In this week’s HW Recap: Could the lowest paid
player on the Habs be at the top in the player rankings? A former local
Hab is the focus of this week’s nostalgia segment, while the Final Thought takes
a closer look at why P.K. Subban will be watching the upcoming All-Star
festivities from the comfort of his own home.
Players are rated from 1 to however many
players play on a weekly (non-cumulative) basis. Rankings will be tracked
weekly and averages provided.
1) Tomas Plekanec: Just when people
(myself included) were starting to wonder aloud about his offensive play, he
goes and gets a point in each game, the only Hab to do so.
(Previous: 9 Average:
2) Mathieu Darche: Was shuffled between a few lines but didn’t let that
hurt his production. He also played a role in a pair of goals that he
didn’t get credit for an assist on simply by driving the net and providing a
(Previous: 8 Average:
3) James Wisniewski: A trio of helpers for the newly acquired blueliner
who is earning his keep primarily from PP production. Unlike a certain
‘retired’ journalist though, I won’t compare him to the last player we said that
about as there’s simply no comparison to make, Wisniewski is much, much better.
(Previous: 2 Average:
4) Carey Price: Against the Pens, he kept the team in it for a while
before everything caved in, while he held the fort down late against the
Rangers. Another quality week.
(Previous: 3 Average:
5) Alex Auld: Though his game in Manhattan didn’t get off to the best of
starts, he was sharp throughout and made some key saves in the 3rd. He has
earned another start in the near future.
(Previous: N/A Average:
6) Benoit Pouliot: Yes, he did take 3 penalties against the Pens though
you can question the legitimacy of some of those. Aside from that, he was
one of Montreal’s more dominant forwards out there.
(Previous: 7 Average:
7) P.K. Subban: I still don’t like how he’s taking himself out of
position as often as he is, but he is playing better. I wish he’d follow
the ‘KISS’ method (Keep it simple, Subban) – get the fundamentals down, then
bring the game changing moves into play more regularly.
(Previous: 4 Average:
8) Scott Gomez: Although he (or his linemates) failed to register a
single point, I thought he still played well. He certainly set up enough
quality chances, but no one buried them this go-round.
(Previous: 6 Average:
9) David Desharnais: A bit better than last week which is what I
wanted to see, keep improving basically each game out. Even though he’s
tiny, he showed he can still be effective in front of the net.
(Previous: 11 Average:
10) Max Pacioretty: Failed to register a point but still made his
presence felt out there. He managed to rattle Lundqvist on Saturday but
the Habs weren’t able to generate much of an attack on him after.
(Previous: 5 Average:
11) Mike Cammalleri: He had more jump to his step than he did before his
injury but still was snake bit when it came to lighting the lamp.
(Previous: 13 Average:
12) Brian Gionta: He was still getting his shots but something didn’t
look right with him out there, it’s almost as if he was a little tentative at
(Previous: 1 Average:
13) Roman Hamrlik: Had a powerplay goal but largely struggled in his own
end overall. It’s the same pattern with him, some good weeks, others not
(Previous: 10 Average:
14) Andrei Kostitsyn: He showed up on Saturday night and…it showed.
He’s useful when he plays like he did that game, but useless when he plays as he
did the rest of the week.
(Previous: 16 Average:
15) Hal Gill: He has been playing heavier minutes as of late and it
showed over this stretch of games. Fortunately, when he struggles he often
snaps out of it in a hurry.
(Previous: 14 Average:
16) Jeff Halpern: Showed some, albeit brief, signs of life offensively on
Saturday. When his line can generate an offensive attack, it does wonders
for this team.
(Previous: 17 Average:
17) Travis Moen: The 2nd straight week where the highlight was a fight
(and basically a ‘staged’ one at that). He needs to watch some tapes of
Anaheim’s Cup run, maybe that will remind him of why the Habs signed him.
(Previous: 18 Average:
18) Yannick Weber: He was decent in the first 2 games but struggled on
Saturday night. That was his first ‘down’ game in a while, but perhaps we
may have a Picard sighting in one of the upcoming games.
(Previous: 15 Average:
19) Jaroslav Spacek: He was sat down in the 3rd for both games vs the
Rangers for poor play. That in itself drops him this far in the rankings.
(Previous: 12 Average:
20) Lars Eller: A very up and down week for the rookie, who was benched
one game and on the "top line" the next. Sooner or later, he has to start
(Previous: 3 Average:
21) Tom Pyatt: Glad to see he got a rare point but his offensive
struggles keep bringing his line down. Saturday was a good example, with
him away from Halpern, that line got some chances.
