In this week’s HW Recap: The captain gets the
final top spot of the regular season in the player rankings, plus stats,
results, injury notes, and the schedule for Hamilton’s upcoming 1st round
series. There were 10 Habs who set career highs in points this year; find
out who, while the Final Thought looks at one of the keys to the upcoming Boston
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) Brian Gionta: At the beginning of
the week, I’d have said there was no chance he’d get to 30 goals on the season.
Though he ultimately fell short, it wasn’t for a lack of production and chances.
(Previous: 6 Average:
2) Mike Cammalleri: After weeks of struggles, he appears to be on track
now with his second straight productive week. He’ll need to be at his best
for the postseason.
(Previous: 2 Average:
3) Carey Price: It wasn’t a must win game against Chicago but it wasn’t
far from it either. What does Price do? Pull off another 40+ save
performance; if that’s not clutch, I don’t know what is.
(Previous: 3 Average:
4) P.K. Subban: I wasn’t a big fan of the end to end rushes as those are
things he won’t be able to get away with against Boston but his defensive play
was strong and he did score the playoff-clinching goal.
(Previous: 5 Average:
5) Andrei Kostitsyn: It wasn’t his sniping abilities that proved to
be the most dangerous but rather his passing. He set up Subban’s OT winner
as well as the tying goal in Ottawa with just over 10 seconds left in
(Previous: 10 Average:
6) James Wisniewski: He was a little hot and cold offensively but when he
was on, boy was he on. He seemed hesitant to shoot on the PP, opting to
defer too often to Subban; he’ll need to shoot to keep the defense honest.
(Previous: 7 Average:
7) Tomas Plekanec: He was the lone semi-consistent player in the faceoff
dot all week long while his play on the penalty kill was terrific.
(Previous: 3 Average:
8) Scott Gomez: Even though some are going out of their way to try and
nitpick every element of his game (including a certain broadcaster who will be
covering the Habs in English in this postseason), there are still a lot of
positives. If he can keep feeding Gionta, it will go a long way in giving
Montreal a chance to win this series.
(Previous: 8 Average:
9) Alex Auld: Another decent outing from him in Ottawa, though allowing 3
goals in the final 20 or so minutes of the game leaves me with a bit of a sour
(Previous: 20 Average:
10) Mathieu Darche: Good habits lead to good things, even if the end
result isn’t always a goal. This is what keeps him in the lineup, he
rarely has a misread in the offensive zone.
(Previous: 1 Average:
11) Brent Sopel: I thought his best game as a Hab came against his former
team in Chicago. That’s an encouraging sign that there is another echelon
to his game, we’re going to need to see it against Boston now.
(Previous: 17 Average:
12) Roman Hamrlik: Well, I didn’t quite get my wish that he’d be
scratched for one of the final games to give him a rest. On the plus side,
he didn’t suffer any notable injury which was one of my concerns.
(Previous: 9 Average:
13) Tom Pyatt: His speed proved useful
as always, especially on the penalty kill which was perfect for the week once
again. A 2 point night to close off the year is always nice too.
(Previous: 19 Average:
14) Ryan White: Fortunately for him, it doesn’t matter how pretty the
goal is, just as long as it goes in. With Boston as a matchup, he’ll have
more of a chance to make an impact.
(Previous: 18 Average:
15) Paul Mara: He struggled at times to keep up skating wise, something
that hadn’t proven to be concerning before. Like White, seeing Boston in
Round 1 make his presence in the lineup a near must.
(Previous: 13 Average:
16) David Desharnais: It appears he has hit the rookie wall at the least
opportune time. In his last 9 games, he has 0 points and a -6 rating.
It’s hard to put too much pressure on him but he needs to be better.
(Previous: 11 Average:
17) Jaroslav Spacek: He was barely noticeable in either game he played
which in some respects isn’t completely bad. However, I still have my
doubts about his readiness to play and I don’t think I’m the only one.
(Previous: N/A Average:
18) Yannick Weber: He was hard to evaluate here as he was playing a
position he never has before. He didn’t do much of anything notable that
was good or bad and at the very least, he has his game legs under him now.
