The votes were practically unanimous as Habsworld cast their votes for January’s
3 Stars. Likely influenced by some impressive statistics, it was no coincidence
that the HW readers quickly differentiated the few Canadiens performing at a
satisfactory level from the lot mired in mediocrity.
1 – Erik Cole (11GP – 3 Goals – 9 Assists – 12 Points – +9 Rating)
In a month where the Canadiens saw their playoff hopes diminish, Cole had one
of his best months in a Habs jersey. Averaging more than a point per game
(1.09), Cole was one of the few Habs able to hit the scoresheet on a regular
basis. Although his drives to net properly depict Cole as a scorer, he
made his mark as a playmaker this month, and his 9 assists in 11 games was the
best on the squad. Playing on the de facto top line with David Desharnais
and Max Pacioretty, Cole’s veteran presence seems to have paid dividends for
Montreal, as both line mates are experiencing breakout seasons alongside him.
Finally, Cole proved to be no defensive liability in his own end, and his +9 led
all Canadiens in this department.
57% of 1st Star votes, 30% of 2nd Star votes, 3% of 3rd Star votes.
2 – Max Pacioretty (11GP – 7 Goals – 3 Assists – 10 Points – +5 Rating)
As mentioned above, Max Pacioretty’s line mate, Erik Cole, seems to be having
a positive influence on Patches, as the blossoming power forward resembles the
veteran more and more each game. Pacioretty’s game seemed to suffer after
his 3-game suspension for his hit on Kris Letang, but lately there have been no
such detriments. Pacioretty led the team in goals (7), game-winning goals
(2) and in shots (46) in the month of January. At this rate, it would be
surprising if Pacioretty didn’t receive serious consideration for the Bill
Masterton trophy at the season’s end.
17% of 1st Star votes, 23% of 2nd Star votes, 30% of 3rd Star votes.
3 – Carey Price (4-4-1, 2.10 GAA, .923 SV%)
No stranger to this list, Price earned HW Star honours after posting decent
goaltending numbers for the month of January. Statistically speaking, this
was Carey’s second-best month as he helped keep the Canadiens’ meagre playoff
hopes alive, and in spite of playing behind an inexperienced defensive corps,
Price didn’t let more than 3 goals in on any single occasion. Although Price’s numbers may pale in comparison to the league
leaders, it is undeniable that the Canadiens would be residing closer to the
cellar (as close as that may be) without his consistent play.
17% of 1st Star votes, 13% of 2nd Star votes, 17% of 3rd Star votes.
HM – David Desharnais (11GP – 3 Goals – 8 Assists – 11 Points –
When this season began, not many would have envisioned Desharnais firmly
entrenched as the number one centre at this point. Nonetheless, this has
become the truth, and Desharnais equalled his numbers from last month in 3 less
games. Matching Erik Cole’s plus/minus for the team lead (+9), the
diminutive Desharnais led all Canadiens in powerplay points (4) while finishing
second in team scoring with 11 points. Although it is difficult to imagine
Desharnais maintaining his current position as number one centre, he and his offensive skills have
been revelations this year.
3% of 1st Star votes, 20% of 2nd Star votes, 23% of 3rd Star votes.
Thanks to all that voted, and we’ll see you next month!