Home ice continues to be great for the Habs who have now won ten straight at the Bell Centre to start the year to set a new franchise record. Things weren’t as rosy for St. John’s though who lost both of their games to kick off their road trip.
Sven Andrighetto: After clearing waivers, I was expecting him to really make a mark in his first few games back to send a message that the Habs shouldn’t have waived him and other teams shouldn’t have passed on him. Despite being gifted a top six spot in his first game, he managed to get himself demoted before the end of his second game. He’s not helping his cause.
Phillip Danault: It’s hard not to be encouraged with his first impression at centre this season. He hasn’t missed a beat when he moved up and has actually even looked better on the third line than the fourth. It’s still too early to make any meaningful conclusions but right about now, the trade that brought him in last season looks that much better.
Alex Galchenyuk: While many are impressed with the flashes of skill he’s showing, I’m more impressed with the game-to-game consistency he’s starting to show. That’s one of the elements that is crucial to becoming a legitimate top line player and with the second line struggling to score, it’s even that more important. Now, if only he could win some faceoffs with more consistency…
Goals: Shea Weber (7)
Assists: Galchenyuk/Radulov (11)
Points: Alex Galchenyuk (17)
+/-: Shea Weber (+16)
PIMS: Emelin/Shaw (20)
Shots: Brendan Gallagher (36)
St. John’s second road trip of the season didn’t get off to the start they were looking for as they dropped both games, including one where they had the lead in the final five minutes.
News and Notes:
– St. John’s assigned seldom-used winger Connor Crisp to Brampton of the ECHL to play over the weekend. He was recalled on Monday.
– Nikita Scherbak has 12 points in 14 games this season. Last year, he needed 30 games to reach a dozen points.
– Mark Barberio is tied for the league lead in assists by a defenceman (and is tied for second in points).
– Lines from last game:
Matteau – McCarron – de la Rose
Hudon – Audette – Scherbak
Terry – Eisenschmid – Friberg
Farnham – MacMillan – Gregoire
Barberio – Didier
Samuelsson – Lernout
Parisi – Brouillette
|20||Jacob de la Rose||2||0||0||-2||2||0|
Goals: Charles Hudon (8)
Assists: Barberio/Terry (10)
Points: Chris Terry (15)
+/-: Joel Hanley (+5)
PIMS: Michael McCarron (32)
Shots: Charles Hudon (38)
November 15: St. John’s vs Binghamton
November 18: St. John’s vs Rochester
November 19: St. John’s vs Toronto
November 20: St. John’s vs Toronto
With Phillip Danault impressing in his three games as the third line centre, some are speculating that this could (or should) mark the end of David Desharnais’ tenure in Montreal. That seems a bit too premature to me. For starters, making a decision based on a handful of games is rarely ever a good move. Also, if you take Desharnais out of the equation, the centre depth all of a sudden becomes pretty weak with Brian Flynn (currently injured) and Michael McCarron (currently scuffling in the minors) as the next best in-house options. As much as Desharnais has his limitations, I’m not sure I want to willingly sign up for that situation right now. If they need to free up the money for a bigger acquisition or want to deal Desharnais for another centre, that’s fine. But simply cutting bait with him by tossing him on waivers and hoping he gets claimed (the common sentiment out there currently) isn’t the best way to go just yet. If Danault thrives in the 3rd line centre role for a few months, then it’s something that can be considered but it’s too early to send Desharnais packing for nothing just yet.