(Previous: N/A Average:
19) Lars Eller: Dumb penalties are hard enough to take during the regular
season but in the playoffs, it’s even more costly. If he can stay out of
the box, he could make a difference against Boston.
(Previous: 21 Average:
20) Hal Gill: By the end of the Ottawa game, he looked completely gassed
out there; he needed a break. Like with Pyatt, he gets some credit for
another strong week on the PK though.
(Previous: 12 Average:
21) Travis Moen: He was completely invisible vs Chicago and seeing as how
he missed the last two games with some sort of injury, I suspect we know why now.
(Previous: 14 Average:
22) Benoit Pouliot: Like Eller, he has to stay out of the box. He
has the speed to keep up with opponents while back checking but far too often
chooses to take the lazy way out. If he can’t stay out of the box, then
he’ll need to stay out of the lineup.
(Previous: 16 Average:
Two weeks ago, they were fighting to just make
the playoffs but the Bulldogs, fresh off 3 wins, now find themselves as
back-to-back North Division Champions.
A couple more players were added
to the IR as Mathieu Carle missed all 4 games while Andreas Engqvist didn’t play
|32||Frederic St. Denis||4||1||1||-1||6||6|
Goals: Nigel Dawes (41)
Assists: David Desharnais/Aaron Palushaj (35)
Points: Nigel Dawes (72)
+/-: Brendon Nash/Aaron Palushaj (+22)
PIMS: Jimmy Bonneau (180)
Shots: Nigel Dawes (211)
Here is the full series schedule vs Oklahoma
City (2-3-2 format), Hamilton hosts games 1, 2, 6, and 7:
Game 1: April 14
Game 2: April 16
Game 3: April 19
Game 4: April 20
Game 5: April 22
Game 6: April 24
Game 7: April 25
Despite the fact the Habs were the lowest
scoring playoff team this season, quite a few players hit career highs in
points. Here are those players with their previous high (points, year) in
James Wisniewski, 51 (30, 2009-10)
P.K. Subban, 38 (2, 2009-10)
Benoit Pouliot, 30 (28, 2009-10)
Mathieu Darche, 26 (22, 2007-08)
Max Pacioretty, 24 (14, 2009-10)
David Desharnais, 22 (1, 2009-10)
Lars Eller, 17 (2, 2009-10)
Yannick Weber, 11 (1, 2008-09)
Tom Pyatt, 7 (5, 2009-10)
Ryan White, 5 (2, 2009-10)
Seemingly all season, we’ve heard two things
from the analysts when it comes to discussing Montreal’s strengths. One is
Carey Price, discussed ad nauseum, the other is special teams, which rarely get
much attention. Special teams, albeit inconsistent, were indeed a key in
the Habs’ success; their PP finished 7th at 19.7% while the PK also wound up
7th, at 84.4%. However, recent history dictates that the special teams
index (PP% + PK%) as a whole often drops come playoff time. Consider the
last 4 playoff appearances:
Powerplay: Season 21.8%, Playoffs 16.4% [-5.4%]
Penalty Kill: Season 83.0%, Playoffs 84.5% [+1.5%]
Net Change: -3.9%
Powerplay: Season 19.2%, Playoffs 0.00% [-19.2%]
Penalty Kill: Season 82.4%, Playoffs 75.0% [-7.4%]
Net Change: -26.6%
Powerplay: Season 24.1%, Playoffs 14.6% [-9.5%]
Penalty Kill: Season 82.5%, Playoffs 84.1% [+1.6%]
Net Change: -7.9%
Powerplay: Season 19.2%, Playoffs 22.2% [+3.0%]
Penalty Kill: Season 81.1%, Playoffs 80.0% [-1.1%]
Net Change: +1.9%
With the exception of 05-06, there has been a drop off of sorts.
Considering how anemic the offence has been at times this season, this is one
trend that really needs to be reversed for this club to succeed this postseason.
This may not be the key to the series against Boston but be sure not to
discount its importance, I know I won’t.
Speaking of the playoffs, we’re having a playoff pool once again this season
through CBC. For more information about how to join (it’s free to play),
here and challenge other HW writers and forum members for this year’s title!
If you have any questions regarding this
article or the
please feel free to drop me a line at [email protected]