The week didn’t get off to the best of starts for the Habs but it ended well with the Canadiens winning three in a row after losing to Tampa Bay. In Hamilton, they received some bad news away from the rink while things weren’t any better on the ice as they lost both of their games over the weekend.
Cheers and Jeers
1) The new (old) fourth line of Prust-Malhotra-Weise. At the beginning of the year, this was one of the more dominant fourth trios in the NHL but for varying reasons, they were broken up early and never reunited until recently. They’ve picked up right where they left off and are making a lot of good things happen when they’re out there. This is one unit that needs to stay together.
2) Dustin Tokarski, who finally had a game go his way. Not only did he pick up the win (his first in two full calendar months) but he also allowed fewer than three goals (for the first time in over two full calendar months). On top of that, he had to make a bunch of saves to preserve a one goal third period lead, something that he had struggled at doing lately. He was due for a strong game and he certainly had one.
3) Tomas Plekanec. He quietly has been putting up one of his better offensive seasons in a few years. His two goals this past week gives him 22 on the year, his most since 2010-11 while his 52 points are his most in three seasons. He’s still a bit of a hot-and-cold player when it comes to putting up the points but when you add what he has done with the puck on his stick with what he does on the defensive end and you get a player who hasn’t got anywhere near the respect he deserves.
1) Montreal’s struggles against Tampa Bay. While regular season results aren’t an automatic indicator of playoff success, it is still disheartening to see the team continue to have issues with their most dangerous division rival. The postseason road will likely run through them (in the second round) which means that sooner or later, the Canadiens are going to have to find a way to beat the Bolts. By now, they should at least know what not to do.
2) The bad luck for Montreal’s fourth line centres. Torrey Mitchell looked to have secured the spot, then he goes down with an arm injury (and is still injured). Brian Flynn comes in and he doesn’t even make it through a shift before going down. That opened up a spot for Manny Malhotra and before the week is up, he gets hit in the head resulting in a visit to the quiet room although fortunately he returned. It has been a rough couple of weeks to be the #4 C for the Habs.
3) Devante Smith-Pelly. Remember when the trade was made, there were many fans/media members hyping him up as a potential future top-six forward? It seems to me that in order to be a top six forward, you actually have to produce something once in a while. He has just one assist in thirteen games so far and while he has brought some physical play to the table, he has done little else. He has had ample time to adjust to the new system, it’s time to start making more of an impact.
|25||Jacob de la Rose||4||1||1||+3||2||6||58:32|
Goals: Max Pacioretty (35) – T-4th in NHL
Assists: P.K. Subban (39)
Points: Max Pacioretty (63)
+/-: Max Pacioretty (+40) – 1st in NHL
PIMS: Brandon Prust (128)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (282) – 2nd in NHL
The Dog Pound
It was a rough week on and off the ice for the Bulldogs who got bit hard by the injury bug while also losing both of their games on the weekend.
News and Notes:
– Although the Bulldogs got a bit of good news on the injury front with Mac Bennett returning, they also received a lot of bad news. Davis Drewiske (wrist) is out for the year, Jarred Tinordi (upper body) is out for a minimum of three weeks, and Magnus Nygren (concussion) still isn’t even close to resuming workouts so he too is done for the year. Joey MacDonald also left Sunday’s game.
– As a result of the depleted blueline, both Bobby Shea and David Makowski were recalled from ECHL Wheeling.
– Hamilton signed college forward Brandon McNally to a tryout contract. He spent the past four seasons with Dartmouth and also attended Montreal’s development camp back in July.
– Lines from the most recent game:
Carr – Hudon – Andrighetto
Tangradi – Hensick – Bowman
Sorkin – Dumont – Thomas
Gill – Dowell – Crisp
Allen – Ellis
Finley – Dietz
Bennett – Makowski
Goals: Daniel Carr (22)
Assists: Charles Hudon (37)
Points: Charles Hudon (51)
+/-: Davis Drewiske (+15)
PIMS: Joe Finley (128)
Shots: Carr/Hensick (155)
March 25: Hamilton vs Adirondack
March 27: Hamilton vs Rochester
March 28: Hamilton vs Toronto
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