Both the Habs and Bulldogs won one game this
week. Fortunately for the Habs, they played in just one, but Hamilton
wasn’t so lucky, losing two along the way. With Montreal just playing in
that one contest, we switch the focus of the grades to Hamilton, grading their
season performance thus far. Our history section looks at a college
defenceman who didn’t pan out, while the Final Thought looks at the All-Star
balloting, in the Recap.
A- to A+:
I) Stars/Superstars playing at or above performance, salary, and role expectations.
II) Above average players producing beyond performance, salary, and role expectations.
III) Average/Role players delivering well beyond performance, salary, and role
B- to B+:
I) Stars/Superstars playing below performance, salary, and role expectations.
II) Above average players producing at performance, salary, and role expectations.
III) Average/Role players delivering beyond performance, salary, and role expectations.
I) Stars/Superstars playing far below performance, salary, and role expectations.
II) Above average players producing below performance, salary, and role expectations.
III) Average/Role players delivering at performance, salary, and role expectations.
D+ or lower:
I) Stars/Superstars playing outrageously below performance, salary, and role
II) Above average players producing far below performance, salary, and role expectations.
III) Average/Role players delivering below performance, salary, and role
Players must have played in at least 25% of the games this season (8 games out
of 32) to qualify for a grade.
Had a slow start to the season, but has really picked it up of late, coinciding
with the stretch where Marc Denis was recalled to Montreal. (Season
Stats: 6-6-0 record, 2.58 GAA, .916 SV%, 2 SO)
The opposite of Desjardins, a good start, but his play has really tailed off as
of late (4 straight losses prior to Sunday’s win).
His NHL aspirations are slowly fading away. (Season
Stats: 13-7-0 record, 2.73 GAA, .911 SV%, 2 SO)
It took him a little bit of time to adjust to the pro game, but he has shown
some strong improvement in the past 6 weeks. It’ll still be a while before
he’s ready for Montreal though. (Season Stats: 30 GP, 8 G, 10
A, 18 PTS, +6, 16 PIMS)
His offensive game has resuscitated somewhat (although 2 goals isn’t anything to
get excited about). (Season Stats: 32 GP, 2 G, 7 A, 9 PTS,
+16, 47 PIMS)
His defensive game really improved when he rejoined the Bulldogs. He’s
likely the most NHL ready d-man in Hamilton, but sadly his rights belong to
Dallas. (Season Stats: 30 GP, 1 G, 10 A, 11 PTS, +6, 40 PIMS)
Has been steady defensively, but the grit that many were hoping to see just
hasn’t been there on a consistent basis. (Season Stats: 32 GP,
1 G, 6 A, 7 PTS, +10, 45 PIMS)
The offensive game is still good, but it’s very concerning when he’s the only
regular defenceman who has a negative +/- rating. (Season Stats: 23
GP, 3 G, 9 A, 12 PTS, -5, 14 PIMS)
Little was expected of him when the season began, and he’s done little to change
that. That being said, he’s a solid 6th d-man for the Bulldogs. (Season Stats: 27
GP, 3 G, 1 A, 4 PTS, +7, 38 PIMS)
N/A (not enough games to qualify:) Frederic St-Denis, Pavel Valentenko
Has been the offensive catalyst all season long. He’s earned a callup to
Montreal, but he does have to clear re-entry waivers. Considering how well
he’s played so far, he may be claimed on the way up. (Season Stats: 32
GP, 8 G, 23 A, 31 PTS, +3, 10 PIMS)
A+ He and Lehoux were dynamic
before he was recalled to Montreal. Look at how well he’s done with the
Habs and picture him playing even better than that with the Bulldogs. (Season Stats: 20
GP, 14 G, 11 A, 25 PTS, +7, 16 PIMS)
A- The captain has been solid
defensively while showing some much needed improvement on the scoresheet.
(Season Stats: 23 GP, 9 G, 11 A, 20 PTS, +14, 20 PIMS)
Has brought some much needed grit and leadership to the team, but I think
everyone was hoping for more offensively from the AHL veteran. (Season Stats: 32
GP, 13 G, 9 A, 22 PTS, +0, 47 PIMS)
There’s been up and down moments for the rookie, but way more ups than downs.
