The 2015 NHL playoffs were full of ups and downs for the Habs who were eventually ousted in the second round by Tampa Bay. Before turning our attention to the offseason, we take one last look at the playoffs with our grades, starting with the goalies and defencemen.
Carey Price – B-: If you look at his numbers, the grade may seem a little harsh but Price’s regular season dominance raises the expectation level. He played well (save for one game) against Ottawa but he never found that groove against the Lightning. It’s unfair to pin this on him given the offensive struggles but what if he found a way to steal a game in that second round series? That really could have changed things.
Stats: 12 GP, 6-5-1 record, 2.23 GAA, .920 SV%, 1 SO
Jeff Petry – A-: For someone who had never played in an NHL playoff game, Petry looked like a seasoned veteran out there. He made the second pairing a lot more of a threat and his skating got the team out of a lot of trouble. There’s no doubt that the Habs would like to re-sign him. However, pretty much every other team will want to come July as well.
Stats: 12 GP, 2 goals, 1 assist, 3 points, +2 rating, 4 PIMS, 27 shots
Tom Gilbert – B+: Yes, he’s soft for his size and position but if you don’t focus solely on that, you’ll note that Gilbert had a pretty good postseason. His offensive contributions were a big surprise, he held his own playing more than half the games on his off-side, and like Petry, he used his mobility to get out of some tough spots. Yes, he had a handful of brutal plays but that can be said about pretty much all Montreal defencemen.
Stats: 12 GP, 2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points, +5 rating, 14 PIMS, 13 shots
P.K. Subban – B: Statistically speaking, he wasn’t bad but Subban had his fair share of ups and downs. He played too individually-minded at times and he coasted too often on the backcheck, and there was that really stupid slash against Ottawa. However, he was pretty much the only defenceman who could help mount any sort of offensive pressure while logging major minutes and overall, there was more good than bad.
Stats: 12 GP, 1 goal, 7 assists, 8 points, +1 rating, 31 PIMS, 36 shots
Greg Pateryn – B-: Short of that one really costly mistake early against Tampa Bay, Pateryn played well in limited minutes. His physical play was quite effective and he made more good decisions than bad with the puck. A few months ago, he was an afterthought but now, he seems to be a lock for at least the #7 spot on the blueline for next season. Kudos to him for making the most of his chance.
Stats: 7 GP, 0 goals, 3 assists, 3 points, +2 rating, 0 PIMS, 6 shots
Nathan Beaulieu – C+: His postseason play resembled that of his regular season efforts. While he played relatively well for the most part, his decision making proved to be problematic on more than a few occasions. As a result, he was stapled to the bench late in the game and didn’t see a whole lot of ice time as the veterans got the benefit of doubt over the youngster.
Stats: 5 GP, 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point, +1 rating, 0 PIMS, 3 shots
Alexei Emelin – C: When he was on, Emelin was really noticeable, clearing the crease well and delivering some timely and punishing hits. When he wasn’t on, he was also really noticeable as a result of bad pinches or giveaways. It was really a microcosm of his season overall; at times he was a legitimate top four option while at others, there was cause for worry when he was out there. That’s something that needs to get fixed up for next year.
Stats: 12 GP, 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points, +1 rating, 10 PIMS, 9 shots
Andrei Markov – C-: His play is proof why you don’t play a 36 year old defenceman nearly 25 minutes a night during the regular season. He looked tired and a step slow in the first round and part of the second before playing better in the final few games. As a result, his offensive contributions which were prevalent during the season (he posted his third highest career point total) were nowhere to be seen. He also has to shoulder a good chunk of the blame for the scuffling PP and the so-so PK, areas that he played big minutes in during the playoffs.
Stats: 12 GP, 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 points, -1 rating, 8 PIMS, 15 shots