It was a tough week for the Habs as their offence struggled en route to just a single win out of three games. In St. John’s, their offence has also dried up but they fared a bit better. One player who saw time with the IceCaps is Jarred Tinordi; his return to Montreal’s active roster is the subject of my Final Thought.
Cheers and Jeers
1) Daniel Carr. This one’s kind of obvious, isn’t it? Scoring in an NHL debut is an accomplishment in itself. Doing so on your first shot is even better. But when that first shot/goal comes on your first shift, that’s really something. Who knows what type of NHL career Carr will have but no matter what, his first career goal will quite the memory.
2) The penalty kill. Yes, the PK allowed the game winner vs Carolina but the unit still sits second best in the league in terms of killing penalties. Brian Flynn’s shorthanded tally also gave the Habs the share of the league lead in shorthanded goals scored. The numbers: If you cancel out the goals scored while shorthanded against goals allowed, Montreal has allowed a ‘net’ total of just seven shorthanded goals in 28 games this season. Not too shabby…
3) The Washington game. They did lose but they strongly controlled the play against one of the NHL’s best teams. Unfortunately that team happens to be one of the stingier squads in the league. In my opinion it was one of their best efforts of the season. It’s too bad they weren’t rewarded for their efforts; a win there would have made Saturday’s loss a lot easier to stomach.
1) The offence. It’s often said that a team needs three goals to win. Montreal has failed to eclipse two goals in five straight games (they had ‘three’ in the shootout win over the Devils but the ‘third’ goal was awarded because of the shootout, it wasn’t scored in-game). When Carey Price is in net, the team has a chance when scoring just two a night. Mike Condon isn’t an elite goalie though and the offence needs to produce more if they want to have any success without the reigning MVP in the lineup.
2) Overplaying Paul Byron. There’s no denying Byron played well this past week but when the team is struggling to score, playing him more than the likes of Alex Galchenyuk and Lars Eller isn’t the best recipe for success.
3) The benching of Greg Pateryn. I get that in the eyes of the coaches, players like Alexei Emelin and Tom Gilbert haven’t done enough to warrant a benching. But neither has Pateryn. And Therrien himself noted that this week. Yet, Pateryn has sat three straight (and counting). He doesn’t need to play every game (a rotation is fine if not ideal) but if he’s good enough to play according to the head coach, wouldn’t it behove the team to actually play him?
Goals: Max Pacioretty (13)
Assists: P.K. Subban (20)
Points: Pacioretty/Plekanec (25)
+/-: Tom Gilbert (+11)
PIMS: Alexei Emelin (31)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (115)
There were a couple of parallels for St. John’s relative to their NHL parent this past week. Both teams struggled to score and both teams lost to the worst team in their respective leagues on Saturday.
News and Notes:
– Luke Pither was signed to a PTO and picked up his first AHL point since April 7th, 2013. It may be his last for a while though as he was released on Sunday.
– Blueliners Darren Dietz and Mark Barberio returned to the lineup, the first positive injury news the team has had for a while. On the bad side, Nikita Scherbak is a long way away from playing; he’s expected to miss another 6-8 weeks.
– Jarred Tinordi and Dustin Tokarski were both recalled as expected on Sunday. Zach Fucale was returned to the IceCaps.
– Lines from the most recent game:
Hudon – McCarron – Holloway
McNally – Dumont – Fournier
Miceli – MacMillan – Gregoire
Neilson – Pither
Barberio – Ellis
Tinordi – Dietz
Hanley – Lernout
Goals: Charles Hudon (10)
Assists: Barberio/Holloway (17)
Points: Bud Holloway (24)
+/-: Morgan Ellis (+10)
PIMS: Michael McCarron (44)
Shots: Charles Hudon (65)
December 11: Rochester vs St. John’s
December 12: Rochester vs St. John’s
Jarred Tinordi’s conditioning stint in the AHL has come to an end after six games. The question going around is whether or not his play with St. John’s has changed his status within the organization. Count me among those that don’t think this changes much of anything.
First off, Tinordi did play well by all accounts which could be cause for optimism. On the flip side, he’s a fourth year pro that many argue is too good for the minors so for those people, his play shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise. Tinordi was supposed to go down there and stand out (and thankfully, he did). If I’m Marc Bergevin though, a good two week stretch in the minors isn’t really changing my opinion of him as a prospect based on the last three years plus training camp this season.
Unfortunately for Tinordi, the logjam on the back end still exists and he is still #8 in the pecking order. The team can’t find room to play Greg Pateryn much and he has played well in the Canadiens’ lineup when he does get to play. If they do shuffle the deck, it’s likely going to be to get Pateryn in, not Tinordi.
About the only thing this changes is his game readiness in the short-term. A team thinking about acquiring him can feel a bit better about plugging Tinordi into the lineup when they acquire him rather than wondering what’s going to happen from him sitting so long. That doesn’t really up his trade value though, it just takes away a small concern. Is that enough to persuade a team to pony up what Bergevin is asking for Tinordi? I wouldn’t count on it.
At the end of the day, what has really changed? Tinordi is still on the outside looking in when it comes to the depth chart and his presence on the team is still primarily if not solely governed by his waiver status. Other teams know that and will still be trying to wait out Bergevin to get the price to come down. The ‘rust’ is gone…for now. That’s about the only thing that has changed and even that will change back before long as he gets reacquainted with his seat in the Montreal press box.