Home ice wasn’t too friendly to the Habs this
past week as they could only muster a single point in a pair of losses to the
top two teams in the Eastern Conference standings. In Hamilton, their home
stand hasn’t got off to a good start either; they only won once in three games.
Speaking of the Bulldogs, Bryan Allen made his debut there over the weekend; my
Final Thought discusses why he probably won’t be there for much longer.
1) Carey Price, who is certainly more than
deserving of his All-Star nod. At the midway point of the season, not only
is he a legitimate All-Star but he’s certainly worthy
of Vezina consideration as well. One concern is that he’s probably playing
too much; don’t be surprised if Dustin Tokarski starts to see a bit more action
in the second half.
2) Improvement, which despite their struggles
the last two games, is something we’ve seen in the standings. The Habs
have five more points at the halfway point this season than they did last.
Attribute that success however you’d like but five points more is always a good
3) Nathan Beaulieu, who is finally putting a
string of consecutive high-quality games together. The offence isn’t there
yet (with more than 50 straight goalless NHL games under his belt, he’s more
than due for a good bounce) but his skating and smart decision making are enough
to move him up in the lineup. The coaches have been saying for a while now
that they’re waiting for him to earn his ice time. He’s doing that right
1) The powerplay. Do I need to
elaborate? It’s really ugly right now.
2) P.K. Subban’s ‘slash’ against Tampa Bay.
Not only did it result in a penalty but it completely changed the flow of the
game. He’s acknowledged that it was a mistake so I won’t pile on much more
but that was a really dumb and costly error.
3) Complaining about All-Star snubs due to
Chicago fans stuffing the ballot. Have we forgotten 2009 already when
Montreal fans were among those who willingly and gleefully stuffed the ballot
(causing a change to how many players get voted in as a result)? That
caused deserving players to not make the cut too. What goes around comes
around. As for there only being one Hab going, I look at that as a
positive, it’s more rest and family time for everyone else. That’s more
important than a glorified shinny game.
Goals: Max Pacioretty (18)
Assists: P.K. Subban (19)
Points: Max Pacioretty (33)
+/-: Max Pacioretty (+22)
PIMS: Brandon Prust (78)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (146)
It hasn’t been the best of starts to a lengthy
home stand for the Bulldogs as they managed just a single win in three games.
As a result of their struggles, they now find themselves tied for 3rd in the
division with Toronto after holding down that spot by themselves for more than a
– Injuries have struck the team hard.
Jarred Tinordi is out indefinitely after getting injured in a fight with Andrey
Pedan, Eric Tangradi is out 3-4 weeks with a hand injury, while Connor Crisp
missed Sunday’s game after getting hit from behind on Saturday. There’s no
word yet on the specifics or a timetable for his return. Meanwhile, Magnus
Nygren’s mystery injury (a cold, flu, upper body, or most likely, the one they
haven’t called it yet, a concussion) continues and there’s no word on when he’ll
be able to return either.
– Mac Bennett’s offence has stalled as of late;
he has no points in his last ten games and has failed to record a point in 14 of
his last 15 contests.
– Mike Condon sits 5th in the AHL in SV% with
an impressive rate of .930. That ranks second among rookie netminders
(behind Anton Forsberg, a Columbus prospect).
– Lines from the most recent game (as a result
of them only playing eleven forwards, the combos were mixed-and-matched
throughout the game):
Bowman – Hensick – Andrighetto
Carr – Hudon – Dumont
Sorkin – de la Rose – Dowell
Nevins – Macenauer
Allen – Drewiske
Bennett – Pateryn
Finley – Dietz
|Jacob de la
Goals: Charles Hudon (11)
Assists: Charles Hudon (23)
Points: Charles Hudon (34)
+/-: Michael Bournival (+6)
PIMS: Joe Finley (99)
Shots: Gabriel Dumont (91)
January 14: Milwaukee vs Hamilton
January 16: Grand Rapids vs Hamilton
January 17: Grand Rapids vs Hamilton
Many fans were jumping for joy (most
figuratively though I suspect a few may have literally jumped) when it was
announced that Bryan Allen was sent to Hamilton. While he did pass through
waivers early in the week, I don’t expect him to be with the Bulldogs for the
When Rene Bourque cleared waivers and was sent
down, he needed some time to get back into playing shape before they could
realistically try to trade him. Allen, prior to suiting up over the
weekend, had last played on December 3rd. Any team that may have been
interested would have wanted to see him work off the rust after sitting for so
long before trying to get him. With him playing three games in less than
48 hours and big minutes in each one, that can now be checked off.
As for motivation for trading him, there’s
plenty of it for Marc Bergevin. While in Hamilton, Allen carries a cap hit
of $2.575 million ($925,000 less than his original cap hit). If they trade
him, the maximum they can retain is half of his original cap hit, or $1.75
million. At the end of the day, they’d save a good chunk of salary and cap
space simply by giving him away and paying him to go. (Or they could trade
him for another underachiever to try to help the current roster like they did
when they got him.)
Come deadline time, any extra money from
dealing him could come in handy so Montreal will likely be pushing to move him
as quickly as possible. Even if they don’t realize financial savings, I
could see Bergevin trying to do right by Allen and move him so he can get back
into the NHL. It may not happen in the next few days or so but
don’t be surprised if we see that he has been dealt sooner rather than later.