The Habs had their first off week of the season largely in part due to some untimely bounces against Florida and Carolina but still managed to pick up three of six points to stay at the top of the standings. In St. John’s, they had a successful end to their road trip, taking three of four games despite having a somewhat depleted lineup.
Nathan Beaulieu: After a decent start to his season, he has tailed off as of late. While he hasn’t brought much offensively to the table yet, I’m not as worried about that as I am about the play in his own zone. He’s never been a defensive specialist but if he wants to take that next step forward, he needs to become most reliable (and more consistent) in his own end. I know Greg Pateryn and Joel Hanley aren’t always the steadiest of players but he has made a few bad mistakes of his own lately.
Tomas Plekanec: I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the lack of criticism he has received for his subpar offensive start. I know he’s doing a good job defensively (and he has been quite sharp at the faceoff dot lately at 62.7% over the last four games) but sooner or later, he needs to provide something at the offensive end. Alex Galchenyuk is stepping in nicely on the top line so for the first time in quite a while, he’s not the go-to guy down the middle. I thought he’d respond well to that but that hasn’t been the case so far.
Alexander Radulov: It’s amazing how much Radulov affects this lineup. His presence really deepens Montreal’s attack, basically allowing them to go three lines deep (with one of Brendan Gallagher/Andrew Shaw on the third line) while his hustle and energy is consistent from shift to shift. His signing was viewed as a risky one but so far, there hasn’t been any sort of risk when Radulov has been on the ice.
Goals: Byron/Galchenyuk/Weber (7)
Assists: Alexander Radulov (13)
Points: Alex Galchenyuk (19)
+/-: Shea Weber (+16)
PIMS: Andrew Shaw (34)
Shots: Brendan Gallagher (50)
After a tough start to their road trip last week, the IceCaps had a much better result in week two, taking three of four games to finish .500 on the trip.
News and Notes:
– St. John’s recalled LW Yannick Veilleux from ECHL Brampton. While he didn’t get into any games with St. John’s, he was pretty much a regular with Chicago (AHL) last season and is off to a strong start with the Beast this year.
– Markus Eisenschmid matched his point total from last season on Saturday against the Marlies. He reached that mark (five) in half as many games as last year.
– Lines from last game:
Matteau – McCarron – de la Rose
Andrighetto – Audette – Scherbak
Farnham – Eisenschmid – Friberg
Broll – MacMillan – Gregoire
Barberio – Samuelsson
Racine – Lernout
Parisi – Johnston
|20||Jacob de la Rose||4||0||2||E||4||0|
Shootout – Skaters:
Shootout – Goalies:
Goals: Charles Hudon (9)
Assists: Mark Barberio (11)
Points: Chris Terry (15)
+/-: Joel Hanley (+5)
PIMS: Stefan Matteau (38)
Shots: Charles Hudon (41)
November 25: Providence vs St. John’s
November 26: Providence vs St. John’s
The decision to start Al Montoya in Carolina on Friday night has conjured up some criticism. While he certainly didn’t have the strongest of games, the logic behind the decision is sound. While Carey Price has played in back-to-backs before and has played 65 or more games three times in his career, the point of signing Montoya was to prevent as much wear and tear on Price during the regular season in the hopes of keeping him fresher. It’s not that Price can’t play back-to-back games, it’s that they don’t want him to. We’re in November and the Habs are in first overall in the standings. There’s no need to run Price in a back-to-back at this stage of the season in the spot they’re in. Even though the end result wasn’t ideal and Price could very well have made the difference, it was still the right call to play Montoya.