The road wasn’t too friendly a place for both the Habs and IceCaps as each team only won one of three games away from home. Fortunately for Montreal, they also picked up a victory at the Bell Centre to end their week on a winning note which is good news for the team but not so great news for Alex Semin’s stay in the doghouse.
Cheers and Jeers
1) The third line which really isn’t the third line anymore (it’s the second). After being on the ice (and having a big hand) in Edmonton’s game winning goal on Thursday, the trio bounced back with six goals in the next two games. No one got benched and the line still responded very well.
2) Paul Byron. He had to wait an awfully long time to get into the lineup but in less than a week, he has made it hard on Michel Therrien to sit him down any time soon. He’s a very good fit on Montreal’s fourth line and penalty kill. There were a lot of questions as to why Montreal picked him up last month. I suspect there aren’t as many now.
3) The winning streak. Yes, it’s over now but it’s still worth a cheer or two…or nine. With a franchise as successful as this one, it’s not often that you see a long-standing record (no more than four straight wins to start a season) not only broken but shattered. It was a start worth remembering for years to come.
1) Penalty killing away from home. Montreal’s fourth best penalty kill percentage masks the fact that the Habs have struggled shorthanded on the road this season, allowing just five goals in 26 chances. Meanwhile, they’re perfect at the Bell Centre thus far so there is a working system in place. They just need to apply it a bit better at opposing arenas.
2) Montreal’s consistent struggles on the Canadian Western road trip. No matter how well the likes of Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver play in any given year, it seems almost automatic that the team will lose two of three when they make their annual trip out there. One of these years that has to change, right?
3) The unlucky last one standing when it comes to not recording a point, Tom Gilbert. The balanced attack of the Canadiens has made it that everyone but the blueliner has managed to record a point in the first month of the season which makes his zero stand out that much more. Let’s see how long it takes for Gilbert to get rid of it.
Goals: Max Pacioretty (7)
Assists: Markov/Subban (11) (Tied for league lead)
Points: Desharnais/Markov/Pacioretty/Subban (12)
+/-: P.K. Subban (+12) (League leader)
PIMS: Torrey Mitchell (20)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (44)
The IceCaps hit the road for a two week road trip and week one didn’t go so well as St. John’s won just one of three games.
News and Notes:
– Nikita Scherbak (undisclosed injury) didn’t play in any of the three games. He is traveling with the team and the issue is not believed to be too serious.
– With Dustin Tokarski on recall, goalie Eddie Pasquale has been recalled from ECHL Brampton as has winger Stefan Fournier. Forward Mark MacMillan has been assigned to the Beast.
– Bud Holloway is tied for the AHL lead in points and assists.
– Lines from the most recent game:
Andrighetto – Hudon – Holloway
Carr – McCarron – Thomas
McNally – de la Rose – Dumont
Gregoire – Eisenschmid – Neilson
Barberio – Dietz
Ellis – Lernout
Hanley – Thrower
|20||Jacob de la Rose||3||0||0||-3||3||6|
Goals: Andrighetto/Holloway/McCarron/Thomas (4)
Assists: Bud Holloway (9)
Points: Bud Holloway (13)
+/-: Charles Hudon (+7)
PIMS: Connor Crisp (25)
Shots: Charles Hudon (32)
November 4: St. John’s vs Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
November 6: St. John’s vs Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
November 7: St. John’s vs Hershey
Alexander Semin’s benching doesn’t really come as a huge surprise but it was still disappointing that he only lasted ten games before finding the press box. What’s really concerning to me though is that it has lasted three games (and counting). Usually when you’re trying to send a message to a player, you drop his ice time first, then maybe give him a game off before getting him back in there. Therrien has bypassed all of that and gone to the more punitive tactic of multiple games and publicly criticizing Semin to the media.
Semin will get his chance again at some point but if he doesn’t respond quickly, then what? If a three (likely more) game sit down doesn’t get him going, does the next one have to be longer since Semin isn’t getting the message? Do the public comments have to be harsher? Therrien isn’t leaving himself a lot of wiggle room here by going this long right off the bat. This really seems like a case of too much, too soon to me. Will it work out? We’ll find out eventually but I’m not holding my breath; it’s not as if it worked with his prior team in Carolina.