It was not the start to the postseason that any
Montreal fan envisioned, a pair of losses and even more questions between the
pipes. The Bulldogs are singing a similar tune after losing both their
contests. With Hamilton’s season over, we take a closer look at their
results, while the Final Thought explains why Bob Gainey will likely not return
as coach next season. This, plus the grades, in the Recap.
8.00 to 10.00:
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
7.00 to 7.75:
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.
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
Note that the average column does not factor in regular season games.
9.00 Made the saves when he
needed to; I have some concern with the communication with the defence – it was
lacking at times. (Previous: 7.00 Average:
On the one hand, you can’t really blame him for either loss. On the other
hand, the soft goals were big time deflators, and he needs to shoulder some
blame for that. (Previous: 7.25 Average:
I have to admit, I don’t like all the ice time he’s getting, but when you
consider him sitting means more of the others playing, it’s not the worst thing
in the world. (Previous: 7.50 Average:
With Markov out, it was nice to see that someone was capable of skating the
puck out of his own end on a regular basis. (Previous:
7.25 Average: 7.25)
If nothing else, he was consistent which can’t be said for a few of the others.
He’s also the surprising team leader in points on defence. (Previous:
I don’t like how involved he is with the "extracurriculars" but his defensive
zone work was better than we’ve seen lately. (Previous:
His bullet shot was a non-factor in both games. Yes, the team didn’t have
too many PP opportunities, but he wasn’t too visible 5 on 5 either. (Previous:
7.50 Average: 6.75)
The few shifts he had were decent if nothing else, although him leaving so
early put the team in a tough spot for sure. (Previous:
Forced back onto the blueline when Bouillon went down, he showed why he’s spent
more time as a forward than as a d-man with the Habs. (Previous:
After playing so well in last year’s postseason, his struggles were very
disappointing. When on his game, he can still bring something to help this
team. (Previous: 7.00 Average:
He scored in both games, but for crying out loud, pass the puck! He
made 2 true passes in his first 5 shifts and neither were to his linemates; both
came when he played with the Kostitsyn’s. If he feels he has to do it
himself, the Habs are toast. (Previous: 7.25 Average:
Didn’t have the jump in
Game 2 like he did on Thursday, but he was one of the few offensive threats in
both games. (Previous: 7.00 Average:
7.25 Did fairly well after
being thrown onto a line that had no practice time together, but was neutralized
quickly most of the time. (Previous: 6.75 Average:
He played way too much,
but that was his best week as a Hab without question. One of the few
bright signs of the week. (Previous: 7.00 Average:
He did score, but with
Alex Tanguay on the opposite wing most of the time, I was looking for him to be
more of a threat. (Previous:
I thought he played fairly well in Game 1 and was somewhat surprised that he
got the hook for Game 2. As one of the few right hand shots, the Habs need
to find a way to utilize him. (Previous: 7.75 Average:
Played extremely well in
Game 1, and lousy in Game 2. Another perfect example of the averaging out
system. (Previous: 7.00 Average:
There were a few decent moments in there, but as a goalscorer, he needs to
score goals every so often to maintain that mantra. (Previous:
When I compare his performance Saturday to that of last year’s playoffs,
it’s hard not to view his play as negative – something’s missing still. (Previous:
Not hitting, not shooting, not doing much of anything. For someone who
ended the season on a high note, this is an alarming step back. (Previous:
We’ve seen how successful Boston’s energy players have been. As an
energy player himself, Kostopoulos has not met that standard. (Previous:
6.00 He’s now playing like the
Lapierre of early last season. In case you don’t recall early last season,
he’s back to all talk and no action. (Previous:
5.50 Last week, he was useless
but at least didn’t cost the team. The same can’t be said this week,
although I think he’ll be better if and when he gets back in the lineup. (Previous:
After beating Grand Rapids in a pair of home
games just two weeks ago, the Bulldogs failed to repeat the feat, dropping both
games and now face elimination as they head out for three on the road.
3 Stars: 1) McCarty – HAM 2) Abdelkader – HAM 3) Belle
3 Stars: 1) Leino – HAM 2) Abdelkader – HAM 3) White
David Desharnais led the way for the Bulldogs,
pulling within striking distance of the team lead in scoring – in his rookie
Goals: 4 tied with (1)
Assists: 6 tied with (1)
Points: Desharnais (2)
+/-: Trotter (+2)
PIMS: 8 tied with (2)
Hamilton vs Grand Rapids
Hamilton vs Grand Rapids
Hamilton vs Grand Rapids (if necessary)
April 26: Grand Rapids vs Hamilton (if necessary)
Montreal’s other minor league affiliate, the
ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones are also in Round 1 of their playoffs. Loic
Lacasse has taken over the #1 role and has brought the team back into the
series. They currently are tied 3-3 with the Wheeling Nailers with Game 7
set for Monday night.
Last week, the Bulldogs section
was omitted, so here’s a quick wrap up of their regular season results:
Record: 49-27-4-0, 102 points, second
in North Division
Goals: Glumac (33)
Assists: Lehoux (41)
Points: Lehoux (60)
+/-: Chipchura (+28)
PIMS: Stewart (170)
– Yannick Weber led all AHL rookie defencemen in goals, and was 2nd amongst all
AHL defencemen with 16.
– Hamilton was the only team with 4 rookies in the top-20 in rookie points.
David Desharnais was 3rd, Ben Maxwell 4th, Brock Trotter 13th, and Weber 18th.
– Mike Glumac was the first Bulldog in at least the last 4 years (the AHL
database only goes back that far) to be in the top-10 in AHL goals.
– Kyle Chipchura’s +28 in 51 games tied him for the best +/- per game in the AHL
with a projected +45 rating.
– Yanick Lehoux was the top shootout performer in the AHL, going 5 for 5.
No other player with a perfect shooting percentage scored more than 3 goals.
It’s not very often nowadays that the same
person is coach and GM of the same team, and I’m starting to realize why.
Bob Gainey the coach has to make decisions that Bob Gainey the GM may not want
to make; it’s a real fine line trying to balance out the two. For example:
– Carey Price is the goalie of the future and needs the playoff experience.
But, Jaroslav Halak is looking like the better option in the short-term.
What to do?
– With so many pending free agents (both restricted and unrestricted), it’s hard
to make decisions based on current performance without considering the potential
These are only a couple of examples, but they certainly outline the dilemma.
There’s been rumblings over the past few weeks that Gainey may be interested in
staying on in both roles, but I think the above reasons are why he’ll be
stepping down as head coach as soon as the season ends. It’s just too hard
to be able to balance both (especially during the regular season when a GM’s
responsibilities are much greater). As the saying goes, two heads are
better than one.
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