In this week’s HW Recap: Looking back at the
Habs’ season with the final set of player rankings and why fans should be
optimistic for next year. Also, we look forward with the weekly Bulldogs
StatPack as Hamilton continues their strong playoff run plus the latest reports
on possible coaching changes and rumours from Russia.
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) Mike Cammalleri: The playoffs seem
to bring out the best in him while elimination games bring an even better level.
He was the best of what proved to be few consistent scoring threats in the final
(Previous: 1 Playoffs:
2) Carey Price: He was terrific in Game 6 holding down the fort for the
win and although he allowed 4 goals the next night, he did everything he could
to give the Habs a chance to get it to overtime.
(Previous: 3 Playoffs:
3) P.K. Subban: He did make a mistake which led to the winner in Game 7
but on the other hand, without his shot, there wouldn’t have been an overtime.
All in all, a very good postseason.
(Previous: 4 Playoffs:
4) Brian Gionta: His presence was felt in both games, especially on the
powerplay where he collected both of his points. With the offence
struggling at times, it was hard to argue with the amount of times he was trying
to shoot the puck.
(Previous: 10 Playoffs:
5) Tomas Plekanec: Yes, he was awful in the faceoff dot in Game 7 but
aside from that, he played quite well in both games. He managed to
outscore all of the Bruins on their powerplays, now there’s a stat
to be proud of.
(Previous: 6 Playoffs:
6) Yannick Weber: He saw limited minutes in both games but he certainly
made a positive impact. Add that to the fact he played both defence and
the wing and it turned out to be a solid week for the Swiss blueliner who has
joined his country for the Worlds though some reports now suggest otherwise.
(Previous: N/A Playoffs:
7) Hal Gill: From hearing some of the comments after elimination, I
quickly got the sense that he had just as strong of a locker room impact as he
did an on-ice one. It wasn’t as strong of a playoff as last year for Gill
but it still was a good one.
(Previous: 9 Playoffs:
8) Lars Eller: He played through a dislocated shoulder suffered in
Game 6 and still was an effective, dangerous player at both ends of the rink.
Lots of optimism moving forward with him.
(Previous: 8 Playoffs:
9) Jeff Halpern: He did exactly what he was brought in to do, win
faceoffs and play strong defence. He even had some offensive chances too
so it’s hard to ask for more from the veteran.
(Previous: N/A Playoffs:
10) Scott Gomez: He wasn’t able to get his 100th career playoff point
before the end of the series as it was an up-and-down couple of games for him;
there were some really good moments mixed with some bad giveaways.
(Previous: 10 Playoffs:
11) Andrei Kostitsyn: He certainly wasn’t as good as he was at the
beginning of the round but I question how healthy he is, even though he already
is playing for Belarus.
(Previous: 2 Playoffs:
12) James Wisniewski: Considering he clearly wasn’t 100% for Game 7, he
looked pretty good. But without his shot, he certainly isn’t the same
player as he was effectively neutralized for the entire series.
(Previous: 13 Playoffs:
13) Roman Hamrlik: Him staying down on the one Boston goal didn’t look
good but aside from that, the last two games were improvements over the rest of
the series. Yes, he didn’t play well overall but considering how much he
played during the year and his age, it’s understandable.
(Previous: 17 Playoffs:
14) Tom Pyatt: He didn’t have quite the impact as in previous weeks but a
lot of that had to do with reduced playing time. His line had a game
turning shift in Game 6 though that seemed to stabilize the team.
(Previous: 16 Playoffs:
15) Ryan White: Re-read Pyatt’s note as it also applies to White.
His biggest impact came in his return to the Hamilton lineup, more on the
(Previous: 11 Playoffs:
16) Brent Sopel: Unlike Hamrlik earlier, his best games were at the
beginning and not these last two games. He was useful at times as a
penalty killer but that’s about where his effectiveness ended.
(Previous: 15 Playoffs:
17) Paul Mara: He brought a physical element to Game 6, something that
would’ve been nice to have all series. Surprisingly, he didn’t play a whole lot
which is why he sits as low as he does.
