With the Habs’ year now complete, it’s time to sit back and reflect on the
season (and playoffs) that was. Today, the second part of HabsWorld’s
2009-10 wrap-up with the player grades for Montreal’s forwards. As was
done for the goalies and defencemen, the grades are broken down by regular season and playoff
In order to qualify to be graded, a player must have played in at least 25%
of the games during either the regular season and playoffs. Note that
players who played in over 25% of the games but were traded do not appear on
this list (D’Agostini and Latendresse).
Mike Cammalleri – Season: B+, Playoffs: A
Streaky is the best way to describe Cammalleri’s 2009-10 campaign. It
took him nearly 3 weeks to score his first goal while he didn’t score in his
final 12 regular season games either. Between that though, he was the
dynamic scorer we all expected him to be. As for the playoffs, what really
can you say, he was phenomenal for the first two rounds, though he did fall off
a bit vs the Flyers. An interesting stat tidbit – Cammalleri played more
playoff games this year than in his entire professional career combined.
Season: 65 GP, 26-24-50, +7 rating, 16 PIMS
Playoffs: 19 GP, 13-6-19, -6 rating, 6 PIMS
Mathieu Darche – Season: B-, Playoffs: C+
He was one of the few players called up this year that made an immediate
offensive impact with 5 points in his first 9 games although he tailed off down
the stretch. Along the way, he impressed the team enough to forego
attempting to return him to Hamilton, a sign of how well he played early on.
He was virtually a non-factor in the playoffs, only seeing double digit minutes
in Game 1 vs Washington and Game 5 vs Philadelphia. It’ll be interesting
to see if he gets offered another two-day deal like the one he was playing on
Season: 29 GP, 5-5-10, +2 rating, 4 PIMS
Playoffs: 11 GP, 0-1-1, -1 rating, 2 PIMS
Brian Gionta – Season: A-, Playoffs: A
Easily the most controversial of the UFA pickups in the summer but he quickly
proved the naysayers wrong as he became a leader on and off the ice. It
also didn’t hurt that he led the team in goals despite missing a quarter of the
season. His scoring prowess continued through the playoffs where he was
one of the few who actually made some noise in the 3rd round loss to the Flyers.
The biggest offseason question with him is whether he’ll be named captain or
Season: 61 GP, 28-18-46, +3 rating, 26 PIMS
Playoffs: 19 GP, 9-6-15, -6 rating, 14 PIMS
Scott Gomez – Season: B, Playoffs: B-
Performance wise, he wasn’t too bad during the season finishing 2nd on the
team in points. But when you have a cap hit of over $7.3 M and don’t
surpass the 60 point plateau (with only 12 goals), it has to be considered
disappointing. That being said, I think his underrated playmaking
abilities really helped Gionta in particular this year, so he wasn’t a waste as
many claim him to be. His playoff performance was a mirror image of the
season, not bad, but more was expected.
Season: 78 GP, 12-47-59, +1 rating, 60 PIMS
Playoffs: 19 GP, 2-12-14, -6 rating, 25 PIMS
Andrei Kostitsyn – Season: C+, Playoffs: C
He reminds me a lot of ex-Hab Alexei Kovalev – he can make a dazzling play on
one shift while causing fans across the world to rip their hair out on the next.
This season was a continuation of his enigmatic career path, full of flashes of
brilliance and others of disinterest. Unfortunately in the playoffs, we
mostly saw the latter aside from his 3-goal game vs the Caps in Round 1.
With 1 year left on his contract, some other team may give him a shot hoping
that a change of scenery unlocks Kostitsyn’s talent.
Season: 59 GP, 15-18-33, +1 rating, 32 PIMS
Playoffs: 19 GP, 3-5-8, -1 rating, 12 PIMS
Sergei Kostitsyn – Season: C, Playoffs: C-
He was doomed to fail basically from the start and it was mostly of his own
doing. His sense of entitlement (to an NHL roster spot) did not sit well
with anyone in the organization – heck, most fans didn’t think much of it
either. He did have some quality games though and became a regular on the
PK for a while so his season wasn’t a complete waste. That effort was far
from existent in the playoffs though, where more off ice incidents ruled the
headlines. His contract is up and I can’t see him coming back next season
– a trade would be best for everyone.
Season: 47 GP, 7-11-18, +4 rating, 8 PIMS
Playoffs: 5 GP, 0-0-0, E rating, 0 PIMS
Maxim Lapierre – Season: C+, Playoffs: B
To say he was a disappointment the first half the season may be an
understatement as Lapierre failed to maintain, let alone build upon his scoring
levels from last year while his physical play was inconsistent. As the
year progressed though, he settled into a role and his confidence grew basically
each game. This trend continued into the playoffs where he was at his best
while scoring some timely goals as well. That playoff effort may very well
have saved his career with the Habs.
