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It looked like the week was going to be a
disappointment for the Habs early on but a late comeback in Boston and a good
effort vs the Rangers led to a strong week overall.  The Bulldogs were only
able to manage a win in three games at home, ending their ever-so-slim hopes at
a playoff spot.  Last season, the reserve list played a big role in the
Habs’ deadline day activity, my Final Thought looks how Marc Bergevin can use
that to his advantage this year.

Cheers
and Jeers

Cheers to…

1) Peter Budaj, who came in cold in a game
where first place in the East was on the line and managed to keep the team in it
long enough for Montreal to win in the shootout.  Coming into any game when
you’re playing once every few weeks is challenging but in this situation, it was
even tougher.  He has done more than enough to earn another start in the
near future.

2) Michael Ryder, who despite playing a
position he seldom has before, has quickly become a catalyst for the offence. 
His hockey sense in the offensive zone is impressive, he simply seems to be in
the right spot at the right time while being ready to shoot the puck.  That
may not seem like much but that’s what the Habs needed and he’s giving them
exactly that.

3) Michel Therrien, for taking full advantage
of what Jeff Halpern can bring to the table.  His specialty is faceoffs so
Therrien has been putting him out there not only with his regular line but also
in late game/late period situations.  It’s always nice to see a specialty
player being used to maximize his strengths.

Jeers to…

1) The powerplay defence pairing of Josh Gorges
and Francis Bouillon.  I wouldn’t mind seeing them out there on a PP late
in a game protecting a lead but not regularly which, prior to the recall of
Nathan Beaulieu, is what we had been subjected to in recent games.  Neither
of these players are comfortable in this role and it has been evident for some
time.  I said this a while back and I’ll note it again, trying Alexei
Emelin on the point with the man advantage is something that should be tested.

2) Max Pacioretty, who it appears needs another
centre ice shot to go in to get him going again.  He has just one goal in
the last twelve games.  The effort level is still there but sooner than
later, the puck needs to bulge the twine.

3) The questionable decision to play Jarred
Tinordi less minutes than fourth liners regularly receive prior to his demotion. 
I get that he isn’t ready yet but did the coaching staff seriously have that
little confidence in him to give him the equivalent of one shift roughly every
six minutes?  That I find a bit hard to believe.

StatPack:

SKATERS


#

Player

GP
G A +/- PIM SH TOI
8 Brandon Prust 1 0 0 E 0 1 14:52
11 Brendan Gallagher 3 2 0 -1 0 8 46:18
14 Tomas Plekanec 3 1 3 +1 0 6 61:19
20 Colby Armstrong 3 0 0 +2 0 2 39:32
21 Brian Gionta 3 0 2 +2 0 7 57:32
24 Jeff Halpern 3 0 0 E 0 2 37:52
26 Josh Gorges 3 0 0 +1 0 1 70:43
27 Alex Galchenyuk 3 0 1 +1 2 5 38:02
32 Travis Moen 3 0 0 -2 5 4 32:15
37 Gabriel Dumont 1 0 0 E 5 2 7:54
40 Nathan Beaulieu 1 0 0 E 0 1 17:17
42 Jarred Tinordi 2 0 0 E 0 1 14:22
45 Michael Blunden 1 0 0 -1 0 1 7:31
51 David Desharnais 3 0 2 -1 0 3 48:40
53 Ryan White 2 0 0 E 0 1 15:04
55 Francis Bouillon 3 0 0 +1 0 1 56:20
67 Max Pacioretty 3 0 1 -1 0 16 50:40
73 Michael Ryder 3 3 0 +1 4 10 57:32
74 Alexei Emelin 3 0 0 -1 2 1 60:10
76 P.K. Subban 3 1 3 +4 4 9 75:08
79 Andrei Markov 3 1 1 -2 0 7 74:55
81 Lars Eller 3 0 1 E 4 3 40:16

GOALIES


#

Player

Record

SV%

GAA
30 Peter Budaj 1-0-0 .933 2.53
31 Carey Price 1-1-0 .941 1.88

SHOOTOUT
– SKATERS

# Player G/ATT
11 Brendan Gallagher 1/1
14 Tomas Plekanec 0/1
27 Alex Galchenyuk 0/1
51 David Desharnais 0/1
73 Michael Ryder 0/1
81 Lars Eller 0/1

SHOOTOUT
– GOALIES

# Player SVS/ATT
30 Peter Budaj 6/6

Scoring
Leaders:

Goals: Plekanec/Ryder (13)
Assists: Markov/Pacioretty/Subban (17)
Points: Michael Ryder (28)
+/-: Brandon Prust (+13)
PIMS: Brandon Prust (81)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (116)

Schedule:

April 1: Carolina vs Montreal
April 3: Montreal vs Philadelphia
April 4: Winnipeg vs Montreal
April 6: Boston vs Montreal

The Dog
Pound

Third period struggles continue to be a problem
for Hamilton.  In their lone win of the week they allowed three goals in
the final frame while in their loss to Rochester, they allowed four unanswered
which proved to be the difference.

