It was yet another nightmarish week for the Habs who lost a pair of games to the cellar-dwelling Blue Jackets. Things weren’t any better for St. John’s as they lost all three of their games as well. Plus, the All-Star Game has come and gone; my Final Thought discusses one planned change that the league may want to rethink now.
Cheers and Jeers
1) Andrei Markov’s milestone. In the first loss to Columbus, he tied Guy Lapointe for second in franchise history for assists by a defenceman (tied for tenth overall including forwards). Yes, he’s not the player he once was but to get to this point is still very impressive. When you’re in the top ten for anything with this franchise, it’s quite the accomplishment.
2) Devante Smith-Pelly finally getting a goal, his first in two months. It’s probably not a sign of things to come but in a week where there was next to nothing positive that happened, this warrants a mention.
3) The end of the month. February can’t be any worse, can it?
1) Losing twice to Columbus. The Blue Jackets aren’t as bad a team as their record shows but they have nothing to play for and had a third string goalie (a decent prospect, yes, but a third stringer right now) in net for both those games. This was a prime opportunity for them to pick up a couple of wins and get some confidence going. Instead, they dug themselves a deeper hole to climb out of. This was a huge opportunity squandered.
2) Ben Scrivens. Speaking of opportunities squandered, he more or less has put a huge dent in any future NHL aspirations he may have had. I was among the ones that thought we’d see him play better as he has had stints where he has been a quality NHL goalie. The team hasn’t given him a ton of support but he hasn’t stepped up either. He may not get many more chances; he better take advantage of any more starts he gets.
3) David Desharnais. Early on, he was playing great and had a big hand in Montreal’s early success. Since then, he has been really quiet. In the last two months (spanning 28 games), he has two goals and four assists. He was on the third line at times in those games but still, as a counted-on point producer that gets ample power play time, this isn’t good enough. No one expects the production level from the beginning of the year but surely there’s a more realistic level between what he did and what he’s getting now.
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Goals: Max Pacioretty (19)
Assists: P.K. Subban (33)
Points: P.K. Subban (37)
+/-: P.K. Subban (+6)
PIMS: P.K. Subban (49)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (195)
All-Star Game Stats:
If Montreal’s week was miserable, St. John’s was, let’s see, horrible. They had three games against teams looking to get ahead of them for the crossover playoff spot and the IceCaps lost all three of them (they weren’t particularly competitive in any of them either). As a result, they now are out of a playoff spot although there is still over two months left in the season.
News and Notes:
– Markus Eisenschmid and Josiah Didier were both injured during the week while Bud Holloway returned to action.
– Morgan Ellis has ten goals this season. In his three years with Hamilton combined, he had a total of, you guessed it, ten.
– After a strong start with the IceCaps, Lucas Lessio has tailed off offensively. He has just one goal and three assists in his last twelve games.
– Lines from last game:
Hudon – McCarron – Andrighetto
Lessio – Scherbak – Holloway
de la Rose – Dumont – Friberg
Gregoire – MacMillan
Hanley – Lernout
Ellis – Dietz
Bennett – Johnston
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Goals: Charles Hudon (14)
Assists: Bud Holloway (24)
Points: Bud Holloway (36)
+/-: Morgan Ellis (+12)
PIMS: Stefan Fournier (65)
Shots: Holloway/Hudon (105)
February 5: Utica vs St. John’s
February 6: Utica vs St. John’s
The All-Star Game has come and gone with John Scott being the unexpected star of the show. The fans all loved him, the players got a kick out of him being there, and as it turns out, he wasn’t completely out of place. He held his own in the Hardest Shot contest and in the mini-games, he picked up a couple of goals (and did something resembling a hit at least). He was the feel-good story of the weekend. So naturally, it only seems fitting that the league has already committed to making sure nothing like this ever happens again by restricting the voting options for next season. Given how this wound up going down, I wonder if they want to rethink that idea.