The Habs got back to their winning ways on home
ice this past week by beating a pair of quality Western Conference opponents.
In Hamilton, the Bulldogs were able to pick up some ground in the standings to
move up to 7th in the West. One of their key players, Sven Andrighetto,
has made a nice first impression with Montreal but my Final Thought looks at why
he’s not likely to stick around despite playing well.
1) Having some success against the West.
With a pair of wins against that conference this past week, the Habs now lead
the East in terms of wins against the West. For the sake of fairness, it
should be noted that Montreal has played more out-of-conference games than any
other team but at the very least, the Canadiens are more than holding their own
against what’s thought of as the superior conference.
2) Manny Malhotra’s assist against Los Angeles.
It’s not that it came on a particularly memorable play or anything but it was
his first point of the season. Malhotra has been a very important player
for the Habs this year in spite of his zeroes across the board so it’s nice to
see him finally pick up a point.
3) Marc Bergevin, for allowing Jacob de la Rose
to play for Sweden at the World Juniors. At first, I was on the fence as
to whether it would be good or not since he’s getting decent minutes with
Hamilton but this may be the last chance for a while for him to play an
offensive role and he can really benefit from that.
1) P-A Parenteau’s lack of offence. In
his last 13 games, he has found the back of the net just once. It’s not as
if he’s picking up a lot of assists to make up for it either as he has just two
in that same time span. Offensive players are often streaky but it’s about
time that this one comes to an end.
2) Michel Therrien’s insistence of playing
Brandon Prust on the 3rd line. After Michael Bournival returned to the
lineup and played well in a win on the 3rd unit, his reward was getting demoted
so that Prust got to move back up. Prust is a grinder on a skill line
while Bournival is a skilled player on a grind line. Something tells me
they could be used more effectively and using Prust 14-15 minutes per game in
the third line role certainly isn’t smart.
3) Not shooting enough. Heading into
Sunday’s games, Montreal sat in a tie for 27th in the league in shots on goal.
Of the teams in the bottom ten in that category, only two (Montreal and Calgary)
currently find themselves in a playoff spot.
Goals: Max Pacioretty (13)
Assists: Desharnais/Subban (14)
Points: Pacioretty/Plekanec/Subban (22)
+/-: Max Pacioretty (+11)
PIMS: Brandon Prust (64)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (112)
It may not have been a winning week for
Hamilton but it was a successful one in the standings nonetheless as the
Bulldogs picked up four of a possible six points.
– Magnus Nygren’s mystery illness continues to
keep him out of the lineup with no timetable for his return. He last
played on November 29th.
– After Montreal’s win on Friday night, Eric
Tangradi was sent back to the Bulldogs. He suited up Saturday for his
first AHL game in three weeks.
– Jake Dowell has just one assist in his last
– Lines from the most recent game:
Hudon – Hensick – Bowman
Carr – Dumont – Thomas
Tangradi – de la Rose – Sorkin
Nevins – Dowell – Macenauer
Bennett – Pateryn
Tinordi – Drewiske
Finley – Dietz
|20||Jacob de la Rose||3||0||0||E||5||0|
Goals: Andrighetto/Hudon (9)
Assists: Charles Hudon (21)
Points: Charles Hudon (30)
+/-: Charles Hudon (+11)
PIMS: Joe Finley (63)
Shots: Gabriel Dumont (77)
17: St. John’s vs Hamilton
December 19: St. John’s vs Hamilton
December 21: Texas vs Hamilton
Sven Andrighetto is off to a nice
start, recording a point in each of his three games. But even though it
was Eric Tangradi who got sent down following Friday’s win against LA, by no
means is he being pencilled in for the foreseeable future even though that seems
to be what a lot of people are hoping for.
Once Lars Eller returns to the
lineup (and by all accounts, he’ll be ready at the end of the Christmas break if
not sooner), there probably isn’t going to be a spot for Andrighetto in the
regular rotation. If Alex Galchenyuk stays at C when that happens, it will
be Eller moving to the wing, quite possibly into Andrighetto’s spot on what
would be an intriguing two-way line with Plekanec and Sekac.
In theory, there could still be an
opening on the third line but Brandon Prust seems to be the guy for that spot.
As a result, Andrighetto’s most likely role would be the 13th forward and if
that’s where he’ll be, there is zero point in keeping him up. Let Tangradi
or Drayson Bowman be the regular scratch as both have been recently so that
Andrighetto can play regularly with the Bulldogs. He has certainly made a
nice impression so far but don’t get your hopes up about his time in Montreal
becoming permanent just yet.