Credit must be given where credit is due… Montreal possesses depth this
year unlike any other season in recent memory. It is through this depth, for
which Marc Bergevin is at least partially responsible, that February’s 3 Stars
are almost completely different than those of January. This is a stark
contrast to last season, when the results could have been copy/pasted from
month to month. This month, Peter Budaj, David Desharnais, Lars
Eller, Alexei Emelin, Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gallagher, Josh Gorges,
Andrei Markov, Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec, Carey Price and P.K. Subban all
received votes for the top honours.
#1 – Max Pacioretty (13GP – 6 Goals – 6 Assists – 12 Points – Plus 5
Max Pacioretty has been nicknamed "Wolverine" due to possessing healing
powers similar to the Marvel superhero. Returning sooner than most
expected from an emergency appendectomy, Pacioretty led all Canadiens in goals,
points and shots per game. Having only tallied assists until an odd bounce
beat Cam Ward from the centre line, Max flung the monkey off his back with great
relish, and we fans were treated to the sniping we had grown accustomed to
seeing last year. Pacioretty rekindled his chemistry with pivot
Desharnais, and seems to have found a new complement in Brendan Gallagher, which
has become the de facto number 1 line for the Canadiens. Last, but
not least, Pacioretty was resilient enough to not develop rabies after
allegedly being bitten by Mikael Grabovski.
78% of 1st Star votes, 12% of 2nd Star votes, 7% of 3rd Star votes.
#2 – Brendan Gallagher (11GP – 4 Goals – 1 Assist – 5 Points – Plus 5
With the impact he has on games, one might mistakenly assume that Brendan
Gallagher is 6’3" and 230lbs. This clearly isn’t the case, but Gallagher
seems oblivious to this fact; he comports himself with a much larger presence
on the ice, much to the chagrin of the opposition. With Desharnais’ line
firing blanks early on, coach Michel Therrien promoted the rookie, even with
conventional wisdom questioning the
decision to pair two of Montreal’s "smurfs" together. This second-guessing didn’t
last long, as Gallagher’s net-crashing quickly made the line "click", Erik Cole
undoubtedly precipitated the trade with Dallas. Although more points will
likely come from "Gally", it is noteworthy that 50% of his goals were
game-winners in the month of February.
9% of 1st Star votes, 25% of 2nd Star votes, 20% of 3rd Star votes.
#3 – Carey Price (7-2-2, 1.87 GAA, .925 SV%)
Month after month, it’s become difficult to write anything new about Carey
Price. Yes, he remains the backbone of this franchise. Yes, he gives
Montreal a chance to win almost every single game. Yes, he may have an
addiction to obtaining new and original masks. Jokes aside, Carey had a
terrific month, surrendering more than 3 goals only twice, and recording two
shutouts. Currently leading the league in wins, Price should be a likely
candidate for the Vezina trophy should his performance continue in this matter.
6% of 1st Star votes, 17% of 2nd Star votes, 6% of 3rd Star votes.
HM – David Desharnais (14GP – 4 Goals – 6 Assists – 10 Points – Plus 2
After recording a mere 2 points in the month of January, Desharnais rebounded
in February. His 10 points were second only to Max Pacioretty, and his
play was more reminiscent of what we had seen last season. Gelling well
with Pacioretty and Gallagher, Desharnais’ smart play created numerous chances,
and their line quickly became the top contributors on the scoresheet on most
nights. Although better results could be obtained in the faceoff circle
(currently .475%), Desharnais was a key cog in Montreal’s successes last month.
0% of 1st Star votes, 17% of 2nd Star votes, 13% of 3rd Star votes.
Thanks to all that voted, and we’ll see you next month!