It wasn’t pretty at times but the Habs still had a successful week, taking two of three games to hang on to top spot in the standings. In St. John’s, they too had some rough stretches en route to splitting a weekend series against Boston’s farm team.
Charles Hudon: What a tough break (in more ways than one) with his fractured sternum. Hudon had played relatively well in two of his three appearances and looked primed to get into at least a handful more games on this road trip. He had a chance to make an impression but now this injury has put an end to that as well as potentially cutting any trade value he may have had; a healthy Hudon may have been one of Montreal’s better trade assets at the deadline.
Andrei Markov: Perhaps the talk of him being too old and over the hill should be put aside for now. With his minutes cut, Markov has continued to produce and looks at home on a second pairing with Jeff Petry. (Of course, with him on a hot streak, his minutes have soared again; it would be nice to see that drop back down.) It’s still early in the season and the next few months could very well take their toll but he has been a major bright spot early on.
Max Pacioretty: You know things are getting a little too crazy when him not twirling around the ice for a three stars selection is drawing a lot of attention. Instead of looking for more reasons to hammer on him, maybe the focus should shift towards how he and his line are starting to show signs of turning things around? Not only is that a happier topic, it’s a much more relevant one in the grand scheme of things.
Goals: Alex Galchenyuk (9)
Assists: Andrei Markov (15)
Points: Alex Galchenyuk (22)
+/-: Shea Weber (+18)
PIMS: Andrew Shaw (41)
Shots: Gallagher/Pacioretty (59)
While they struggled at times with their focus, the IceCaps were able to split a pair of games against Boston’s farm team to kick off a three week home stand.
News and Notes:
– The Habs sent Zach Redmond to St. John’s to play in the two games against Providence on Friday/Saturday. He’s expected to rejoin the big club on Monday.
– Through Saturday’s games, 15 players had at least 38 penalty minutes. The IceCaps have four of those (Farnham, Broll, Matteau, and McCarron) while no other team has more than two.
– Lines from last game:
Andrighetto – McCarron – Scherbak
Matteau – de la Rose – Friberg
Farnham – Audette – Eisenschmid
Broll – MacMillan – Gregoire
Hanley – Redmond
Parisi – Johnston
Samuelsson – Lernout
|20||Jacob de la Rose||2||0||1||E||7||0|
Shootout – Skaters:
Shootout – Goalies:
Goals: Charles Hudon (9)
Assists: Mark Barberio (11)
Points: Scherbak/Terry (15)
+/-: Brett Lernout (+7)
PIMS: Bobby Farnham (40)
Shots: Andrighetto/Hudon (41)
November 29: Syracuse vs St. John’s
November 30: Syracuse vs St. John’s
December 3: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton vs St. John’s
December 4: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton vs St. John’s
We’re still in November so it’s way too early to be making any type of ‘statement’ proclamations but I’m certainly tempted to here when it comes to the Habs and this Western road trip. The last few years, this stretch has been a nightmare for the most part but things are different this season. Not only is this trip much earlier in the season, it’s spread out over a much longer period of time (no back-to-backs) and the team is relatively healthy. (Yes, a few players are hurt but none are exactly core players.) The stars have aligned, so to speak, for Montreal to reverse their fortunes and have some success out West. This is a chance for them to really solidify their position in the standings so while it’s still early, this can certainly be called a ‘statement’ stretch for the Canadiens.