While neither the Habs nor the IceCaps will be postseason bound, both squads put forth some of their better performances compared to recent weeks, picking up a pair of wins apiece. One player who didn’t suit up – P.K. Subban due to injury – is seeing his name pop up in trade rumours; my Final Thought discusses why it’s not worth getting worried about.
Cheers and Jeers
1) A nice debut (and recovery) for Charlie Lindgren. His first NHL game against Carolina got off to a memorable start (allowing the first goal on the first shot from a defensive miscue) but Lindgren battled his early nerves and recovered to turn in a fairly strong outing to get the win. That was a nice way to cap his year after a stellar college season.
2) The pair of 30 goal scorers. I didn’t think either of Max Pacioretty or Alex Galchenyuk were going to get to 30, especially with both being two back heading into the season finale on Saturday. While many I’m sure were hoping for the loss, I imagine most were pleased like I was to see both of them get there.
3) Top line chemistry. The line of Brendan Gallagher with Pacioretty and Galchenyuk made some noise in the final couple of weeks of the season. Yes, the games were meaningless in terms of the standings but with the rumblings that Michel Therrien will return, them playing well for several games in a row should be enough to leave a positive impression about keeping that trio together next year. Had they not produced, his argument about them having no chemistry likely would have come back.
1) The John Scott saga. This whole notion that the Habs ‘owed’ him a game is nonsense to me. They owed him nothing but his paycheque which they gave him. 29 other teams deemed him unworthy of a roster spot on several occasions this year. The majority of the fan bases – including Montreal’s until a few weeks ago – wanted no part of him being in the NHL. The fact that he took a prank (the All-Star Game voting) the right way suddenly made him worthy of a roster spot; worthy of going out in a blaze of glory? Hardly. Good for him for sucking it up in the minors and being a positive influence. And I mean that in all seriousness. But there were plenty of other positive influences that were in St. John’s all season that were much more deserving of a feel-good call-up. While it’s true that none of them were ‘owed’ a game, they were much more worthy than Scott was.
2) Making a mountain out of a molehill. Pacioretty’s nomination for the King Clancy Award over P.K. Subban who was certainly a deserving candidate has created another referendum about who is the bigger leader on the team. Let’s not over think it here. Pacioretty getting more votes shouldn’t be an indictment on Subban or anything that he has done. It shouldn’t be fodder to speculate about a divisive dressing room and suggesting it’s a sign they can’t co-exist as leaders on the same team. Can’t they both be well respected by their peers? That’s the overwhelming likely scenario here and unfortunately is the one that is getting the least discussion.
3) Stefan Matteau’s continued drop. After doing very little the last few weeks, he couldn’t get into the lineup at all in the final week. At a time where plenty of youngsters were playing more and more, he earned himself less and less playing time. Talk about ending the season in a lousy way.
Goals: Galchenyuk/Pacioretty (30)
Assists: P.K. Subban (45)
Points: Max Pacioretty (64)
+/-: Brendan Gallagher (+13)
PIMS: P.K. Subban (75)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (303)
Although St. John’s has officially been ousted from playoff contention, that didn’t stop them from picking up a couple of wins over playoff-bound Utica over the weekend, including a 7-1 thrashing on Sunday afternoon.
News and Notes:
– Ryan Johnston, Joel Hanley, and Darren Dietz were all returned to St. John’s. Travis Brown was recalled from Brampton of the ECHL while Simon Bourque signed an ATO to finish the season with the IceCaps. Not surprisingly, Chris Joyaux was released from his ATO as there was no room left for him on the blueline.
– Andrew Yogan was also let go from his tryout deal. After picking up points in five straight games after signing, he went pointless in his final ten.
– Bud Holloway has set a new franchise record for points in a single season, passing former St. John’s captain Jason Jaffray (from their Winnipeg affiliation).
– Lines from last game:
Hudon – McCarron – Scherbak
Friberg – de la Rose – Dumont
Addison – Audette – Holloway
Bozon – MacMillan – Gregoire
Hanley – Dietz
Johnston – Ellis
Parisi – Didier
|20||Jacob de la Rose||2||2||0||+2||8||2|
Goals: Charles Hudon (28)
Assists: Bud Holloway (41)
Points: Bud Holloway (60)
+/-: Daniel Carr (+7)
PIMS: Michael McCarron (91)
Shots: Bud Holloway (176)
April 15: Hartford vs St. John’s
April 16: Hartford vs St. John’s
The rumour mill has been swirling the last few days after a suggestion that the Habs might be considering trading P.K. Subban. While this is certainly scaring many, there is a some logic to the idea of investigating his value.
Personally, I’m of the mindset that no player should ever be truly untouchable. There can be ones that are really, really hard to get (and Subban should be in that class) but anyone should be able to be dealt for the right return. With Subban’s no-move clause set to kick in soon, a responsible GM should have the knowledge of what his market is. That should be the case for every player. It’s called doing your homework. You never know what will happen in trades and free agency, the more information you have, the better set you are to take advantage of whatever’s out there.
To do that though, you have to gauge Subban’s value (or anyone’s value). If Marc Bergevin goes through that process, it’s not an indication that they want to move him or that they feel he’s a bad influence in the room. It’s just being thorough, which is what everyone should want a GM to be. Doing that certainly isn’t worthy of pitchforks or ownership intervention. If they were ever to trade him for a subpar return, that would change but at this stage, it’s not worth getting concerned about.