The week started off well for the Habs but their collapse in Florida will leave the players with a sour taste in their mouths. Sour doesn’t even describe what the IceCaps are feeling after they were trounced in their three games. Plus, my Final Thought takes a closer look at the addition of Charlie Lindgren.
Cheers and Jeers
1) Torrey Mitchell. While I’m among the many that isn’t a fan of playing him in the top six over the youngsters when the season is effectively over, Mitchell is at least doing well in that role and is finishing his year on a high note. That can’t be said for too many other veterans up front.
2) Alexei Emelin. Not only is he playing a ridiculously high amount of minutes because of the injuries, he’s now doing so while shifting between his on and off-side and playing well more often than not. That’s a good way to help the old trade value heading into the offseason.
3) Mike Condon’s first shutout. It has been a tough year for him having been thrown to the wolves, so to speak. Getting a shutout in what will likely be one of his last couple of games of the year is a nice way to wrap up his rookie campaign.
1) Mike Brown’s breakdown vs Detroit. After seeing the penalty kill embarrass itself on a three minute penalty kill, Brown decided it was time to give the Wings up to four more minutes of power play time by trying to pick a fight and then essentially throwing a tantrum when the opponent wouldn’t oblige. What exactly did that accomplish? It gave Detroit the lead. Great thinking there by a player hoping to get a contract for next season.
2) Jacob de la Rose. Last year, he looked like he was close to being a mainstay in the bottom six for years to come. This season, he has been nowhere to be seen most nights to the point where he was a scratch a few times before getting hurt. He had a strong chance to cement a spot for 2016-17 but he has squandered it.
3) Even more injuries on the back end. Nathan Beaulieu comes back and weeks later, he breaks his thumb. Brett Lernout comes up and gets hurt halfway through his first game which makes it seven injured defencemen. I’d say that this is getting ridiculous but it passed that point a long time ago.
|25||Jacob de la Rose||2||0||0||E||0||1||22:08|
Goals: Galchenyuk/Pacioretty (27)
Assists: P.K. Subban (45)
Points: Max Pacioretty (58)
+/-: Brendan Gallagher (+11)
PIMS: P.K. Subban (75)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (289)
Heading into this past week, the IceCaps hadn’t been shut out all season. Now, they’ve been shut out twice as St. John’s managed just a single goal in a trio of losses.
News and Notes:
– Dalton Thrower was recalled from Brampton of the ECHL. With Brett Lernout plus now John Scott and Ryan Johnston up with Montreal, there’s a good chance Thrower will play right away.
– Tough guy Shane Bakker was cleared to return to action and was released shortly thereafter. He has returned to ECHL Wheeling.
– Charles Hudon left Friday’s game after taking a hit from behind. Early reports suggest he’s likely to miss the rest of the season.
– Daniel Audette has been sent to the IceCaps after his QMJHL team was eliminated in the playoffs. Audette will get a few games with the team to help prepare for his first full pro campaign in 2016-17. Jeremiah Addison has also been inked to an ATO after his OHL team was ousted.
– Lines from last game:
Scherbak – Dumont – Holloway
Bozon – Miceli – Friberg
McNally – MacMillan – Gregoire
Yogan – Ward – Ranger
Parisi – Didier
Scott – Ellis
Bennett – Johnston
Goals: Charles Hudon (26)
Assists: Bud Holloway (38)
Points: Bud Holloway (57)
+/-: Daniel Carr (+7)
PIMS: John Scott (85)
Shots: Bud Holloway (170)
April 9: Utica vs St. John’s
April 10: Utica vs St. John’s
The signing of Charlie Lindgren came as a surprise to some. With Zach Fucale already in the system, Hayden Hawkey at the college level, and the addition of Michael McNiven in the summer, it’s understandable to think that there wasn’t a need for another addition. Projecting the situation over the next couple of years though, it’s clear there was a vacancy that needed to be filled. Let’s take a closer look:
2016-17: Price and Condon are signed in the NHL while Fucale is under contract and will be back in St. John’s. McNiven is too young for the AHL while Hawkey isn’t turning pro. Lindgren fits in nicely as an option to split time with Fucale with the IceCaps. Honestly, they could use another goalie to start in the ECHL as well but that one could be on a minor league deal.
2017-18: Price is signed in the NHL while Condon will be a UFA. Fucale’s still signed but ideally isn’t the option to backup Price. McNiven can go to the minors but will likely be ECHL bound to maximize his playing time. Essentially, there were two vacancies for this year (Hawkey is projected to be the starter in college at this time) and Lindgren could potentially fill either of those (assuming he’s still around and that he doesn’t flame out like some top NCAA goalies wind up doing). There is also the threat of the waiver draft to add some uncertainty to the equation.
The comment from Marc Bergevin in the press release was telling. Usually, it’s a fluff piece about how they’re happy to have so-and-so in the organization but calling him the best free agent goalie out there suggests they have high expectations for Lindgren. Looking at the goalie situation in the next couple of years, he’s going to get a good chance to prove his worth. This was a pretty nice pickup for the team.