It was an up-and-down week for the Habs but
they did enough to pick up five of a possible eight points to stay atop the
Atlantic Division standings. The Bulldogs also picked up five of eight
points but didn’t make up any ground as they continue to fight for the last
playoff spot in the West. Plus, my Final Thought looks at Greg Pateryn who
is finally getting a chance to make an impression around the league.
1) Brendan Gallagher’s milestone. He
became just the ninth player from the 2010 NHL Entry Draft to surpass the
100-point plateau (in just 184 games). The rest of the fifth rounders (the
round that Gallagher was picked) have combined for all of 36 points in 124
games. It’s safe to say that he’s by far the top selection from that
2) Nathan Beaulieu’s response. Prior to
this past week, he had found himself back on the third pairing with his minutes
cut considerably from where they were in January. Beaulieu responded by playing
some of best (if not the best) hockey of his career and in turn, logged huge
minutes as a reward. Congratulations are also due for his long overdue
first career NHL goal.
3) Max Pacioretty. We all wonder where
the Habs would be without Carey Price but where would they be without Pacioretty?
He’s their leading scorer by a country mile with a knack for timely markers, is
becoming a very well-rounded two-way player in a hurry, and has become a
legitimate leader in the room. Price has overshadowed Pacioretty but if
the winger were to miss any time, his absence would be incredibly difficult to
replace, just like Price.
1) The lack of a supporting cast offensively.
Three forwards scored for the Canadiens in four games this past week. The
top players are doing their job but the lower lines need to pitch in as well.
No one’s expecting the bottom trios to shoulder the load but if the team wants
to take another step forward, a more balanced attack is needed.
2) Returning to a lack of success on the power
play. Since the Habs went a perfect 3/3 vs New Jersey, they have just two
goals with the man advantage in eight games. They were
approaching the league average in PP percentage not long ago but have since
fallen back to 24th overall. Generating more 5-on-4 goals would go a long
way towards getting that more balanced attack.
3) Lars Eller’s offensive disappearance.
The Danish centre has one point in his last 20 games. There are goalies
that have put up better numbers than that. Eller wasn’t expected to
duplicate his playoff performance from last spring but he was expected to be
much better than this. At some point he has to turn it around, right?
Jacob de la Rose
Shootout – Skaters
Shootout – Goalies
Goals: Max Pacioretty (29)
Assists: P.K. Subban (31)
Points: Max Pacioretty (52)
+/-: Max Pacioretty (+33) – 1st in NHL as of games played through
PIMS: Brandon Prust (102)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (227) – 2nd in NHL as of games played through
The week started off strong for the Bulldogs –
who put up seven goals in a game – but they struggled in a pair of crucial
back-to-back contests at Grand Rapids. As a result, they remain just on the
outside looking in at a playoff spot.
– With both Greg Pateryn and Jarred Tinordi
summoned to Montreal, Morgan Ellis is getting another shot with the Bulldogs.
He led all Wheeling blueliners in goals, assists, and points prior to his
– Eric Tangradi missed both games against the
Griffins with an unspecified injury. He’s listed as day-to-day, as is Jack
Nevins who should soon be nearing a return to the lineup.
– Gabriel Dumont’s seven game point streak was
snapped in Saturday’s shutout loss. The captain had twelve points during
– Lines from the most recent game:
Carr – Hudon – Andrighetto
Bowman – Hensick – Macenauer
Sorkin – Dumont – Dowell
Gill – Bakker
Allen – Drewiske
Bennett – Dietz
Finley – Shea
Goals: Carr/Dumont (15)
Assists: Charles Hudon (33)
Points: Charles Hudon (45)
+/-: Davis Drewiske (+16)
PIMS: Joe Finley (103)
Shots: Gabriel Dumont (131)
February 24: Hamilton vs Utica
February 27: Charlotte vs Hamilton
February 28: Charlotte vs Hamilton
March 1: Hamilton vs Utica
With a cap hit that is actually below the
league minimum next season, there are likely to be teams who place some sort of
value on defenceman Greg Pateryn simply in the hopes of trying to save a bit of
cap space. (Montreal could very well be one of those teams depending on
what they do at next week’s trade deadline.) That makes the timing of his
recall all but perfect as now, he has a chance to play third pairing minutes for
a few games and give teams more of a sense as to whether or not he could be a #7
in the league as soon as next year.
Pateryn should have had a look with the big
club last year but didn’t. Based on his play this season, he shouldn’t
have a chance with the Canadiens but now he does. At the end of the day,
it doesn’t really matter when he gets his chance as long as he gets one and
despite being the #6 defenceman, the pressure is on the 24-year-old in a big
way. It’s finally time for him to make an impression and so far, he’s
making a decent one.