The week started off strong for both the
Montreal Canadiens and the Hamilton Bulldogs, but unfortunately for both, it
ended far from favourably. We’ll break down their weeks with grades and
stats, plus take a closer look at the actual trade that the Habs made this week.
Finally, the Final Thought feature discusses some players the Habs may be after
as February 26th approaches, 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.
#31 – Carey Price: 7.0
It wasn’t his fault the team lost vs Toronto, and in Ottawa, he kept the team in
it for a little while at least. (Season Average:
#39 – Cristobal Huet: 6.5
Sure he beat Ottawa, but to be as unprepared mentally as he was yesterday is
unacceptable. (Season Average:
#8 – Mike Komisarek: 7.5
Had yet another strong game against the Leafs, but after that, it wasn’t his
best week. (Season Average:
#32 – Mark Streit: 7.0
He was the only player that wasn’t on the top forward line to actually score
this week, that counts for something.
(Season Average: 7.08)
#79 – Andrei Markov: 7.0
He needs to start taking more control on the ice, particularly the PP – don’t
defer to Streit, control the puck yourself. (Season Average:
#26 – Josh Gorges: 6.5 He
pretty much saved a goal, and pretty much cost the team a goal, so it evens out
in the end for him.
(Season Average: 6.88)
#51 – Francis Bouillon: 6.5
Took a step back this week, but so did a lot of others. All in all, he
hasn’t been half bad over the past 6 weeks.
(Season Average: 6.92)
#71 – Patrice Brisebois: 5.5 I
commend him for trying to play through the injury (and with Hamrlik out, he
didn’t have much choice), but it’s time to rest it for now.
(Season Average: 6.71)
#14 – Tomas Plekanec: 8.5 I think
most of us were expecting him to get a career high in points, but not at this
stage of the season.
(Season Average: 7.71)
#27 – Alexei Kovalev: 8.5 The first
game vs Ottawa was the best I’ve seen of him as a Hab…and he didn’t even score
in that game.
(Season Average: 7.76)
#46 – Andrei Kostitsyn: 8.0
Didn’t have his best effort vs the Leafs, but otherwise, solid as we’ve come to
expect from him. (Season Average:
#74 – Sergei Kostitsyn: 7.0
In a week where no forward other than the top line scored, he stood out for me
in a good way. (Season Average:
#84 – Guillaume Latendresse: 7.0
I like the drive in his game if nothing else, he went to the net and had some
chances (and hit the net on most of them too.) (Season Average:
#21 – Chris Higgins: 6.5 I
know he’d deny it publicly, but he’s playing hurt, I’m all but sure of it. (Season Average:
#73 – Michael Ryder: 6.5
He didn’t score it, but he was far from the worst Hab player out there on
Saturday night. (Season
#25 – Mathieu Dandenault: 6.5 He
seems to produce after he gets scratched…hopefully next week’s performance
tops this one. (Season Average:
#6 – Tom Kostopoulos: 6.5
In a game where the team needed a physical boost, he didn’t provide it – and
that’s his role.
(Season Average: 6.74)
#20 – Bryan Smolinski: 6.5
No matter how hard I try, I can’t get the horrific luck he had on Saturday out
of my head (same for his linemates.)
(Season Average: 6.93)
#11 – Saku Koivu: 6.0 Aside from a
pair of costly errors, he wasn’t overly bad, but 2 costly errors in a week
aren’t acceptable from one of your go-to guys. (Season Average:
#40 – Maxim Lapierre: 6.0 If
we see another week or so like that from him, we may be seeing Chipchura back
before long. (Season Average:
#22 – Steve Begin: 6.0
I think he’s the next to be sat down, the energy just isn’t there on a
(Season Average: 7.15)
The Bulldogs got some key players back this
week…and still couldn’t score to save their lives at times.
Games 47-49 of the season.
3 Stars: 1) Halak – HAM 2) Wall – LEM 3) Locke
3 Stars: 1) Locke – HAM 2) Corso – HAM 3) Milroy
3 Stars: 1) Williams – TOR 2) Clemmensen – TOR 3) Walser –
The newly formed duo of Dan Corso and Corey
Locke seems to be paying off; that duo was responsible for over half the goals
Goals: Locke (20)
Assists: Locke (22)
Points: Locke (42)
+/-: Milroy/ (+14)
PIMS: Stewart (90)
13: Toronto vs Hamilton
February 15: Toronto vs Hamilton
February 16: Lake Erie vs Hamilton
February 17: Hamilton vs Rochester
It’s been a Recap tradition to break down any
trade the Habs make, no matter how insignificant – from Sylvain Blouin for Rene
Vydareny to Patrick Traverse for Mathieu Biron, no trade is too small, including
this one. On Thursday, the Habs picked up veteran farmhand Brett
Engelhardt from Grand Rapids in exchange for the frequently scratched Francis
Lemieux. Essentially, it came down to this from the Habs’ point of view:
Lemieux couldn’t buy a goal to save his life, and the signing of Blake Trotter
only created a bigger logjam up the middle. The team needed toughness,
particularly with Andrew Archer out of the lineup, Engelhardt brings that
element. Finally, the team had a veteran spot available with the release
of Joel Bouchard a few weeks back, while Grand Rapids needed to clear one for
Darren McCarty. There it is in a nutshell, and from what I’ve read in
terms of trade breakdowns, this may be one of the most detailed out there.
With the trade deadline just a little more than
2 weeks away, it’s time to look at some players the team may be looking to
acquire. Rather than just discussing the Hossa’s, Tanguay’s, and Jokinen’s
of the world, these are more of the depth variety, deals that Gainey has had a
penchant for doing in the past. Here is a list of 5 players to keep in
mind heading forward:
Pascal Dupuis (ATL) – Should management decide that cheap scoring depth is the
way to go, this may be a fit. One year deal and could fit in if the team
goes back to the 3 scoring line lineup.
Marty Reasoner (EDM) – The Oilers are out of the playoff hunt, and Reasoner’s a
veteran depth centre that rebuilding teams generally won’t want down the stretch
(the spot is better server for a youngster.) Reasoner is well respected,
and isn’t the worst when it comes to faceoffs either.
Scott Thornton (LA) – Veteran physical winger that Gainey has traded for in the
past, has an expiring contract so no long term risk.
Dan Hinote (STL) – Gritty winger with playoff experience, reasonable contract
($1 million for one more season after this.)
Matt Bradley (WSH) – Scoring is not his thing, but if the team wants essentially
a second Kostopoulos, this is the type of player that may fit the bill.