The votes are in, and though the Montreal Canadiens didn’t get off to the best of starts, they’ve begun to turn it around thanks in part to the strong play of our October three stars. There were several bright spots during what was a tough month, with some young stars and a reliable veteran helping to right the ship.
First Star: Brendan Gallagher
During a month that started off without much to cheer about, the early resurgence of Brendan Gallagher has given fans and the club something to be excited about. After battling injuries for the past couple seasons he appears to be back to full health and ready to torment opposing defensemen and goalies. Gallagher has been playing in all situations, including the penalty kill, and he remains fearless, going to the net with reckless abandon on a regular basis.
If Gallagher can stay healthy and maintain this level of play it would be a major boost to the Habs’ offensive group and is one of the better value contracts in the league at just $3.75 million per season.
Stats: 12 GP, 4 G, 4 A, 8 PTS, -3 rating
Second Star: Jonathan Drouin
The heavily scrutinized newcomer checks in as the second star in his first month of eligibility. Drouin tied for the Habs monthly scoring lead with Shea Weber and brought offensive skill and flair that the team hasn’t seen on a consistent basis for some time. He’s adjusted well to the first line centre role and though he didn’t mesh all that well with Max Pacioretty at the beginning of the year, a new combination with Artturi Lehkonen and Alex Galchenyuk appears to have serious potential.
Stats: 12 GP, 2 G, 7 A, 9 PTS, -4 rating
Third Star: Shea Weber
The Canadiens’ franchise defenseman has been doing everything for the club in the early going. Weber tied for the team lead in scoring, posting nine points in 12 games, and playing more than 25 minutes a night in all situations. There is no doubt that Weber is a key cog in the Habs’ machine and, though he may not be the flashiest, he remains among the premier players at his position in the league.
While his steadiness and booming shot are clearly valuable it may be his effect in the room and as a leader that is Weber’s most important asset as has been demonstrated by his mentorship of Victor Mete this season.
Stats: 12 GP, 3 G, 6 A, 9 PTS, -4 rating
Honourable Mention: Victor Mete
Speaking of Victor Mete, our readers had him and Philip Danault in a dead-heat for the honourable mention this month, but the 19 year old’s accomplishments couldn’t be ignored. The big surprise from camp has since been told to find a place to live and will remain with the team moving forward. Mete brings elite skating to the Canadiens’ back end, helping to fill a major void, and he hasn’t looked out of place alongside Shea Weber on the first pairing and spending some time on the powerplay.
The Habs appear to have found a good one in the fourth round of the 2016 draft.
Stats: 12 GP, 0 G, 2 A, 2 PTS, -5 rating