During the month of January the Canadiens were powered by their top line in the absence of the stellar goaltending we are all used to. This wasn’t lost on HabsWorld readers as they voted all three members to the three stars for the month. Danault, Pacioretty and Radulov have been getting the job done for weeks, but the question remains as to whether they will stay together as the Habs get healthy and strive to find some balanced scoring.
First Star: Alexander Radulov
It feels like it was only a matter of time before HabsWorld readers voted Radulov the first star of a month. He’s clearly emerged as a fan favourite due to his tenacity, slick skills and strength on the puck- it seems like something happens every time he is on the ice. January saw him put up string numbers at nearly a point a game. At this point it’s becoming clear that he is a must re-sign player for the Habs this offseason or (even better) before.
Stats: 14 GP, 4 G, 9 A, 13 PTS, +1 rating
Second Star: Max Pacioretty
One of the things that’s been happening a lot while Radulov is on the ice is Captain Pacioretty putting the puck in the net. With nine goals over the course of the month and a very strong start to February, Pacioretty finds himself among the league leaders in goals after a sluggish start to the season. He continues to be underrated and is almost criminally underpaid at $4.5 million through the 2018-19 season. That is some serious value for a player who is third in goals (behind only Alex Ovechkin and Joe Pavelski) since 2012.
Stats: 14 GP, 9 G, 3 A, 12 PTS, 0 rating
Third Star: Phillip Danault
Danault has been making Marc Bergevin look like a genius ever since he took over first line centre duties after Alex Galchenyuk went down with an injury. Likely the best surprise the Habs could have asked for this season, he never stops working and as a result continues to exceed expectations. Playing with the first and second stars of the month, he’s been doing plenty of the less glamorous work retrieving pucks and causing mayhem – now the point totals are starting to add up.
Stats: 14 GP, 3 G, 8 A, 11 PTS, +2 rating
Honourable Mention: Shea Weber
Weber looked much more like the player we saw at the beginning of the season during January, bringing stability to the back end. He did a little bit of everything, contributing 10 points, blocking 30 shots and winning yet another NHL hardest shot competition at the All-Star game.
Stats: 14 GP, 3 G, 7 A, 10 PTS, +3 rating