With the excitement of the trade deadline having passed, it’s now time to
look back at February. Last month, the Habs had several prospects at the
junior and collegiate ranks that had arguably their best month of the year.
In Hamilton, a few players played relatively well although the team continued
its tailspin towards the 15th and last spot in the Western Conference.
1st Star: Sven Andrighetto – Towards the end of January, he was
showing signs that he was turning things around after going through a bit of a
slump and that positive progress carried forward into February. His puck
possession is getting stronger (although he could learn to hang on to it a bit
less still) and he has become one of the few consistent scoring threats that the
Stats: 11 GP, 4 goals, 6 assists, 10 points, -3 rating, 0 PIMS, 34
2nd Star: Greg Pateryn – I must admit, I’m rather surprised
that he hasn’t had a shot with the big club yet. All season long, he has
been their most consistent and reliable defenceman in all facets of the game and
last month was no exception. With it looking like one of Nathan Beaulieu
or Jarred Tinordi staying up regularly with the Habs, Hamilton will be relying
on Pateryn even more down the stretch.
Stats: 11 GP, 3 goals, 4 assists, 7 points, -4 rating, 11 PIMS, 25
3rd Star: Martin St. Pierre – He may have been sat down over
the weekend for a lack of effort but it’s St. Pierre’s production that gets him
the 3rd Star. This is a team that on most nights makes Montreal look like
offensive juggernauts. The captain may not be playing as well as many had
hoped but at least he’s still putting up some points which is more than what a
lot of others have done.
Stats: 11 GP, 2 goals, 7 assists, 9 points, -4 rating, 10 PIMS, 14
Honourable Mention: Maxime Macenauer – Despite being thrust
into a scoring role, something he didn’t even do at the junior level for long
stretches, Macenauer has played reasonably well on the top line. He brings
some defensive stability and with the right wingers often being rotated on that
trio, having more of a two-way presence can be beneficial.
Stats: 11 GP, 2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points, -5 rating, 8 PIMS, 17
1st Star: Tim Bozon (Kootenay, WHL) – Before being felled by
meningitis, the Habs’ 3rd rounder in 2012 was playing his best hockey of the
season by far. He began to take more control in games and was producing at
level comparable to last year when he was a part of one of the best lines in all
of junior hockey. Now, the focus shifts off the ice as we all wish him the
very best as he fights for his life.
Stats: 12 GP, 12 goals, 8 assists, 20 points, +10 rating, 9 PIMS
2nd Star: Charles Hudon (Baie-Comeau, QMJHL) – Hudon was quite
the consistent player in February, collecting at least a point in all but one
game. After starting a bit slow, he has found his comfort zone with the
Drakkar and is now putting up points like the front-line forward that he has
been all season while playing strong in special teams situations.
Stats: 12 GP, 4 goals, 16 assists, 20 points, +5 rating, 14 PIMS, 57
3rd Star: Jeremy Gregoire (Baie-Comeau, QMJHL) – After cooling
off following an unsustainably strong start to the year, Gregoire found his
scoring touch once again in February. The feisty forward is the Drakkar’s
leader in points on the season (among those that have been there all year) and
has more than doubled his production from 2012-13. At this point, he’s
looking like a bit of a steal for a 6th rounder.
Stats: 12 GP, 8 goals, 7 assists, 15 points, +3 rating, 10 PIMS, 54
Honourable Mention: Mark MacMillan (North Dakota, NCHC) – His
junior year with North Dakota didn’t get off to a good start as MacMillan seemed
to struggle with being counted on as a go-to scorer. That all changed last
month. His ten points in February is half of his season total, suggesting
that he has found his stride just at the right time.
Stats: 7 GP, 4 goals, 6 assists, 10 points, +4 rating, 4 PIMS, 13
shots, 4 blocks