In this week’s HW Recap: One of the more recent
Hamilton callups has found his way atop the Player Rankings, much to the chagrin
of the Bulldogs who continue to struggle. Player shooting efficiency is
the focus of Inside the Numbers, while the Final Thought looks at why you have
to consider more than just a trade return when wondering if the Habs could have
matched in value.
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) Max Pacioretty: This was his most
dominating week in the NHL over his 3 year career. His shot is becoming
much more of a weapon to go along with improving speed and the willingness to
get in the slot.
(Previous: 5 Average:
2) David Desharnais: I thought he’d be a little too small with so-so
skating to thrive in the NHL. Suffice it to say, I’m glad I’m wrong on
this one. If he can keep it up, the Habs may actually have the chance to
go to 3 decent scoring trios.
(Previous: 18 Average:
3) Brian Gionta: Though Pacioretty dominated the scoresheet on his line,
Gionta deserves a lot of credit for that. His speed was a big factor in
generating turnovers and counter-attacks, something the Habs could have used a
lot more of from other trios.
(Previous: 2 Average:
4) Roman Hamrlik: We’ve all talked about
how maybe it’s time to let him go at the end of his contract this offseason.
Then we see a week like this and immediately begin to wonder what we might have
been thinking then.
(Previous: 7 Average:
5) Carey Price: Yes, he did allow a career high in goals in a game with 8
but several of those were either perfect shots or a result of defensive
breakdowns. He bounced back with a strong effort vs the Leafs.
(Previous: 1 Average:
6) P.K. Subban: It didn’t matter who he was paired up with, he was
effective either way. Say what you will about some of his antics but to
his credit, his play is backing up his "aggressive ways."
(Previous: 3 Average:
7) Benoit Pouliot: He now is starting to provide some of that secondary
scoring the Habs were expecting him to do at the beginning of the season.
Let’s see if he can keep it up though.
(Previous: 11 Average:
8) Tomas Plekanec: It was a quiet week points wise for him but was
terrific shorthanded while playing a role on the top line of the week.
Fortunately, with 12 goals total, the Habs didn’t necessarily need him to score.
(Previous: 4 Average:
9) James Wisniewski: You could tell he wasn’t 100% for most of the week
but he was still decent in Boston. Against the Leafs though, he showed why
some are calling the blueliner the steal of the NHL trading season so far.
(Previous: 17 Average:
10) Ryan White: This was a big step up from his first stint a few weeks
back. It’s not that he wasn’t healthy the first time (he played 12 games
before his first recall), but he seemed to get the message of what the team
needed him to do and he did it well.
(Previous: N/A Average:
11) Yannick Weber: He is really starting to solidify his spot in the
top-6 for the Habs. His shot is an under-utilized weapon, as it gets
going, he’ll really start to blossom.
(Previous: 11 Average:
12) Travis Moen: We’ve been waiting all year for him to step in and
defend his teammates. He did so twice against Boston (stepping in for
Price and Plekanec) and I’ll give him some credit for doing so.
(Previous: 21 Average:
13) Alex Auld: On the one hand, he lost to the Islanders. But, he
did turn aside 33 shots in that one, including a few key saves. His game
was merely average, but that’s what we expect from him anyways, just to be
(Previous: 6 Average:
14) Jaroslav Spacek: It was an up-and-down week for him but looked a lot
better (frankly, more comfortable) with Subban against the Maple Leafs on
(Previous: 12 Average:
15) Mathieu Darche: He still isn’t at the level he was earlier on this
season but his game in Boston was decent at least. He’s hoping to return
to the lineup sometime this week.
(Previous: 15 Average:
16) Jeff Halpern: He was decent but his line was non-existent
offensively. I know it’s not his role but that line has to provide some
pressure in the offensive zone.
(Previous: 9 Average:
17) Tom Pyatt: He is starting to look like the player of last year, he is
a lot more aggressive out there. When paired with Desharnais, he had some
good offensive chances as well.
(Previous: 14 Average:
18) Alexandre Picard: There were some scary moments as usual with him but
he made it through a pair of games without doing much of anything good or bad.
Could be worse from an injury replacement.
(Previous: 10 Average:
19) Hal Gill: He wasn’t 100% going into the Boston game and the time has
come to let him heal that shoulder problem that has been nagging him for a few
weeks. Another game or two off probably wouldn’t hurt the cause.
(Previous: 20 Average:
20) Andrei Kostitsyn: He was simply awful in Boston as were his linemates
but to his credit, he played much better against Toronto, generating several
(Previous: 13 Average:
21) Lars Eller: Wednesday’s game against the B’s was one of the few games
where he simply looked out of his element. So far, he’s yet to recover
(Previous: 19 Average:
22) Scott Gomez: Based on his performance in the final two games, he
shouldn’t be quite this low but when your team is in a dogfight as they were in
Boston, it’s up to the leaders to step up. He was the one true veteran who
disappeared and that’s just unacceptable.
