The Habs continue to click offensively, winning
all 3 games this week, scoring 12 goals along the way. That type of
offense seemed to rub off on the Bulldogs who also had an offensive outburst in
a pair of wins. A former Montreal Cup winner is the focus of the nostalgia
segment, while the Final Thought looks a little deeper into the Marian Gaborik
talks. This, plus the weekly grades, in the Recap.
8.00 to 10.00:
I) Stars/Superstars playing at or above performance and role expectations.
II) Above average players producing beyond performance and role expectations.
III) Average/Role players delivering well beyond performance and role
7.00 to 7.75:
I) Stars/Superstars playing below performance and role expectations.
II) Above average players producing at performance and role expectations.
III) Average/Role players delivering beyond performance and role expectations.
I) Stars/Superstars playing far below performance and role expectations.
II) Above average players producing below performance and role expectations.
III) Average/Role players delivering at performance and role expectations.
I) Stars/Superstars playing outrageously below performance and role
II) Above average players producing far below performance and role expectations.
III) Average/Role players delivering below performance and role expectations.
Made the big saves when the team went into its attempts at a defensive shell. (Previous:
Two points per game is solid for anyone, but
amazing for a defenceman. How much longer can fans call him underrated? (Previous:
Still making the odd head scratching play that
we’re not used to seeing, but the hits and blocks are certainly there. (Previous:
On a defence that doesn’t have a lot of offensive
minded players, it’s nice to see him jump in on the rush every so often; it’s an
element that really can be utilized. (Previous:
Pinched at a few inopportune moments, but is
improving positionally and fared well when paired with Markov during the Boston
(Previous: 7.25 Average:
Highlight of the week was changing helmets with
Carey Price after the Phoenix game. (Previous:
He and Gorges struggled at times but considering
it’s the 3rd pairing, it could be a lot worse. (Previous:
9.00 The only forward to
collect a point in all 3 games this week and has had a major impact on how well
his line has performed so far this season. (Previous:
8.75 All of his points have
come on Saturday nights, hopefully he’ll feel more comfortable shooting after
bagging a pair Saturday. (Previous: 8.25 Average:
8.50 He needs to stop with the
fancy toe drag moves (they don’t work, Guillaume), but is certainly earning his
keep on the Koivu line. (Previous: 8.00 Average:
7.75 He doesn’t have the skill
to play on the offensive line, but you can’t argue with the energy he’s
bringing, especially blocking shots. (Previous:
7.50 For the first time in
ages, the Habs now have a legitimate threat as a 3rd line centre, which really
will come in handy as the year progresses. (Previous:
7.50 The production dipped, but
it certainly wasn’t from a lack of effort or chances. (Previous:
7.25 Teams are really keying on
him this season, he needs to find a way to get to the open spots more often. (Previous:
7.00 This is the Plekanec of 3
years ago, when people were debating if he could be more than a 3rd line centre
– I wonder if the fact that this is a contract year is getting to his game. (Previous:
7.00 A lot of people thought he
was riding the coattails of Kovalev and Plekanec last year – I’m starting to
agree with them. (Previous: 7.00 Average:
7.00 Hasn’t played one second
since he scored in Philly, a pure coincidence but interesting to mention
nonetheless. (Previous: 6.50 Average:
7.00 Had the game of his life
vs Boston sandwiched between 2 more so-so performances. For a guy who
doesn’t have a regular spot, I’d be hoping he brings more of the good games soon. (Previous:
7.00 It’s 2 games in and
already I’m completely sick of the "Laraque" chants. I’d like to hear more
chants for players who’ll actually spend more time on the ice scoring goals than
in the box. I like that he’s around to stick up for the players, but give
me a break! (Previous: N/A Average:
6.75 Say what you will about
his contract, but when a d-man gets hurt or a misconduct (Komisarek), it’s
reassuring to have someone who can rotate back to D and hold his own for a few
shifts. (Previous: 6.50 Average:
The Bulldogs once again went 2-0 this week, and
remain undefeated at 4-0 this season. There were plenty of changes though,
as coach Don Lever took the ‘A’ from Greg Stewart and gave it to the recently
demoted Kyle Chipchura. As well, the following number changes took place:
Chad Anderson: 43 to 6
Brock Trotter: 39 to 19
Cedrick Desjardins: 33 to 30
Shawn Belle: 34 to 44
Ryan Flinn: 44 to 49
Ben Maxwell: 14 to 91
3 Stars: 1) Denis – HAM 2) Jancevski – HAM 3) Wiikman –
3 Stars: 1) D’Agostini – HAM 2) Glumac – HAM 3) Smolenak –
In a week where the team didn’t lose, it may
seem surprising to learn that there were more players with double digits in PIMS
for the week than multi-goal scorers.
