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The Habs showed no fatigue coming off their
Western road trip, winning all three of their home contests this week, giving
them a tiny bit of breathing room in the Eastern playoff race.  For
Hamilton, no longer is there simply a race to make the postseason, as they
clinched a spot on Friday night.  This week, the final instalment of the
Decade’s Biggest Deals, while the Final Thought looks at the current goalie
situation.  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.






Tomas Plekanec

2 Still producing despite having
a checker on his wing (Pyatt).
2 Brian Gionta 1 Despite that
line being dangerous, only 1 point to show for it this week.

Jaroslav Halak 3 Had a rough outing vs Edmonton
but to his credit, did well enough to win.
4 Benoit Pouliot 5 The only
forward to record a point in every game this week.

Scott Gomez 6 Had a huge game vs the
Lightning and was a big threat in the other 2.
6 Andrei Markov 8 A pair of
points in each game as fans breathe a collective sigh of relief.

Roman Hamrlik 9 Didn’t show as many signs of
fatigue as he had in previous weeks.
8 Josh Gorges 7 We’ve seen
enough of him on the PP, time to try 4 forwards instead.

Dominic Moore 12 He brings something that the
3rd line has lacked all year – offensive upside.
10 Andrei Kostitsyn 10 The offence
is slowly coming back and he did get the shootout winner.

Sergei Kostitsyn 15 A couple of strong games gives
him the biggest jump in the rankings.
12 Mathieu Darche 13 Continues to
earn the confidence of the coaches with each passing game.

Glen Metropolit 11 As much as we gripe about him
playing the PP, he does score on it.
14 Jaroslav Spacek 14 He looked
much more at ease this week, not sure what changed.

Ryan O’Byrne 15 His minutes are slowly
starting to increase and for good reason.
16 Travis Moen 18 His goal vs
Edmonton turned out to be big (and was a long time coming).

Tom Pyatt 17 Simply cannot be counted on
for offence in the NHL, at least not yet.
18 Hal Gill 19 Had his best
pass of the season this week…too bad it was to Stamkos.
19 Ben Maxwell 21 Plays it a
little too safe out there, reminds me of Pyatt earlier on.
20 Maxim Lapierre 20 An
unsurprising, underwhelming return to the lineup save for a few hits.

Dropped from the rankings: Carey Price (4 –

 The Dog

The good news is that the Bulldogs clinched a
berth in the playoffs this week, the bad news is that they lost the 9th game of
their homestand.  The odd thing?  They clinched on the night they
lost, thanks to ex-Hab Garth Murray (who scored a shootout winner over 5th place
Lake Erie).


March 9
2 3 OT


Toronto 1 1 0 0 2 1/6 23
Hamilton 1 0 1 1 3 2/9 36

Attendance:  3,470
3 Stars:
  1) White – HAM  2) Foster – TOR  3) Weber –

March 12
2 3


Grand Rapids 1 1 1 3 0/6 20
Hamilton 1 1 0 2 0/6 34

Attendance:  3,605
3 Stars:
  1) Rissmiller – GR  2) Russell – HAM  3) Emmerton –

March 13
2 3 OT SO


Grand Rapids 2 0 1 0 0 3 1/4 22
Hamilton 1 1 1 0 1 4 0/4 43

Attendance:  4,305
3 Stars:
  1) Desharnais – HAM  2) Rissmiller – GR  3) Maxwell –


The AHL’s trade deadline came and went this
week.  Unlike most years, the Bulldogs actually made a deal of sorts,
loaning Greg Stewart to Chicago in exchange for d-man Mike Vernace.  The
loan expires at the end of the playoffs and has no effect on their NHL status.


# Player GP G A +/- SH PIMS
4 Michael Vernace 2 0 0 E 1 0
5 Alex Henry 3 0 0 +1 2 16
6 Chad Anderson 2 0 0 -2 2 2
7 Yannick Weber 3 1 0 +1 13 2
8 Maxime Lacroix 1 0 0 E 0 0
10 J.T. Wyman 3 0 0 -1 8 0
12 Andrew Conboy 3 0 0 +1 2 4
15 Mike Glumac 3 0 1 +1 13 0
16 Gregory Stewart 3 0 0 E 1 4
18 Dany Masse 2 1 0 +1 2 0
19 Brock Trotter 3 0 2 E 6 0
20 Ryan Russell 3 1 1 E 7 0
25 Ryan White 3 1 0 E 4 7
26 Grant Stevenson 3 1 1 +2 10 0
28 Aaron Palushaj 3 0 1 -1 4 0
32 Frederic St. Denis 3 0 3 +1 2 2
44 Shawn Belle 3 0 2 +1 4 6
51 David Desharnais 3 2 0 -1 14 4
61 Andre Benoit 3 0 1 -2 6 2
76 P.K. Subban 3 1 1 -1 8 4
91 Ben Maxwell 2 0 1 -1 5 2