(Previous: 8 Average:
No Pacioretty, Desharnais, Weber, and White
(for 2 games) due to recalls. Schultz, Avtsin, Engqvist, and Festerling
all missed at least 1 game each due to injury. Sooner or later, the lack
of depth was doing to take its toll and with the Bulldogs now mired in a season
long losing streak, it finally has.
February 8th –
Abbotsford 4, Hamilton 3
February 11th –
Connecticut 3, Hamilton 2
February 12th –
Rochester 3, Hamilton 2
For what little of an attack there
was, it was spread out across the board as most players stepped up in 1 of the 3
|32||Frederic St. Denis||3||1||0||+2||1||0|
Goals: Max Pacioretty (17)
(Active leader: Dustin Boyd – 14)
Assists: David Desharnais (35)
(Active leader: Ben Maxwell – 25)
Points: David Desharnais (45)
(Active leader: Ben Maxwell – 34)
+/-: David Desharnais (+14)
(Active leader: Carle/Nash – +12)
PIMS: Jimmy Bonneau (117)
Shots: Ben Maxwell (133)
February 16: Hamilton vs Grand Rapids
February 18: Hamilton vs Toronto
February 19: San Antonio vs Hamilton
As you may have noticed from these segments in
prior HW Recaps, I’m a sucker for efficiency metrics and the stat to be analyzed
this time is no different. With talk shifting towards bringing in forwards
at the deadline to help the scoring, I thought it would be handy to take a
closer look at shooting percentage. However, I’m looking at two numbers, a
players’ individual shooting percentage (the one you’ll see when looking at a
Montreal stats page) but also one of the newer advanced stat metrics out there,
team shooting percentage. Basically, team shooting percentage looks at the
shooting percentage of a full line when each player is on the ice. Some
players have low shooting percentages but their team percentage is much higher,
that’s what I was curious to find out when comparing the two. Is there a
player or two who may not have a lot of goals but really contributes to his
lines’ success? Here are the numbers:
|Player||Ind. Shooting %||Team Shooting %|
A couple of names stood out for me here.
Desharnais and Pacioretty have high shooting percentages but their line
percentages are much lower – basically, they’re doing the scoring and not many
others are. On the flip side, both Weber and Spacek are stuck on 1 goal
for the campaign (thus a low shooting percentage) but are amongst the top-3 on
defence in terms of line percentage which means they’re helping the cause even
without tickling the twine.
With a pair of notable trades this week, it
didn’t take long for the inevitable "We could have offered that" and "Gauthier
was asleep at the switch" comments to appear. But a lot of times, it’s
really not as simple as trying to match the offer, especially when draft picks
hold different values as no two teams sit with the exact same draft picks and
it’s hard to find equivalent prospects most of the time. There are lots of
other factors at hand that often come into play when trading. When you
start to see the flurry of deals and start wondering why the Habs didn’t get
involved, consider the following checklist:
- Did the player traded have a NTC or NMC?
(If so, no guarantee he’d have waived it to come to the Habs.)
- Does the player have a salary exceeding ~$4
million? (If yes, the Habs would have had to make a second deal to
accommodate the new guy. The salary figure is roughly what the Habs have
to spend right now.)
- Is the trading team a divisional rival?
(It’s rare seeing impact players traded within the division; heck, it’s rare
even seeing nobodies dealt within the division.)
- Is the trading team a conference rival?
(Some GM’s prefer to keep take a slightly lesser return to get the player out
of the conference – not all subscribe to this theory but some have in the
Those questions alone often answer why the Habs
weren’t in on Francois Beauchemin and Mike Fisher. Sometimes, the trading
team doesn’t want to deal with you, even with a similar offer on the table.
It’s fun to wonder "what if," but a lot of the time, it should stop at that.
Every GM is active at this time of year, but it takes two to tango, sometimes 3
if there’s a no-trade clause involved. No one can say definitively that
Pierre Gauthier wasn’t in on any of the players dealt this week, or ones that
will be dealt in the coming days and weeks before the deadline.
Oftentimes, it’s not just a matter of beating an offer, some GM’s just want to
go a different direction and you move on from that. It’s going to happen
between now and February 28th, it will for every team. That doesn’t mean
it’s Pierre Gauthier’s fault.
With the Habs being on tap once again this coming Sunday, the HW Recap will move
back to Monday next week, on the 21st. If you have any questions regarding
this article or the
please feel free to drop me a line at