He earned his callup to Montreal, even with. (Season Stats: 26
GP, 8 G, 12 A, 20 PTS, +1, 12 PIMS)
B+ His rapid ascension started with
a strong ECHL playoff, and now finds himself as a key cog in the Hamilton
lineup. He earned a 2-year deal for his early season efforts. (Season Stats: 32
GP, 10 G, 10 A, 20 PTS, +1, 6 PIMS)
B+ A hard luck injury spoiled
what was his coming out party after being called up in mid-November. (Season Stats: 9
GP, 2 G, 3 A, 5 PTS, +3, 25 PIMS)
Did not have a strong start after being a late cut from camp, but is slowly
starting to become more and more of a consistent threat. (Season Stats: 30
GP, 4 G, 17 A, 21 PTS, -2, 31 PIMS)
An early candidate for the team’s unsung hero, as he’s switched back and forth
from the wing to defence when callups and injuries warrant it. (Season Stats: 19
GP, 1 G, 2 A, 3 PTS, +8, 6 PIMS)
After being up and down last season, he’s been able to force his way into a
regular role for the Dogs this year. (Season Stats: 30 GP, 7
G, 8 A, 15 PTS, +12, 6 PIMS)
B His offence has been up and
down all season, as has his consistency, but that’s to be expected to a degree
from a rookie. (Season Stats: 32 GP, 7 G, 10 A, 17 PTS, +5, 23
Has not built on a solid rookie debut from last season. He hasn’t really
regressed, but his role and contributions have been the same all year long.
(Season Stats: 28 GP, 6 G, 6 A, 12 PTS, -1, 12 PIMS)
The grit is still there, but considering how close many feel he is to the NHL,
it would’ve been nice to see a little more offence in his 3rd pro season.
(Season Stats: 32 GP, 6 G, 7 A, 13 PTS, +6, 116 PIMS)
D+ Why people want him in
Montreal is beyond me. He can’t crack the Hamilton lineup regularly, and
when he does, he shows why he’s often a scratch. (Season Stats: 25
GP, 0 G, 1 A, 1 PT, +0, 79 PIMS)
N/A (not enough games to qualify:) Thomas Beauregard, Olivier
Latendresse, Tyler Shelast
The regular Montreal grades will return next week.
The shuffling of Kyle Chipchura and Max
Pacioretty back and forth this week really hurt the Bulldogs, as they were
forced to dress just 17 skaters for their first 2 games this week – both losses.
3 Stars: 1) Aston – ROC 2) Brodeur – ROC 3) Desjardins
3 Stars: 1) Vigilante – SYR 2) Frischmon – SYR 3) Weber – HAM
3 Stars: 1) Weber – HAM 2) Stewart – ROC 3) Desharnais –
In a week where the offence was inconsistent at
best, it was recent callup Olivier Latendresse who led the way for Hamilton.
Goals: D’Agostini (14) (Active
leader: Glumac (13))
Assists: Lehoux (23)
Points: Lehoux (31)
+/-: Belle (+16)
PIMS: Stewart (116)
December 30: Toronto vs Hamilton
January 2: Syracuse vs Hamilton
January 3: Iowa vs Hamilton
Recently, the Habs have been drafting a lot of
collegiate players, with a fairly high success rate. This week, we look at
one of the not so successful selections.
Chris Dyment was picked in the 4th round (97th overall) by the Habs in 1999 out
of Boston University. The team was hoping the 6’3 d-man would be a late
bloomer and that three more full seasons at BU would really help him develop.
Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be, as the Habs dealt him to Minnesota in 2002, just
days before they would have lost his rights outright. All they got in
return from the Wild was a 5th round pick…which the Canadiens later dealt.
Minnesota did indeed see something in the blueliner, as they signed him right
away and sent him to their AHL affiliate in Houston. After just 53 games
though, he was dealt again, this time to Phoenix during the 03-04 season for
Michael Schutte (and if you’ve never heard of him, don’t feel bad, you won’t be
the only one). He finished that year with the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate,
before being non-tendered (not receiving a qualifying offer). He landed on
his feet though, signing a minor league deal with Boston’s AHL affiliate, where
he spent a pair of seasons. In the offseason of 2006, he was once again a
free agent, where he joined the New Jersey organization. He split that
season between the AHL and ECHL, before trying his trade overseas. He
played last year for Cortina in Italy, but headed back to North America,
re-joining a New Jersey minor league affiliate. Currently, he’s playing
for Trenton in the ECHL, working to try and make it back to the AHL.
The NHL All-Star Game balloting mercifully
comes to an end this week. After 6 weeks of creative cell phone voting,
the 6 Eastern Conference starters will soon be announced. Montreal fans
continue to grumble over the fact that the Pittsburgh players have been
receiving more votes than the Habs have over the past several weeks. Is
there a case to be made that some of the votes may be a little fishy?
Sure, but you also can’t deny that the Hab players are also benefiting from
this, as the "questionable voting method" has been well publicized. Forget
complaining about the past, the league has said they’re not looking into the
situation, so move on. There’s only one way to get "your way" now, vote.
It’s really that simple now, as everyone knows the way that Pittsburgh fans have
been getting their players to the top. A week is plenty of time to make a
comeback, so if you’re so inclined, cast your ballots for your favourite Habs;
the time is now.
For those of you who aren’t completely sick of the All-Star voting process,
there is still time to vote for your favourite Bulldogs for the 2009 AHL
All-Star Game. Click
here to fill out