Montreal’s offensive woes continue to plague them as they managed just three goals in three losses this past week. Things are a bit better in St. John’s as they split a pair of games against the AHL’s top team. Plus, 2015 is almost over which means it’s time to look back at some of the important Hab headlines over the past calendar year.
Cheers and Jeers
1) Alex Galchenyuk and Daniel Carr. They scored this past week. That alone is worth a cheer at times like this.
2) The Galchenyuk line. Sarcasm aside, the trio of Galchenyuk, Carr, and Lars Eller have played quite well the last little while. Carr is looking more comfortable on his off-wing as well which is nice. There are few bright spots right now but this line is one of them.
3) Jarred Tinordi. For the amount of time he has spent as a healthy scratch this season, for him to come in and even play passable third pairing minutes as he did at the beginning of the week was good to see. With Tom Gilbert out for a bit, he may get to see a few more games before too long.
1) Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec. They’re the offensive catalysts for this team and neither are producing much. Slumps happen – they’ve happened to these two in the past – but at some point, at least one of them needs to get back on track. They’re the leaders up front and it’s time for them to lead both on and off the ice.
2) P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov. The two carry a cap hit of nearly $15 million in large part to be one of the top one-two offensive punches from the back end. They have a combined three goals in 74 games. Their struggles have played a large role in the recent decline of the power play as well. Again, at least one of the two needs to get going and soon.
3) Michel Therrien, for not giving Mike Condon enough nights off. Condon has played in 22 of the last 26 games, equivalent to a near-70 game pace in that stretch. Two of those recent appearances have come in relief of Dustin Tokarski. Knowing that Condon hasn’t really had a heavy #1 workload in the pros, if you’re going to give him a night off, give him the full night off instead of making a goalie switch to try to boost the team while keeping a timeout available. All starters need their rest and Condon does too but Therrien isn’t giving him enough of it.
Goals: Max Pacioretty (14)
Assists: P.K. Subban (23)
Points: Pacioretty/Plekanec (27)
+/-: P.K. Subban (+9)
PIMS: Alexei Emelin (35)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (149)
The IceCaps had a tough test after an extended holiday break with a pair of road games against the AHL-leading Marlies. They wound up splitting the two contests, meaning that St. John’s has handed Toronto four of their eight losses so far this season.
News and Notes:
– Some familiar faces returned to the lineup. Charles Hudon played in his first games after being re-assigned, Michael McCarron was also back after being sent down early in the week, while Jacob de la Rose and Markus Eisenschmid both returned from injuries as well.
– Mark Barberio was recalled to the big club during the third period of Sunday’s win. (No, he wasn’t playing at the time.)
– With the IceCaps in the GTA, they sent Tim Bozon, Angelo Miceli, and Dalton Thrower down to Brampton in time to play on Sunday afternoon. Miceli had four points in a 6-5 OT win. It’s likely that at least two of the three, if not all of them, will be back up before long.
– Lines from last game:
Lessio – Hudon – Holloway
Bournival – McCarron – Dumont
MacMillan – de la Rose – Fournier
McNally – Eisenschmid – Gregoire
Bennett – Dietz
Ellis – Didier
Hanley – Lernout
|20||Jacob de la Rose||2||1||0||-2||3||0|
Goals: Michael McCarron (13)
Assists: Bud Holloway (20)
Points: Bud Holloway (28)
+/-: Morgan Ellis (+8)
PIMS: Michael McCarron (50)
Shots: Bud Holloway (73)
December 30: St. John’s vs Rochester
December 31: St. John’s vs Binghamton
January 2: St. John’s vs Utica
2015 is almost over and there have been quite a few highlights for the year. As is the custom at this time of the year, let’s look back at some of the top storylines for 2015:
MVP and more for Price: Carey Price had a year for the ages. Not only did he set a new team record for wins, he also led the league in that category as well as GAA and save percentage. He was rewarded with a boatload of trophies at the end of the season, including the Jennings, the Vezina, the Hart, and the Lindsay. He also has picked up the Lou Marsh and Lionel Conacher awards (Canada’s best athlete and best male athlete as voted by CP writers, respectively) in recent days.
Habs acquire and re-sign Petry: It was expected that the Habs would look to shore up their back end at the last trade deadline. They did just that, landing the best one available in Jeff Petry who went on to play a big role for them down the stretch and in the postseason. Not as many thought he’d be willing to re-sign and forego free agency but that’s what happened as Marc Bergevin inked him to a six year deal in June.
Prust traded for Kassian: This wasn’t a popular move at the time (although I suspect Prust would really be struggling right now as the Habs play a higher tempo game this year) and considering what has transpired since, it’s even less so now. Kassian was brought in to try to help the right wing. Instead, he got into an early morning accident late in training camp and was sent to rehab. As soon as he was able to return, Montreal waived him. It looks like another (and likely final) chapter to this will be written in the coming days with the team telling him not to bother reporting to the minors after the Christmas break.
Condon’s hot start: After a strong year with Hamilton, it was expected that Condon would be the #2 goalie of the future in Montreal. Not many expected that to happen right off the bat this year but it did. Condon was great in training camp and got off to a fantastic start this season, allowing the team to overcome the first injury to Price. Unfortunately he has slipped as of late but there is still a lot to be encouraged about moving forward. He may not be a future #1 but I think he’d be a nice second option behind Price for a few years.
New look for HabsWorld: Okay, this one isn’t team related but it was a big year for us as we launched our new site back in March, our first change to the site design in almost a decade. We hope you’re enjoying the new look and as always, we thank you for your continued support and wish you a safe and happy New Year.