(Previous: 19 Average:
The offence wasn’t really there (just 3 goals
over 2 games), but it was just enough for the Bulldogs to win both their games
this week and extend their miniscule lead in the North Division.
3 Stars: 1) Engqvist – HAM 2) Gaunce – LE 3) Sanford – HAM
3 Stars: 1) Levasseur – SYR 2) Sanford – HAM 3) Avtsin –
The Bulldogs were basically fully healthy this
week, but the injury bug struck yet again as both Conboy and Schultz left the
Syracuse game with injuries while St. Denis was shaken up as well.
|32||Frederic St. Denis||2||0||0||+2||5||0|
Goals: Max Pacioretty (17)
(Active leader: Dustin Boyd – 11)
Assists: David Desharnais (35)
(Active leader: Ben Maxwell – 19)
Points: David Desharnais (45)
(Active leader: Ben Maxwell – 25)
+/-: David Desharnais (+14)
(Active leader: Mathieu Carle – +12)
PIMS: Jimmy Bonneau (99)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (132)
(Active leader: Ben Maxwell – 89)
January 18: Rochester vs Hamilton
January 21: Hamilton vs Connecticut
January 22: Hamilton vs Adirondack
This was a popular segment in the Recap a
couple of years ago so when I saw this player come up across the transaction
wire a little more than a week ago, I figured this would be the perfect time to
bring it back. This player was the definition of being uni-dimensional and
being overhyped along the way. This player is now applying his trade with
Vålerenga of Norway’s GET-ligaen,
in his 5th different country since he left the Habs in the 2006 offseason.
Pierre Dagenais joined Montreal early in July of 2003, believed to be a signing
for Hamilton as the former 2nd and 4th round pick (yes, you read that correctly)
of the Devils had spent most of his career in the AHL. But a torrid start
with the Bulldogs where he had 21 points in 20 games plus his chemistry with
then-Hab Mike Ribeiro (who was the focus of this week’s
column) earned him a permanent recall to the Habs. He picked up a
respectable 17 goals in 50 games but was basically a one-trick pony, he could
shoot but not much else. 2 years later, after the lockout, he wasn’t
nearly as effective with the Habs, picking up just 12 points in 32 games before
being farmed out to Hamilton, where he finished the season. That began
what can only be considered a long, worldwide hockey journey.
Dagenais began the 06-07 season with Jokerit in the Finnish league before
leaving partway through to go to Austria where he played for Innsbruck through
until 2008. Prior to the 08-09 campaign, he joined the KHL, suiting up for
Traktor Chelyabinsk for 2 seasons. At the beginning of this season, he
joined the newly formed Federal League, playing with the Akwesasne Warriors,
where he notched an impressive 53 points in 23 games before leaving in
mid-December (he still leads that team in scoring today interestingly enough).
He then signed with an Austrian team but surprisingly refused to report there
afterwards. Just recently, he signed with that Norwegian squad, Vålerenga,
where he scored in his first game. 5 countries in as many years after
leaving the NHL, Pierre Dagenais has seen it all since leaving the Habs.
This week, we saw Carey Price be named to the
All-Star Game, which should have come as a surprise to no one. What did
surprise some (not me though) was P.K. Subban’s omission from the rookie part of
the weekend. Yes, his skills and flare for the dramatic would have been a
nice addition to the festivities, but the reasons to exclude him are
understandable as well.
Of the 3 defencemen named, 2 (Fowler, Shattenkirk) were simply more deserving
based on their performance this season. As for Ekman-Larsson, him being
named surprised me but he is a highly touted, highly skilled prospect and there
is the international element as well; they can cater the rookie portion to a
larger audience that way. But, I don’t think that was the main reason
Subban isn’t going.
Whether you feel it’s justified or not, there has been a lot of negativity
surrounding Subban this year. He’s chirping too much, not fighting enough,
yadda, yadda, yadda. Put him (and those ‘issues’) in front of media
throughout the league, and surely those will find their way into the discussion.
All-Star weekend is supposed to showcase the supposed good things in the league,
and bringing Subban along would take away from that mantra.
Personally, I’m not overly upset about his omission though granted it would have
made things a little more exciting as a Montreal fan. He’s playing major
minutes with the Habs and can benefit from the rest and since he’s going to be a
core piece of this team’s success moving forward, that is a lot more important
than a skills competition. For the record, my pick for a 3rd defenceman
would have been Washington’s John Carlson over Ekman-Larsson, just in case
anyone was wondering.
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