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This past week did little to assuage concerns about the Habs as a lack of timely scoring and below average goaltending proved costly in a pair of losses.  Scoring wasn’t a big concern in Laval but they too had goalie woes although they were able to secure a win in one of their two games.

Spotlight Players

Brandon Davidson: I was worried about what he might provide after a lousy (to put it nicely) preseason but he has been a decent replacement for Mark Streit on the third pairing.  He has been burned a couple of times but he is spending time on his off-side as well so that isn’t too surprising.  (On a side note, why is he on his off-side?  Jordie Benn has been used to being on the right for a while now so why not flip them?)  His spot may be in jeopardy with David Schlemko set to return but he has done enough to earn a bit of trust from Claude Julien, something that wasn’t really the case a couple of weeks ago.

Torrey Mitchell: While some have wondered if Ales Hemsky isn’t going to be around much longer, I think Mitchell could be in danger of losing his roster spot soon.  It’s pretty clear that Julien prefers Jacob de la Rose (who also isn’t off to a great start himself) but if someone from Laval makes a push to be recalled, the fact that Mitchell has only been sparingly used makes him a serious consideration to be waived to make room for him.  When he gets his next chance to play (likely at some point on the road trip), he needs to make a much better impression as his opportunities to suit up may be waning quickly. 

Carey Price: It’s more than clear he hasn’t had a good start to the season but I think he’s taking a bit too much of the heat right now.  You can make a case that he may have cost them the Toronto game but with a total of two goals of support in the other three losses, there’s not really much he could have done as it’s hard to win when you can’t average a goal a game.  Perhaps it’s just me trying to look too hard for a positive but I’d rather him struggle now when the rest of the team isn’t firing on all cylinders either.  Neither are bound to last and if the scoring and the goaltending gets on track at the same time, good times will be ahead.

StatPack

Skaters:

# Player GP G A +/- PIMS SOG ATOI
6 Shea Weber 2 0 0 -1 0 5 26:27
8 Jordie Benn 2 0 0 -1 0 5 16:19
11 Brendan Gallagher 2 0 0 -1 0 7 16:23
14 Tomas Plekanec 2 1 0 -1 0 8 15:33
17 Torrey Mitchell 1 0 0 E 0 0 7:51
22 Karl Alzner 2 0 1 E 2 1 19:47
24 Phillip Danault 2 0 0 -1 2 2 13:20
25 Jacob de la Rose 1 0 0 -1 0 0 10:55
26 Jeff Petry 2 1 0 -1 0 3 19:54
27 Alex Galchenyuk 2 1 0 -1 0 4 13:31
41 Paul Byron 2 0 0 -1 0 6 14:09
53 Victor Mete 2 0 0 -1 0 4 19:34
54 Charles Hudon 2 0 1 -1 0 9 16:19
62 Artturi Lehkonen 2 0 1 -1 0 1 17:51
65 Andrew Shaw 2 0 0 -1 2 6 14:32
67 Max Pacioretty 2 0 0 E 0 5 19:26
83 Ales Hemsky 2 0 0 -1 0 0 10:47
88 Brandon Davidson 2 0 0 -1 2 3 14:29
92 Jonathan Drouin 2 1 1 E 0 7 20:51

Goalies:

# Player Record GAA SV% SO
31 Carey Price 0-2-0 3.55 .851 0

Team Leaders:

Goals: 7 tied with (1)
Assists: Alzner/Drouin (2)
Points: Jonathan Drouin (3)
+/-: 7 tied with (-1)
PIMS: Ales Hemsky (8)
Shots: Charles Hudon (20)

Laval Report

Laval’s second week wasn’t as successful as their first as they allowed a whopping 12 goals in just two games to Binghamton but despite that, they still managed to pick up a win.

News and Notes:

- Daniel Carr returned to the team after taking a leave of absence for the death of his father.  With him back on the roster, winger Yannick Veilleux was sent down to Brampton.

