While the week started on a high note, it ended on a sour one for the Habs who struggled in their last game before the All-Star break. That’s still better than the IceCaps though as they were no-shows in a pair of crucial games against Toronto.
Sven Andrighetto: His play over the last few weeks will make it tough for Michel Therrien to pull him out when David Desharnais and Alex Galchenyuk return. I’m far from prepared to say he’s turned the corner and figured out how to be a full-time NHL player but he has earned a longer look. He may also be giving himself a bit of trade value in the process, something that couldn’t have been said even a month ago.
Jeff Petry: I’m starting to get a bit worried about some of the mistakes he’s making in his own end. Everyone slips up from time to time but the last little while, it seems like there’s a bad play or two under pressure each game. That can’t be something that happens with consistency, especially since his playing partner in Nathan Beaulieu isn’t the most reliable in the defensive zone either; he’s not the type of blueliner who will be able to mask some of Petry’s miscues.
Carey Price: Although the week ended on a sour note with a bad effort against the Islanders, one encouraging sign this past week was Price’s play. In both games, he looked a lot more like the Price of old instead of the one we saw over the last six weeks. If that can carry over, the Habs will be in good shape for the stretch run.
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Goals: Max Pacioretty (21)
Assists: Alexander Radulov (25)
Points: Max Pacioretty (39)
+/-: Shea Weber (+18)
PIMS: Andrew Shaw (82)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (156)
For the second straight week, the IceCaps played with very little effort and as a result, dropped a pair of important games to the Marlies.
News and Notes:
– Markus Eisenschmid and Stefan Matteau both returned to the lineup. While none of the players on tryout deals have been released yet, it seems reasonable to imagine that one will be let go in the near future as the team is currently carrying 16 forwards.
– As a result of three Albany players withdrawing from the All-Star Game, Chris Terry was named as a replacement player.
– Since getting sent back from Montreal, Nikita Scherbak has failed to record a single point in eight games.
– Lines from last game:
Matteau – M. McCarron – Terry
Hudon – Audette – Scherbak
Veilleux – Farnham – Friberg
Broll – Eisenschmid – Gregoire
Hanley – Lernout
Brouillette – Johnston
Samuelsson – Parisi
Goals: Hudon/Terry (12)
Assists: Chris Terry (20)
Points: Chris Terry (32)
+/-: Markus Eisenschmid (+5)
PIMS: Bobby Farnham (87)
Shots: Chris Terry (73)
February 3: St. John’s vs Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
February 4: St. John’s vs Hershey
February 5: St. John’s vs Hershey
We know that the Habs could use a top six forward and many are salivating at the thought of Matt Duchene. I think Marc Bergevin needs to focus on adding a right hand scoring threat more than another lefty at the moment though. Look at Montreal’s power play. With Brendan Gallagher (who hasn’t been scoring much this year) out of the lineup, Andrew Shaw is their best option for a righty with the man advantage. To put it frankly, Shaw has no real business being on a power play trio, let alone the number one unit.
While Montreal has a bit of balance in terms of their handedness up front (Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn are also right shots), there’s a void in terms of a legitimate scoring threat from that side. Although any improvement would undoubtedly be a welcome one, filling that particular void would go a long way towards balancing out the attack and giving the Habs a dimension they’ve lacked all season long.