The Canadiens continued to roll on this week
until they hit New York, but still managed to take 2 of 3 wins. The
Bulldogs continued their resurgence, also winning 2 of 3, with a weak effort to
close out the week as well. Faceoffs are the focus in Stats Central, while
the Final Thought looks at what team need may be filled sooner than later.
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, play has helped or at worse, not hurt the lineup.
5 – 6: Player has performed below
expectations for the week, play has at best not hurt the team, but likely has
had a negative affect.
Under 4.5: Player has had a week to
forget, questions should soon be arising about his future with the organization.
#41 – Jaroslav Halak: 8.5
Didn’t look too shabby in his period of work, although rebound control and
communication with the defence needs some help (bound to happen when it’s only
your 2nd period of the season.) (Season Average:
#39 – Cristobal Huet: 7.0
The goals he allowed in the wins were mostly weak, and he didn’t make the key
saves to keep the team in it vs the Rangers either. (Season Average:
#8 – Mike Komisarek: 8.0
He was a human hitting reel this week, which makes me overlook the lackluster
defensive play somewhat. (Season Average:
#79 – Andrei Markov: 7.5
Did the job in the offensive zone, but at the same time, he had mistakes
defensively than normal. (Season Average:
#51 – Francis Bouillon: 7.0
He didn’t stand out like in past weeks, but still gave the team steady play.
(Season Average: 6.93)
#26 – Josh Gorges: 7.0
Saturday’s game was one to forget, but the other 2 were quality efforts; he
slowly is getting into Coach Carbonneau’s good graces.
(Season Average: 6.88)
#71 – Patrice Brisebois: 7.0
You’re bound to get some good and bad each week from him, and this was no
(Season Average: 6.96)
#44 – Roman Hamrlik: 6.5 Had a
surprisingly awful week in his own end, very uncharacteristic of him.
(Season Average: 7.37)
#25 – Mathieu Dandenault: 8.5
Responded very well after being scratched, always nice to see a 4th liner pop
home a couple.
(Season Average: 7.10)
#14 – Tomas Plekanec: 7.5 I was
disappointed with his struggles Saturday, but no complaints about the other 2
(Season Average: 7.57)
#27 – Alexei Kovalev: 7.5 We saw a
few of the head-scratching giveaways crawl back into his game this week,
overshadowing an otherwise strong effort.
(Season Average: 7.67)
#46 – Andrei Kostitsyn: 7.5
The offensive numbers weren’t there this week, but he was still one of the
biggest and consistent threats. (Season Average:
#32 – Mark Streit: 7.5
He certainly picked up some points despite limited ice time, a good sign from a
4th line winger.
(Season Average: 7.00)
#84 – Guillaume Latendresse: 7.5
The good outweighed the bad this week, it was nice to see him getting more
confident going after pucks along the boards. (Season Average:
#40 – Maxim Lapierre: 7.0 Wasn’t as
involved offensively, but played hard in all 3 games, something that can’t be
said for a lot of others. (Season Average:
#74 – Sergei Kostitsyn: 7.0
With Begin set to return, I was hoping to see a little more, but still a
reasonable week for the rookie. (Season Average:
#21 – Chris Higgins: 7.0
This was a bit of an off-week for Higgins, the hustle was there, but not a whole
lot else unfortunately (Season Average:
#20 – Bryan Smolinski: 7.0
Aside from his powerplay efforts, nothing to complain about this week.
(Season Average: 6.86)
#11 – Saku Koivu: 6.5 He had
respectable numbers, but his overall play was not up to his normal standards,
when will he learn he can’t hook on to players and pull? (Season Average:
#73 – Michael Ryder: 6.5
Wasn’t as bad as earlier in the season, but he didn’t exactly build on his play
from recent weeks. (Season
#45 – Corey Locke: 6.5
I’m glad he got a game in, but he showed why it’s been so long for him to come
up, nothing to write home about.
(Season Average: N/A, first rating)
#6 – Tom Kostopoulos: 6.0
When your game is toughness, and the coach is benching you against a fairly
tough team in Boston, something’s wrong with your game.
(Season Average: 6.77)
Carey Price and Kyle Chipchura both made their
season debuts with the Bulldogs, with mixed results.
Games 36-38 of the season.
3 Stars: 1) D’Agostini – HAM 2) Milroy – HAM 3) May – BNG
3 Stars: 1) Locke – HAM 2) Valentenko – HAM 3) Carle
3 Stars: 1) Gragnani – ROC 2) Mancari – ROC 3) Chipchura
Carey Price’s second go-round in the AHL is not
starting off as well as his first. Price currently has a 3.55 GAA and an
.868 SV% in 3 starts, including being yanked in the above blowout vs Rochester.
Goals: Locke (13)
Assists: Locke (18)
Points: Locke (31)
+/-: Milroy/ (+8)
PIMS: Stewart (74)
January 15: Peoria vs Hamilton
January 18: Hamilton vs San Antonio
January 20: Hamilton vs Houston
In his midseason "State of the Union," Bob Gainey emphasized faceoffs as one of
the key areas the team needs to improve on in the near future. With that
in mind, here are the current faceoff stats for the active forwards on the
roster (Chipchura is included on the list despite being in Hamilton, given that
he’s taken the 4th most faceoffs on the team.)
As of games played through January 12th.
In terms of league ranking, the Habs are 27th out of 30, winning 48.2% of
their total faceoffs. They are just 1% away from being dead last in this
From what I’ve been reading over
the past few weeks, the general consensus about what this team needs appears to
be 2 things – more toughness, and someone who can actually win faceoffs
consistently. This is all well and good, but where are these players going
to fit in on the current roster? With Steve Begin soon to return, the team
will have a full complement of 23 players, meaning that someone will have to go
for these additions to happen. I’d even go as far to say that 2 players
would need to go, as there aren’t many gritty players that happen to be faceoff
specialists at the same time. There are ways that this can happen, but
given the organization’s apparent hesitancy to break up the core, I don’t see 2
roster moves being made to fill these needs anytime soon. That being said,
1 is a distinct possibility, and given that Gainey has stated that faceoffs are
a significant issue, I think this is the next move coming for the team; the way
things are going in that department, it may be sooner than later.