6.67)
#11 – Saku Koivu: 8.5 His play
on the ice speaks loudest, and that’s what matters more than anything else. (Season Average:
#21 – Chris Higgins: 8.5 Last week,
I lauded him for not capitalizing on his chances, this week, I’m applauding him
for it. (Season Average: 8.3)
#27 – Alexei Kovalev: 8.0
Eventually, teams are going to defend his bread-and-butter shot from the faceoff
dot, but enjoy it in the meantime.
(Season Average: 7.9)
#20 – Bryan Smolinski: 7.5
Much more involved offensively this week, even if the goal total remains stuck
at an underwhelming one. (Season Average:
#25 – Mathieu Dandenault: 7.5
Didn’t score this time, but it wasn’t for a lack of chances. I don’t see
the team moving back to defence now other than in emergency situations.
(Season Average: 7.5)
#28 – Kyle Chipchura: 7.5 Struggled
in the faceoff department, but otherwise, a very solid week from the rookie. (Season
#22 – Steve Begin: 7.5 Very
aggressive on the PK, and unlike many others on the units, it doesn’t cost the
(Season Average: 7.3)
#14 – Tomas Plekanec: 7.0 Follows
up a great week with one that saw very little production, and several quiet
(Season Average: 7.6)
#6 – Tom Kostopoulos: 7.0
Nice to see him score, but really did not fit in on the top line.
(Season Average: 6.9)
#59 – Mikhail Grabovski: 6.5
He didn’t play much, and didn’t do a whole lot in the game he did play; I remain
stumped as to how he made this team. (Season Average:
#46 – Andrei Kostitsyn: 6.5
Responded to being benched by almost playing the same way that got him benched
to begin with. (Season Average:
#84 – Guillaume Latendresse: 6.0
Had 2 good periods, but sadly, 9 were played by Montreal this week. (Season Average:
#73 – Michael Ryder: 6.0
Even the effort wasn’t always there this week, may very well be press box bound
A pathetic 2 goals in 2 games see the defending
Calder Cup champs slip to 5th in the division, averaging barely over 2.5 goals a
Games 10-11 of the season.
3 Stars: 1) Lapierre – HAM 2) Brassard – SYR 3) Munro –
3 Stars: 1) Dennis – ROC 2) Brine – ROC 3) MacArthur –
Maxim Lapierre snapped out of his mini-slump
this week, single handedly providing all of the Dogs’ offence this week.
Goals: Lapierre (6)
Assists: Kostitsyn (9)
Points: Kostitsyn (12)
+/-: Lahti (+3)
PIMS: Cote (24)
Rochester vs Hamilton
November 10: Chicago vs Hamilton
Despite an ugly week, there are some players
that could be worthy of replacing some of the struggling Montreal forwards.
Let’s take a look at some of the candidates:
Maxim Lapierre: (11-6-4-10) He had a great start, but
cooled off badly until recently. However, given the fact that Montreal’s
PK continues to struggle, he’ll always be one of the first ones considered to be
Sergei Kostitsyn: (11-3-9-12) The team’s leading
scorer, he has impressed, but unless the vacant spot happens to be where Michael
Ryder’s been thus far, he’s better off to stay down and get top minutes.
Matt D’Agostini: (10-3-3-6) He looked great in camp,
but that has not parlayed into much so far this year. Not only is his -8
worst on the team, it’s approaching the worst in the AHL, needs more seasoning.
Janne Lahti: (11-1-4-5) Struggled to start the season,
but has played much better as of late. Not likely the favourite to come up
right away, but he’s certainly in the picture.
Jonathan Ferland: (11-5-2-7) Has displayed a nice
offensive touch that would fit in well on the 3rd or 4th line, he may very well
play himself back into the picture if injuries arise.
When a controversy like the one that surfaced
yet again around Saku Koivu this week, everyone wants to get their say in with
regards to their take on the matter. Although I was inclined to do so in
this space as well, I’ve opted not to, as really, I can’t say anything that you
haven’t already read many times over, so what’s the point? I’d like to
focus on the part that hasn’t gotten enough coverage, and that’s the fans
reaction in the arena the first game after this surfaced.
I couldn’t have been happier with the way the fans came out supporting Koivu
during his first few shifts, cheering when he touched the puck and letting him
know they were still on his side, and when you look at it, the fan’s reaction is
much more important than the story. All the positives going around have
seriously diminished the negativity surrounding this "issue," which is best for
all parties involved. Hab fans, give yourself a pat on the back; you
couldn’t have reacted any better, bravo.
Look for the first edition of the mailbag to
appear this week, but there’s still time to get your Habs related questions in,
send them either through the comment box below or by e-mailing any of the