(Previous: N/A Playoffs:
18) Mathieu Darche: He was the weak link of the 3rd trio in these games.
More or less, he just went cold at the wrong time, showing why he can’t seem to
become a regular in the Habs’ top-six forwards.
(Previous: 14 Playoffs:
19) Travis Moen: He showed in this postseason what we knew all along: He
can’t play in the top-six, period. Unfortunately, he didn’t make too much
of an impact on the physical side of things; even though the hit total was
there, few were notable.
(Previous: 18 Playoffs:
20) Jaroslav Spacek: For his sake (and the Habs’ sake for next year), I’m
hoping his struggles in these games and the playoffs overall are attributable to
missing most of the final two months of the year. If not, 2011-12 could be
a long year.
(Previous: 19 Playoffs:
Round 2 got off to the same start as Round 1 as
the Bulldogs won both home games to kick off their series with Manitoba.
In both series previews, I had
talked about how secondary scoring would be crucial. For one week at
least, the secondary guys came through.
|32||Frederic St. Denis||2||0||1||-1||3||0|
Goals: Nigel Dawes (6)
Assists: Dustin Boyd (7)
Points: Nigel Dawes (10)
+/-: Andreas Engqvist/J.T. Wyman (+4)
PIMS: Alex Henry (23)
Shots: Nigel Dawes (30)
May 3: Game 3 in Manitoba
May 4: Game 4 in Manitoba
May 6: Game 5 in Manitoba*
May 8: Game 6 in Hamilton*
May 9: Game 7 in Hamilton*
* – if necessary
The Habs’ ECHL affiliate (and affiliate of
Hamilton), the Wheeling Nailers are also still alive in the 3rd round, having
split the first two games of their series with Kalamazoo. A pair of
players who have seen time with the Bulldogs are suiting up for Wheeling, G
Peter Delmas and D David Urquhart.
– Word is filtering out of Montreal that
assistant coach Kirk Muller has emerged as at least a serious contender to take
over for Marc Crawford in Dallas with one report going as far to say that it’s a
done deal already. If that happens, I wouldn’t be surprised to see current
Hamilton coach Randy Cunneyworth promoted to take over for Muller. He is
familiar with Jacques Martin having played for him before and both teams are
using the same styled system.
– The World Championships are now underway. 5 players are representing the
Habs, you can follow their progress in the
StatTracker. There are conflicting reports concerning Yannick Weber
though. Renaud Lavoie is reporting Weber now will not go though the
tournament’s website has claimed that although Weber will not play in Round 1
(including against Canada on Tuesday), he will join the Swiss team for the 2nd
– As for player rumours, Jaromir Jagr’s agent denied a report from early in the
weekend that the Habs have been in contact with the former NHL star.
Sticking with the KHL, a Russian report has surfaced that Karri Ramo, a
candidate to back up Carey Price next season, is expected to sign an
extension to remain in Russia. Ramo has been an All-Star in both of his
years with Avangard Omsk, posting a GAA below 2.00 this season.
The season ended a lot earlier than we all had
hoped for but looking back, it’s hard to be disappointed with this squad.
They battled into a playoff spot despite numerous injuries to key players
(though they clearly weren’t the only team with injuries) and played arguably
the tightest series out of all of the 1st round matchups. We saw several
key members of the team’s future emerge as the players we hoped they could be
when they were drafted and are now seeing a Bulldogs squad, depleted of a lot of
that young talent, finding ways to keep winning. It’s tough to just forget
a heartbreaking loss as the one we just witnessed a few days ago but brighter
days are ahead, possibly in the near future as the Bulldogs try to make another
deep run into the postseason. There are times to be pessimistic about a
1st round exit but for this edition of the Montreal Canadiens, this isn’t one of
Next week, I’ll use this spot to go over my stories of the season. Feel
free to make your suggestions (or if you have any questions about this article)
by dropping me a line at [email protected] For those wondering, the
HW Recap will continue weekly until the Bulldogs are eliminated. Over the
next couple of weeks, it’ll be report card time as grades will take over the