After a bounce back month, the HabsWorld voters had much more choice when it came to picking the three stars for March. While a couple of the big guns were quieter, some depth players stepped up on offence, a defenceman made history, and a familiar face was dominant in goal.
First Star: Paul Byron
Byron has been making Marc Bergevin look good ever since he was picked up off waivers early last season, contributing with his great speed and work ethic as a depth player. This season however, he’s making Bergevin look like a genius – Byron has topped 20 goals and 40 points this season, both career highs and good enough for second on the Habs in goals.
His speed is his best weapon, putting teams on their heels and keeping them honest, however he also shown good scoring touch this season and clearly has the smarts to put himself in a position to take advantage.
Stats: 13 GP, 8 G, 3 A, 11 PTS, +12 rating
Second Star: Carey Price
After a couple of sub-par months there can be no question about it – Carey is back and looking as dominant as ever. The coaching change, and perhaps a some rest over the bye week, seems to have rejuvenated Price, who looked as dominant as ever during March, posting nine wins to go along with his sparkling numbers.
When Price is healthy and on his game, the effect can be seen throughout the line-up with the club playing calmer and more confident with their MVP on form. This is nothing but good news for Montreal with playoffs on the horizon.
Stats: 11 GP, 9-2-0,1.63 G.A.A., 0.941 SV%, 0 SO
Third Star: Andrei Markov
The General may not be a quick as he used to be, but he’s as smart as ever and has been quietly brilliant all season for the Habs. The 38 year old made history in March, tying Guy Lapointe for second all-time in Canadiens defenceman scoring, with 572 points. Coach Julien has taken to playing him Shea Weber, giving Montreal a true first pairing on defence – a role that Markov flourished in during the month of March
While the point totals are gaudy this season (though 36 points in 62 games isn’t too shabby) it has become clear how valuable Markov is to the club and the Habs would do well to resign the impending UFA.
Stats: 13 GP, 2 G, 7 A, 9 PTS, +11 rating
Honourable Mention: Brendan Gallagher
HabsWorld readers were torn when it came to voting for the third star this month, resulting in a virtual tie, and Gallagher sure deserved the attention. After battling back from a serious hand injury for the second season in a row, it took him a little while to get going – but he did so in March. Gallagher fired 48 shots on net over the month and seemed much more like his old self, bringing his trademark courage and tenacity to every shift.
While his point totals this year are the worst since his rookie year, when he only played 44 games due to the lockout, there is no discounting the value that he brings to the team.
Stats: 13 GP, 4 G, 6 A, 10 PTS, +6 rating