The Canadiens final quarterly grades for defenceman and goaltenders are now here. The overall grades are good, representative of the team’s fine 110 point season.
Carey Price – Grade: A ; Season Comments. Price faltered only slightly during the 4th quarter, relative to the rest of his Vezina worthy season. I hesitate to even state this considering he still managed 3 shutouts during his last 16 games. It’ll be interesting to see if he garners enough votes for the Hart trophy this season.
4th Quarter Stats: Games 16, Wins 8, Losses 5, OT Losses 3, 3 Shutouts, GAA 1.96, Save Pct .933
Dustin Tokarski – Grade: B ; Season Comments. ‘Ticker’ managed only four starts in the last quarter, but managed to help the team take 4 points. He sometimes has difficulty tracking the puck, both behind the net and in screened situations. For a smaller goalie the latter is common, but the other is a small concern that he will need to work on to improve as Montreal’s backup goalie.
4th Quarter Stats: Games 4, Wins 1, Losses 1, OT Losses 2, GAA 2.75, Save Pct .910
P.K. Subban – Grade: A ; Season Comments. Subban continued a steadily excellent season, playing in every game this quarter and for the season. During the stretch run he was easily the backbone of the defence, playing top minutes most every game, and reliable in all 3 zones. The occasional defensive gaffes decreased in frequency and severity. PK’s shooting frequency increased a little in the 4th quarter.
4th Quarter Stats: 20 Games, 3 Goals, 9 Assists, +5 rating, 8 PIMS, 53 Shots
Andrei Markov – Grade: A- ; Season Comments: The only game Markov missed he was a healthy scratch, near the end of the season. Along with his paired partner Subban, Markov remained a stalwart on defence in the last quarter. Despite earning the second most minutes on defence, he hasn’t shown his age.
4th Quarter Stats: 19 Games, 2 Goals, 9 Assists, +5 rating, 12 PIMS, 25 Shots
Jeff Petry – Grade: B+ ; Season Comments. It took some time for Petry to adjust to a new NHL system. Given he’s played his entire five pro seasons mired in Edmonton, it must have felt like a breath of fresh air after being traded to Montreal. Petry has shown generally good decision making with the puck, but has occasionally been caught while pinching leading to odd man rushes against. While he’s been paired with Tom Gilbert, the two have both played some of their best hockey together. The coaching staff has often juggled the bottom four defencemen so this pairing hasn’t remained together as long as expected unfortunately.
4th Quarter Stats: 19 Games, 3 goals, 4 Assists, -3 rating, 10 PIMS, 23 Shots
Tom Gilbert – Grade: B ; Season Comments: Gilbert showed improvement in the last quarter, particularly after he was paired with Jeff Petry. There were fewer games where Gilbert would perform one or two obvious defensive blunders, but quietly played well otherwise.
4th Quarter Stats: 14 Games, 2 Goals, 1 Assists, +2 rating, 4 PIMS, 17 Shots
Nathan Beaulieu – Grade: B ; Season Comments. When put into the 2nd pairing, Beaulieu responded well in all zones. He’s calmed down from his first few pro appearances in a Habs uniform, conforming to the Habs system. His great skating ability allows him to keep up with most any opposing forward, while not getting caught out of position the few times he does pinch in on offence. When Beaulieu is on the 3rd pairing, for some reason he generally plays less well. His future will be in the top four.
4th Quarter Stats: 17 Games, 0 Goals, 2 Assists, +3 rating, 9 PIMS, 16 Shots
Greg Pateryn – Grade: C+ ; Season Comments. Pateryn has started to adjust to NHL play, and has shown more confidence as a result. The absence of other veterans to injuries has given Pateryn the opportunity for the ice time, and he’s responded well. Despite only playing in half of the games in the 4th quarter, he provided a much needed physical presence on the blueline. When he chooses to check someone he hits them hard and cleanly. His skating is average but with his good ability to read the play, it doesn’t let him get into trouble. He will make it tough for the Habs management to send him through waivers to assign him to the AHL next season, as he should at least be the team’s 6th or 7th defenceman in 2015/16.
4th Quarter Stats: 11 Games, 0 Goals, 0 Assists, +1 rating, 4 PIMS, 6 Shots
Alexei Emelin – Grade: C- ; Season Comments. What has happened to the physical, banging defenceman that Emelin used to be? It still seems that he is either reluctant to lay out an opponent like he used to before his knee injury in April 2013. Or the coaching staff has told him to never hit anyone. Emelin’s ability to cleanly and heavily check the opposition used to represent a solid weapon. Without the ability, or with it purposely curtailed, he remains an average defenceman, one that is not very adept at making a steady pass every time, or consistently making good defensive decisions.
4th Quarter Stats: 13 Games, 1 Goal, 0 Assists, -5 rating, 6 PIMS, 9 Shots