# Player Record SV% GAA
1 Curtis Sanford 2-0-0 .889 2.37
30 Cedrick Desjardins 0-1-0 .850 3.03


# Player G/ATT
19 Brock Trotter 1/1
20 Ryan Russell 1/1
76 P.K. Subban 0/1
91 Ben Maxwell 1/1


# Player SVS/ATT
1 Curtis Sanford 3/4


Goals: Brock Trotter (28)
Assists: David Desharnais (38)
Points: Brock Trotter (64)
+/-: P.K. Subban (+37)
PIMS: Ryan White (120)
Shots: Mike Glumac (172)

This Week:

March 17: Hamilton
vs Adirondack
March 19: Hamilton vs Lake Erie
March 20: Hamilton vs Toronto

The Bulldogs released their Clear Day Roster this week which sets a player’s
eligibility to play in the postseason.  For the full roster details, click

A Decade
of Deals

Each month so far this season, we’ve looked
back at the biggest deals of the last decade on a month-by-month basis. 
Now, the final instalment (until the offseason at least); here are the 3 biggest
March trades:

1) March 2, 2004: Montreal acquires Alexei Kovalev from New York (R)
in exchange for Jozef Balej and a 2nd round pick (Bruce Graham).

At the time, many saw this as a rental deal for Montreal although as we all know
Kovalev signed a 4 year extension and had an up and down tenure with the Habs. 
The Rangers certainly didn’t benefit all that much from this deal though. 
Balej only played 13 games with the Rangers before being dealt away for Fedor
Fedorov (who played just 3 games for New York) while Graham never played in the
NHL and is now fighting to get a callup…to the ECHL.

2) March 8, 2006: Montreal acquires David Aebischer from Colorado in
exchange for G Jose Theodore.

Aebischer may have only spent a short period of time in Montreal (39 total
games) but the effects of the deal are still being felt today.  Theodore’s
departure not only unloaded a rough contract off the books but opened the door
for Cristobal Huet to take over as #1 and give Jaroslav Halak his first real
taste of NHL action which is coming in handy right about now.

3) March 1, 2000: Montreal acquires Sheldon Souray, Josh DeWolf, and a
2nd round pick (Andreas Holmqvist) from New Jersey in exchange for Vladimir

This is one of those deals where having patience really paid off for the
Habs.  Souray struggled through injuries early on with Montreal but was an
absolute force offensively for 2 years after the lockout, earning a big deal
with Edmonton.  DeWolf never panned out into anything, retiring in 2004
while the 2nd rounder came in handy later on.  As for Malakhov, he spent
all of 40 games (including 23 playoff contests) before heading to the Rangers. 
He returned to New Jersey later on where he was famously dealt with a 1st round
pick merely to dump his contract.

HM) March 13, 2001: Montreal acquires Richard Zednik, Jan Bulis, and a
1st round pick (Alexander Perezhogin) from Washington in exchange for Trevor
Linden, Dainius Zubrus, and a 2nd round pick (Andreas Holmqvist).

Sitting back and looking at this deal today, this wound up being a big deal
of secondary parts and not much more.  Linden’s days were pretty much
numbered by now while Zubrus was an annual underachiever for the Caps. 
Washington wound up trading the 2nd rounder they acquired in that deal;
Holmqvist played a grand total of 0 NHL games himself.  As for the Habs,
Zednik looked to be a budding goal scorer before the Kyle McLaren incident
derailed his career.  Bulis, like Zubrus, left fans wanting more almost all
the time; he now plays in Russia, as does Alexander Perezhogin after playing
with the Habs for 2 seasons.


There’s good debate and then there’s beating a
dead horse.  When it comes to the Halak/Price debate, one could argue that
the horse has been beat into oblivion here.  To all the fans who are
standing behind only one and taking a polarized viewpoint, let me ask you this:
Does it really matter which one plays, as long as they win?  You may be
thinking this is a dumb question to ask, but when people say that they’d rather
be losing with one than win with the other, things are getting a little out of
hand, wouldn’t you say?

Both goalies are young and relatively unproven at this level (in terms of NHL
experience).  Both goalies are going to falter at some point and have
several times already.  Each time, the other has stepped in and done well. 
Despite there being just a handful of games left in the season, it wouldn’t
surprise me to see this happen once more.  That’s not a knock on Halak,
just an observation that history has a tendency to repeat itself.  Is this
an ideal situation going forward beyond this season?  Not really, but it’s
a pretty good one to have now as neither seems to establish themselves for more
than a couple weeks at a time.  The motto of the Habs between now and the
end of the season is this: Long live the hot hand, whoever it may be.

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