The Habs recently passed the three quarter mark of the season which means it’s time for our next round of report cards. Here’s our take on the goaltenders and the defence, where injuries have been taking their toll.
Players must have played in at least 5/21 games to receive a grade.
Mike Condon: B
Having been put in a tough spot, Condon has performed admirably, but he is clearly miscast as a starter, particularly on a club that is built around the best goalie in the game. Condon has shown tremendous heart and has made some miraculous saves, however he also gives too many soft goals and fails to make that one big save the Habs seem to need to win. Seems perfectly suited to the backup role once Price gets healthy.
Stats: 15 GP, 5-8-1 record, 2.51 GAA, .904 Save %
Ben Scrivens: C
Despite being given an excellent opportunity, Scrivens has not been able to supplant Condon as the Habs starter while Price is out. He comes through with the occasional stellar performance, but not nearly often enough. When the Franchise comes back it will almost certainly be an assignment to St. John’s for Scrivens.
Stats: 7 GP, 3-3-0 record, 2.29 GAA, .930 Save %
P.K. Subban: A
Considering P.K. is the Habs best player not named Carey Price – so the best player on the team this year by a mile, it’s pretty unfathomable that he takes so much heat. Sure he makes the occasional mistake, but he’s also the reason the Habs are in the game in the first place. During the third quarter, P.K. was lights out and dominant – so essentially just being his usual self. He’s also one of the least injury prone guys around (at least until the scary incident the other night) and until now has never missed a game due to injury. No one plays more and no one, aside from Price, is more important to the Habs.
Stats: 21 GP 4 goals, 16 assists, 20 points, -4, 32 PIMS, 1 PPG, 53 SOG
Andrei Markov: B+
The General may not be the elite offensive defenseman of his prime years, but he can still pass the puck – his first assists/60 is among the best in the league for defencemen, better than Erik Karlsson for one. He’s clearly lost a step, but Markov’s play improved in the third quarter. He certainly benefits from playing alongside P.K., but his vision and hockey sense still make him a quality defenceman.
Stats: 21 GP, 2 goals, 11 assists, 13 points, -5, 2 PIM, 1 PPG, 27 SOG
Jeff Petry: B
Petry battled hard through a nagging injury this quarter. When healthy, he may be the perfect guy to play behind Subban on the right side. He’s not going to tear it up offensively, though he can contribute at times and he’s big, tough and reliable. That said he was clearly labouring in the third quarter, before finally being shut down to have sports hernia surgery. Terrible news for Petry and the Canadiens, but that’s the way the season has gone. With any luck the club will get a full, healthy season out of him next year.
Stats: 12 GP, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, -8, 2 PIMS, 0 PPG, 23 SOG
Nathan Beaulieu: B
Beaulieu has clearly taken a step forward this year, but he joined the group on the injured list this past quarter. He has shown flashes of what could be to come and is already a top four defenceman. The offensive upside is there as well, though at times recently he has found himself sliding down the depth chart a little bit as Coach Therrien opted to go with Markov on the top pair with Subban. Beaulieu was injured on a bit of a strange play when he was pushed into the goal post to end his quarter on a low note.
Stats: 16 GP, 0 goals, 5 assists, 5 points, -6, 7 PIM, 0 PPG, 18 SOG
Mark Barberio: B
Possibly the best surprise of the season for the club since being called up in December. Barberio provides reliable, mobile minutes on the back end for a bargain basement price. If he maintains this calibre of play, he could be a good option next year.
Stats: 17 GP, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, -1, 2 PIM, 21 SOG
Greg Pateryn: B-
Pateryn has been riding the pine most games, but is starting to draw in more with all the injuries to the top six. He brings a physical, reliable presence to the bottom pair and has shown good character by stepping in when called upon and getting the job done.
Stats: 8 GP, 0 goals, 1 assists, 1 point, -4, 15 PIM, 5 SOG
Tom Gilbert: C+
He was a sure-fire asset to be moved at the deadline before going down for the season with a knee injury. For me this really sums up what kind of season this has been for the Canadiens.
Stats: 9 GP, 1 goal, 0 assists, 1 point, -1, 2 PIM, 5 SOG
Alexei Emelin: C
The third quarter wasn’t a good one for Emelin as he made far too many costly mistakes for a player that only brings defensive qualities to the team. When Emelin is on his game he can be an effective physical defenceman that makes life miserable for opponents. Unfortunately those games don’t nearly often enough.
Stats: 20 GP, 0 goals, 3 assists, 3 points, -7, 14 PIM, 14 SOG
N/A: Victor Bartley (2 GP)