- Carr and Chris Terry each recorded hat tricks on Friday against the Devils, becoming the first teammates to do so in the same game since November 8th, 2013.

- Nikita Scherbak suffered a leg injury late on Saturday and is currently listed as day-to-day.

- Lines from last game:

Forwards:

Terry – McCarron – Scherbak
Carr – Froese – Waked
Deslauriers – Audette – Eisenschmid
Gregoire – Petti – Baun

Defence:

Taormina – Jerabek
Gelinas – Lernout
Bourque – Leblanc

Results:

October 13: Laval 8, Binghamton 7 (OT)
October 14: Binghamton 5, Laval 1

StatPack

Skaters:

# Player GP G A +/- SOG PIMS
2 Eric Gelinas 1 0 0 -1 3 0
3 Jakub Jerabek 2 0 0 E 2 0
4 Simon Bourque 1 0 0 -1 1 0
5 Tom Parisi 1 0 0 -2 1 0
6 Stefan Leblanc 2 0 0 -4 0 0
11 Daniel Carr 2 3 0 +2 7 0
12 Kyle Baun 1 0 0 E 2 0
14 Brett Lernout 2 0 0 -1 2 2
17 Nikita Scherbak 2 1 3 E 4 0
18 Martin Reway 1 0 1 -2 2 0
19 Antoine Waked 2 0 0 -4 3 0
21 Byron Froese 2 0 3 E 1 0
22 Chris Terry 2 3 2 -1 11 0
23 Niki Petti 1 0 0 -1 2 0
24 Daniel Audette 2 1 0 -4 5 2
25 Michael McCarron 2 0 0 -2 3 4
26 David Schlemko 1 0 1 +2 3 0
27 Peter Holland 1 0 2 -1 1 0
34 David Broll 1 0 0 E 0 17
37 Jeremy Gregoire 2 0 0 E 1 0
38 Markus Eisenschmid 2 0 1 -1 4 2
40 Matt Taormina 2 1 4 E 7 2
44 Nicolas Deslauriers 1 0 0 -2 1 0

Goalies:

# Player Record GAA SV% SO
30 Zach Fucale 1-0-0 1.79 .900 0
35 Charlie Lindgren 0-1-0 6.94 .737 0

Team Leaders:

Goals: Carr/Terry 32)
Assists: Matt Taormina (6)
Points: Matt Taormina (7)
+/-: Jeremy Gregoire (+3)
PIMS: David Broll (17)
Shots: Chris Terry (18)

Upcoming Schedule:

October 20: Laval vs Wilkes-Barre/Scranton
October 21: Laval vs Bridgeport
October 22: Laval vs Providence

Final Thought

The pitchforks are out in full force for GM Marc Bergevin it seems lately with the latest ammunition being provided by Mark Streit clearing waivers back on Friday.  The argument being made is that he should have seen that his NHL days were all but numbered instead of signing him to replace Andrei Markov.  Here’s the thing though, did he really sign him to replace a top pairing defenceman? 

Streit signed for a guaranteed $700,000, or $50,000 above the league minimum salary plus an extra $300,000 in incentives.  Is that really the contract that a GM gives someone that they expect to be a core contributor?  Hardly.  It’s not even a contract handed to someone that they expect to be a regular in the lineup.  Instead, it’s the contract one gives to a depth player, which is what he was signed to be (with the hopes that he might have enough offence in the tank to help the power play when he was in the lineup).  It’s not as this contract has hamstrung the team in any way as with him now on termination waivers, Streit won’t even be taking up a contract slot.  And it’s safe to infer that there was an expectation that if he didn’t have anything left, the termination route would be the end result so the risk was very low here.

If you’re of the mindset that it’s time for a change at GM, you can make a case without citing Streit’s contract which shouldn’t even be a blip on the radar.  They tried him, it didn’t work, and it’s not costing them anything other than just over $40,000 (assuming they’ve been paying him even with him not reporting to Laval, less if not) when the team has more than $8 million in cap room.  That qualifies under the ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ category, not another move in the line of fireable offences.