Season: 76 GP, 7-7-14, -14 rating, 61 PIMS
Playoffs: 19 GP, 3-1-4, -2 rating, 20 PIMS
Georges Laraque – Season: D, Playoffs: N/A
Since he played more than 25% of the regular season schedule, I’m obligated to
mention him here. He didn’t play much and when he did, he didn’t bring
much to the table; to be frank, did any of us really expect different after last
season? On the plus side, he did score a goal this season, his only one as
a Hab. He’ll be bought out this summer at a cap hit of $500,000 for both
2010-11 and 2011-12. Consider this – Laraque’s 1 goal will have cost the
team $4 million over a 4-year period. There’s money well spent and then
Season: 28 GP, 1-2-3, -6 rating, 28 PIMS
Glen Metropolit – Season: B, Playoffs: C-
It was basically a career year for Metropolit who scored more goals than in any
other season and if it weren’t for a late season injury, he likely would have
set a new mark in points as well. With all of the injuries early on, he
stepped up his game, particularly helping out on the PP where he tallied 10
times. Unfortunately, his late season injury derailed his momentum,
rendering him pretty much useless in the playoffs and also likely ending his
days with the Canadiens.
Season: 69 GP, 16-13-29, -1 rating, 24 PIMS
Playoffs: 16 GP, 0-2-2, -3 rating, 4 PIMS
Travis Moen – Season: C, Playoffs: C
He was brought in to provide some grit and muscle to the Habs and he did just
that…for about 2 weeks. From there, he seemed to catch "Montreal-itis,"
a disease that seems to suck the life out of most physical/tough guys that join
the team from another organization. The negatives aside, he did play well
defensively and on the PK, a trend that continued in the postseason.
Adding another physical player to the team I think would go a long way towards
helping Moen rediscover that side of his game once more.
Season: 81 GP, 8-11-19, -2 rating, 57 PIMS
Playoffs: 19 GP, 2-1-3, E rating, 4 PIMS
Dominic Moore – Season: B, Playoffs: B
Most people didn’t see the point in adding Moore, a 3rd line player to a team
seemingly full of 3rd liners. Some of us (such as me) lamented the fact
they acquired him too early, squandering precious cap dollars. I don’t
think there’s many complainers now though as he was very effective during the
season and in the playoffs. He scored some key goals and played well
defensively while winning a lot of faceoffs (at least during the season).
Of all the UFA’s, he seems to be the one that almost everyone wants back.
Season: 69 GP, 10-18-28, -3 rating, 43 PIMS (With MTL: 21 GP,
2-9-11, +4 rating, 8 PIMS)
Playoffs: 19 GP, 4-1-5, +1 rating, 6 PIMS
Max Pacioretty – Season: C, Playoffs: N/A
It was supposed to be a breakout year for the former 1st rounder but it just
never materialized, despite more opportunities than most people would’ve liked
to see. Like Moen, the physical game wasn’t always there and his offensive
game clearly wasn’t up to NHL standards. The good news was that he was
sent down to work on his game, the bad news was that multiple injuries pretty
much prevented that from happening. Next year, he may be handed a spot
again but the jury’s still out on whether his limited time in Hamilton will make
Season: 52 GP, 3-11-14, -5 rating, 20 PIMS
Tomas Plekanec – Season: A, Playoffs: B-
He was a bright spot this season establishing a new career high in points,
quickly making some forget about his subpar 39 point effort last year.
Even better was the fact that his defensive game didn’t slip despite the
offensive improvements. However, his playoff performance, aside from a
good series vs the Caps was merely adequate at best which isn’t too good when
you’re the team’s top point producer. His contract situation will be one
of, if not the most intriguing storyline between now and July 1st.
Season: 82 GP, 25-45-70, +5 rating, 50 PIMS
Playoffs: 19 GP, 4-7-11, -4 rating, 20 PIMS
Benoit Pouliot – Season: B+, Playoffs: C-
When he came to the Habs, he was a scoring revelation, finally, a large-ish
(6’2) forward with a scoring touch. However, an injury seemed to eliminate
his momentum (haven’t I said this about half the team already?) as he wasn’t the
same late in the year. This continued into the playoffs where his
offensive game completely vanished though to his credit, he at least picked up
the physical play. If there’s one good thing about these struggles, it’s
that it should hold his contract demands for next season down.
Season: 53 GP, 17-11-28, +8 rating, 43 PIMS (With MTL: 39 GP,
15-9-24, +8 rating, 31 PIMS)
Playoffs: 18 GP, 0-2-2, -5 rating, 6 PIMS
Tom Pyatt – Season: B, Playoffs: B
Thought by many to be merely a minor league throw-in as part of the Gomez deal
but he turned some heads in training camp and improved from there.
Offensively, he was pretty much non-existent but defensively, he fit in right
away, earning the trust of the coaching staff in a hurry. In the playoffs,
he played with a lot more confidence, rushing the puck up ice and generating
some offensive opportunities, something he wasn’t doing in the season. He
may have split time between the Habs and Hamilton this year, but he’ll be a
full-timer next season.
Season: 40 GP, 2-3-5, -5 rating, 10 PIMS
Playoffs: 18 GP, 2-2-4, -1 rating, 2 PIMS
Keep checking HW over the next couple of weeks where we’ll continue our end of
season grades as Ian Russell covers the Bulldogs, as well as our draft and UFA