The best way to look at the past week for the
Habs is probably this: A win’s a win, no matter how ugly it may have been.
Unfortunately for the Hamilton Bulldogs, they weren’t able to win, pretty or
ugly as they lost top spot in their division. Speaking of divisions, who
steps it up most against a divisional rival? That’s the focus of this
week’s Inside the Numbers while the Final Thought looks at my 2 highlights of
the calendar year. This plus the Power Rankings in the Recap.
The PPR’s are on a cumulative basis with
some bias towards the current week. The prev. column represents the last
ranking for the player; players not on last week’s list will be slotted back
where they were when returning from injury/benching/recall (italicized numbers).
Thus, multiple players may have the same previous ranking.
|1||Set plenty of goals up while
tickling the twine twice himself.
|2||Jaroslav Halak||4||If stealing
one game is good, charge him with multiple counts of larceny!
|Mike Cammalleri||2||In a bit of a scoring slump
but he did pick up an assist in each game.
|4||Andrei Kostitsyn||5||Scored in
all 3 games this week including the OT winner vs Toronto.
|Scott Gomez||7||Quietly picked up 4 assists;
set to have a proven winger with him soon.
|6||Glen Metropolit||6||Popped a
couple of PP tallies but was surprisingly quiet aside from those.
|Andrei Markov||9||Did well offensively but
didn’t bring the stability to the D we all wanted.
|8||Josh Gorges||10||Strong on
the PK and even chipped in on the PP with an assist this week.
|Hal Gill||14||Like Gorges, the other pillar
on the rapidly improving penalty kill.
scored a goal while playing reasonably well in his own end.
|Marc-Andre Bergeron||17||Defensive miscues
notwithstanding, a solid week, especially offensively.
|12||Benoit Pouliot||–||Glad to see
him focusing on the little things while he finds his way.
|Travis Moen||11||Good on the PK but provided
very little in terms of energy and offence.
|14||Max Pacioretty||12||A little
stint in the AHL to get his confidence back would be nice.
|Jaroslav Spacek||13||For a veteran, it’s weird
seeing him look overwhelmed at times on D.
|16||Paul Mara||16||Second time
in 3 weeks he holds his spot due to getting injured.
|Matt D’Agostini||19||Better week from the
youngster, had energy and was decent on defence.
|18||Ryan O’Byrne||20||Better than
the past few weeks but still plenty of room to improve.
|19||Maxim Lapierre||18||Forget the
offence, he needs to focus on bringing energy nightly.
adequate week for the tough guy who hasn’t fought in 7 games.
Dropped from the rankings: Carey Price (3 –
DNP), Roman Hamrlik (8 – injured) and Tom Pyatt (21 – minors).
Hamilton’s time at the top didn’t last long as
their loss to Rochester moved them back into 2nd in the division.
3 Stars: 1) Ellerby – ROC 2) Taffe – ROC 3) Mior – ROC
No player was had a positive +/- rating this
week as both Hamilton goals were scored on the PP.
Goals: Mathieu Darche
Assists: Brock Trotter (17)
Points: Brock Trotter (26)
+/-: P.K. Subban (+15)
PIMS: Eric Neilson (81)
Shots: Mike Glumac (93)
December 28: Toronto vs Hamilton
December 30: Rochester vs Hamilton
December 31: Hamilton vs Grand Rapids
January 2: Lake Erie vs Hamilton
January 3: Milwaukee vs Hamilton
I had some positive feedback regarding the last
set of stats I used so here’s another set to go over. With the Northeast
Division as tight as it is, winning those games against division rivals becomes
even more important. With that in mind, here’s a look at who steps it up
most against divisional opponents. (Div = Divisional, ND = Non
divisional, columns show games played / points. Results are sorted by
divisional points per game).
If you’re still looking for a stats fix, be
sure to check out my look at the Habs’
teams over the past 9 seasons.
When I sit back and think about the calendar
year that was for the Habs, it’s hard to avoid all the negatives that surrounded
this team. However, there were 2 things that stood out as memorable
moments for me this season:
1) July 1 – For years now, fans have longed for the Habs to be active on
the free agent market. So many of us would be either at the TV or computer
(or both) all day just waiting for the Habs to make a signing. Before,
that signing often didn’t come, but this year was the exception. Though I
think there will be some repercussions from that spending (and I’ve said that
from the beginning), it certainly was nice to be the focus of the hockey world
on what has become "Free Agent Frenzy Day."
2) December 4 – This I must admit is for a pair of contrasting reasons.
On the one hand, the ceremony was great, it really was a terrific way to end the
Centennial celebrations. The other hand is just that, the ceremonies
mercifully brought forth an end to the Centennial (aside from a pair of old
jersey games in the new year). Don’t get me wrong, it was nice to
celebrate, but it’s not very often that a birthday lasts nearly a year and a
half as it did with the Habs. And of course, a 5-1 shellacking of Boston
was merely icing on the cake.