News and
Notes:

- Jason DeSantis (personal) remains away from
the team indefinitely.

- Matt Grassi and Dean Ouellet were both
released from their respective tryouts following Saturday’s loss to the
Americans.

- Goaltender Jacob Gervais-Chouinard, who
played with the Sherbrooke Phoenix of the QMJHL, has signed an ATO with
Hamilton.

- Petteri Nokelainen is off to a rough start
after joining the Bulldogs.  In seven games he has yet to record a point
and has a -5 rating.

- Approximate lines from the most recent game:

Forwards:

Belzile – Tenute – Holland
Bournival – Nokelainen – Dumont
Quailer – Vail – Leblanc
Hagel – Ouellet – Stortini

Defence:

Tinordi – Pateryn
St. Denis – Grassi
Merth – Ellis

Results:

March 27:
Hamilton
5, Rochester 3

March 29:
Abbotsford
4, Hamilton 3

March 30:
Rochester
4, Hamilton 2

StatPack:

SKATERS


#

Player

GP

G

A

+/-

SH

PIMS
2 Greg Pateryn 3 1 0 +1 8 4
5 Jarred Tinordi 2 0 1 E 3 0
6 Joe Stejskal 1 0 0 E 1 0
7 Peter Merth 2 0 1 -2 0 2
8 Nathan Beaulieu 1 0 2 +2 2 2
10 Stefan Chaput 1 0 0 +1 0 0
11 Joey Tenute 3 2 1 +1 9 0
12 Zack Stortini 3 0 0 -1 1 0
13 Steve Quailer 2 1 0 +1 3 2
15 Kyle Hagel 2 0 0 -1 0 5
18 Michael Bournival 3 1 0 -2 6 0
20 Louis Leblanc 3 0 3 E 4 2
24 Dean Ouellet 3 0 0 E 0 0
26 Petteri Nokelainen 3 0 0 -2 5 5
32 Frederic St. Denis 3 1 1 E 5 6
37 Patrick Holland 3 0 3 E 13 0
40 Gabriel Dumont 2 1 0 -2 8 2
44 Morgan Ellis 3 1 0 E 3 0
47 Alex Belzile 3 1 2 +1 6 0
49 Phillipe Lefebvre 2 0 1 E 0 0
54 Brady Vail 3 1 1 +2 5 0
61 Matt Grassi 3 0 0 E 2 0

GOALIES


#

Player

Record

SV%

GAA
29 Robert Mayer 1-1-0 .910 3.54
34 Dustin Tokarski 0-1-0 .897 3.06

Scoring
Leaders:

Goals: Gabriel Dumont (16)
Assists: Nathan Beaulieu (19) (Active Leaders: Bournival/Holland with
17)

Points: Gabriel Dumont (31)
+/-: Joonas Nattinen (+6)
PIMS: Zack Stortini (215)
Shots: Louis Leblanc (136)

Schedule:

April 2: Hamilton
vs Oklahoma City
April 5: Hamilton vs San Antonio
April 6: Hamilton vs Texas
April 7: Hamilton vs Houston

Final
Thought

At this time of year, one of the
lesser known parts of the CBA can often come into play, the reserve list (or
50-contract limit).  Teams that are looking to make moves at the deadline
can sometimes be hampered by this.  Look no further than the Habs last year
who were forced to take on Robert Slaney in the Hal Gill trade, or that they
needed to move Andrei Kostitsyn before noon on deadline day in order to claim
Brad Staubitz off waivers from the Wild.  Montreal presently has 46
contracts out of 50 meaning that they shouldn’t be hamstrung this time around.

In fact, they can use this to
their advantage if the opportunity arose.  A few times each year, a fringe
minor leaguer is dealt with a late draft pick for future considerations that
never amount to anything.  The acquiring team gets a free late pick in
essence.  As it stands, there are three teams that are just one contract
under the limit while quite a few others sit at 48.  If I’m Marc Bergevin,
unless the team is planning to add four players between now and Wednesday (which
I can’t see happening), I’d be calling up these teams to see if they’re looking
to make one of these types of trades.  A 7th round pick isn’t much but the
Habs might as well take advantage of their space on the reserve list.  I
suspect Montreal will move a later round pick for a depth player anyways so this
is the type of move that could replenish the loss of that draft choice. 
It’s the type of trade that makes a minor move look huge but it’s smart business
which is why I hope the Habs are casually looking into this while they pursue
more notable trade opportunities.

If you have any questions/comments, please feel
free to drop me a line at [email protected]