Despite really only showing up for just one
game this week, the Habs managed to win 2 of 3, keeping pace with the Sens for
top spot in the division. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs did what seemed to be
almost impossible as of late, they actually won a game while dropping a close
one to Hartford. Maxim Lapierre is the topic of interest in this week’s
Burning Issue, while the Final Thought looks at the special teams aspect that’s
not getting enough attention. This, plus the Canadiens grades, in the
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: 8.0
Big reason the Habs won in Toronto, but was only so-so vs Boston, fortunately,
that’s all he needed to be in that one. (Season Average: 8.0)
#39 – Cristobal Huet: 7.0
The team didn’t come to play in his game, but he certainly didn’t make the big
save when needed to get them going. (Season Average:
#8 – Mike Komisarek: 9.0
The team’s top d-man this week, and that’s before factoring in his 2 goals
including the winner in Toronto. (Season Average:
#79 – Andrei Markov: 7.5 A
pretty solid week, aside from taking an unacceptable 4 minor penalties in
a single game. (Season Average:
#44 – Roman Hamrlik: 7.5
Wound up with the winner in the Boston game, and looked much better after last
(Season Average: 7.43)
#71 – Patrice Brisebois: 7.0
Fairly steady, it wasn’t his play that earned him a spot in the pressbox at the
very least.. (Season Average:
#32 – Mark Streit: 6.5
He wound up with some points, but his overall play in both zones left a
not-so-good taste in my mouth.
(Season Average: 7.07)
#26 – Josh Gorges: 6.5
Highlight of his game was him sticking up for his goalie during the Boston game,
nothing special after that.
(Season Average: 6.7)
#51 – Francis Bouillon: 6.5 He
didn’t hurt the team much, but didn’t help a whole lot either, the small injury
seems to have set him back.
(Season Average: 6.83)
#46 – Andrei Kostitsyn: 8.5
His play showed why the Habs took the gamble to draft him a few years back, his
shot may be one of the best on the team. (Season Average:
#27 – Alexei Kovalev: 8.0
A little quiet at times, but the difference here is even in the quiet games, he
still managed to make some good things happen.
(Season Average: 7.93)
#14 – Tomas Plekanec: 7.5 His
decision-making wasn’t the best this week, but his line was the top one for the
week, and he deserves some credit for that.
(Season Average: 7.64)
#28 – Kyle Chipchura: 7.5 Played
with a ton of confidence on the forecheck, picked up a couple of points and
easily could’ve had more. (Season
#73 – Michael Ryder: 7.5
Although he only scored once, he was a threat numerous times, and slowly is
starting to shoot more, good signs going forward. (Season
#22 – Steve Begin: 7.5 A real thorn
in the side of opponents this week, that’s the Begin that Hab fans know and love.
(Season Average: 7.29)
#6 – Tom Kostopoulos: 7.5
Stood up for his teammates, and scored another shorty, a pretty good week for
(Season Average: 7.0)
#11 – Saku Koivu: 7.0
It was nice to see him pot one, but he hasn’t been himself as of late, and he’d
be the first to tell you that. (Season Average:
#21 – Chris Higgins: 7.0
He wasn’t playing particularly well, and then he got hurt; this is a week
Higgins will want to forget quickly. (Season Average:
#84 – Guillaume Latendresse: 7.0
Despite being slower than a turtle and falling at least 3 times a game,
Latendresse did do some good things this week. (Season Average:
#25 – Mathieu Dandenault: 7.0
Steady on the defensive side, I’d like to see him go to the net more like he was
at the start of the season.
(Season Average: 7.36)
#20 – Bryan Smolinski: 6.5
Quiet week again – he may not be a scorer, but 1 goal in the last 12 games is
not going to cut it on that end. (Season Average:
The Bulldogs only allowed goals in one period
in each game, unfortunately, it was the 3rd in both, which cost them a win.
Games 14-15 of the season.
3 Stars: 1) Lessard – HFD 2) Montoya – HFD 3) Dupont – HFD
3 Stars: 1) D’Agostini – HAM 2) Carle – HAM 3) Hamel – BNG
Matt D’Agostini continues to put the puck in
the net, however, his +/- continues to plummet, as he continues to be worst on
the team in this regard.
Goals: Lapierre (7)
Assists: Kostitsyn (11)
Points: Kostitsyn (15)
+/-: Bouchard/Locke/Valentenko (+3)
PIMS: O’Byrne (41)
Hamilton vs Grand Rapids
November 23: Toronto vs Hamilton
I have to admit, I understand why the fans want
Montreal to recall Maxim Lapierre, but the reasoning confuses me. Despite
having quality scoring numbers, Lapierre’s play of late isn’t making me consider
him a viable option to help rectify what’s been an inconsistent group of
forwards in the scoring department. Lapierre has 11 points on the year,
and as you see above, leads the team in goals, but at the same time, he has just
4 points in his last 12 games, he’s just as inconsistent as almost everyone else
on the Habs currently. His energy and grit can always be used in Montreal,
but he certainly will not be a long-term option in the scoring department.
There’s enough pressure on him to get back up as it is, it’s best not to make it
any harder on him.
Montreal’s powerplay continues to amaze me,
somehow they continue to hover near the 30% success mark, despite having some
major difficulties getting control of the puck in the offensive zone at times.
But, the other half of the special teams haven’t been getting much attention,
but the PK does deserve some credit for the team’s recent success. Over
the last 6 games, the PK has killed 20 of 22 penalties, a success rate of just
under 91%. When you consider that the Habs’ season rate is around 82%,
doing that well is incredible. The powerplay has been strong as of late,
but the PK even stronger, props to the lower line guys who aren’t getting much
attention for playing so well. With some tough games coming up, special
teams will be critical, here’s hoping both halves can keep it up.
The first edition of the mailbag appeared on
HabsWorld recently. 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. If you’ve already sent in a question for
the next one, there’s no need to send it again.