Despite the disappointment of an early playoff exit, HabsWorld voters still had their say when it came to picking April’s three stars. Given the meaningless nature of the final few regular season games, the focus was likely on the six game series with the New York Rangers, and it certainly showed when the votes were counted up.
First Star: Artturi Lehkonen
Lehkonen was predicted by many to step up his game when the playoffs got going, and he certainly didn’t disappoint. The rookie was easily one of the clubs best forwards during the series and was also red hot down the stretch in the regular season. Not only did he bring offence to the table, featuring his wicked shot and release, but he also string defensively and demonstrated a maturity beyond his 21 years.
He has the skill and smarts to be a top six winger for the Habs moving forward and was one of the best stories of the season for a club looking for talent up front.
Regular Season Stats: 5 GP, 4 G, 2 A, 6 PTS, +5 rating
Playoff Stats: 6 GP, 2 G, 2 A, 4 PTS, -1 rating
Second Star: Alexander Radulov
Another new addition to the Canadiens’ line up that didn’t disappoint come playoff time, Radulov brought his trademark tenacity and passion while racking up 7 points. This was most on display during Game 2, when he put up 3 points including the massive game winner in overtime to give the Habs life in the series.
While he disappeared at times in the playoffs along with the rest of the team’s offence, he was still the most dangerous offensive weapon in the lineup. His playoff performance further proved his value to the offence-strapped club and they would be well served by bringing him back for an encore.
Regular Season Stats: 4 GP, 2 G, 1 A, 3 PTS, +2 rating
Playoff Stats: 6 GP, 2 G, 5 A, 7 PTS, 0 rating
Third Star: Carey Price
Price got a bit of a rough ride after the playoffs, but it is good to see HabsWorld readers know better. Although he was certainly out-duelled by Henrik Lundquist in the playoffs, the early exit cannot be laid at his feet. If you don’t score, you can’t win and no matter how good Price was (and he was very good) the lack of scoring killed the Canadiens this season. That said, if you have the best goalie on the planet, you want him to win those duels, and this time he came up just a bit short.
Regular Season Stats: 3 GP, 1-2-0, 2.37 G.A.A., 0.905 SV%, 0 SO
Playoff Stats: 6 GP, 2-4-0, 1.86 G.A.A., 0.933 SV%, 0 SO
Honourable Mention: Brendan Gallagher
Gallagher was at his absolute best during the playoff series against the Rangers. He was a trouble-making pain in the neck every game and made life miserable for just about everyone on the other team, all with a smile on his face. This was very encouraging after the trying season he had, and having to bounce back from two major hand injuries in a row. The numbers may not have been great, but Gallagher was back in the playoffs.
Regular Season Stats: 5 GP, 0 G, 1 A, 1 PT, -1 rating
Playoff Stats: 6 GP, 1 G, 2 A, 3 PTS, -3 rating
Thanks for voting!