Goals: Glumac (3)
Assists: Desharnais (4)
Points: D’Agostini/Desharnais (5)
+/-: 3 tied with (+3)
PIMS: Flinn (26)
October 22: Hamilton vs Toronto
October 25: Hamilton vs Grand Rapids
October 26: Quad City vs Hamilton
This week, we look back to a player who won the
Stanley Cup with the Habs back in 1993, and is still playing hockey.
Paul DiPietro was selected in the 5th round (102nd overall) by the Habs back in
1990, making his NHL debut in the 91-92 season. The following year, he was
a catalyst in Montreal’s cup run, notching 13 points in 17 games. In
total, he recorded 69 points (25-44) in 154 regular season games with Montreal
before being dealt to Toronto during the 94-95 campaign. In return, the
Habs received Phoenix’s 4th round pick in 1996 which turned out to be Kim Staal.
The trade began a journey of many stops for the Sault Ste. Marie native.
He played parts of 2 seasons in Toronto, as well as having a cup of coffee with
the L.A. Kings. In between that, he played for 4 different IHL teams from
1995-1997 before trying his hand in international play. He has spent time
in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland, as well as some time with the Canadian
National Team. DiPietro has since obtained Swiss citizenship and now plays
internationally for them. This year, the former Hab is playing his 4th
straight season with Zug of the Swiss A division.
Marian Mania has swept across Canadiens nation
for the second season in a row with numerous reports indicating that there have
been discussions regarding Minnesota’s Marian Gaborik. This isn’t exactly
news though, as the Habs have been talking about the pending UFA since the early
offseason, before acquiring Alex Tanguay and more recently, Robert Lang.
Now, there are talks going on, but there’s a lot more to this deal than just
negotiating the trade with Minnesota. Here are some factors that need to
Salary Cap: Gaborik’s cap hit is $6.33 M, while the Habs currently
have under $1.2 M in cap space if the roster stays as is for the rest of the
year. That means that over $5 M net has to be cleared in any deal (or
Who goes?: The rumoured key cog in the deal is Chris Higgins, who’s
cap hit is only $1.7 M, so where’s the rest going to come from? If you
move a big contract, then really, the team loses 2 core guys for 1, begging the
question of whether it’s worth it or not. If you go for depth guys, aside
from the fact that the Habs would have limited depth, who’s going to take these
players? The Wild could fit a defenceman into their lineup, so perhaps
there’s a fit there, but that’s still only part of the problem. Buyouts
aren’t an option, and the Habs generally have been pretty classy with not
waiving and assigning veterans to the minors to clear them off the cap, although
that too could be done. A second (and possibly third) deal would likely
need to be consummated before a deal of this magnitude could be done.
Mathieu Carle: Now, before you go and call me crazy, hear me out.
Carle is currently on Montreal’s injury reserve with a concussion, but has not
yet been placed on LTIR. (LTIR only works if there’s a replacement, either
via trade or AHL callup, there have been none of those at this point.) In
the event that a defenceman were to be moved in this or any other deal, while
one gets hurt that remains on the roster, the opportunity exists to then call
one of the youngsters up from Hamilton without there being a cap problem as long
as Carle was transferred to LTIR. If a deal where the Habs get a high
salary player in return happened, this type of tap dancing around the cap could
very well come in play, this is one of the few potential remedies the team has,
at least until Carle’s healthy again (he’s out indefinitely currently.)