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Although Montreal’s offence scuffled, a strong performance from Charlie Lindgren allowed the team to pick up a pair of critical wins as the Habs look to crawl their way back into the playoff picture.  In Laval, the Rocket had some defensive struggles that proved costly although they were still able to split their two games.

Spotlight Players

Jordie Benn: After really struggling the first few weeks, Benn is starting to look more and more like the player he was when he first joined the Habs late last season.  He isn’t getting burned for over aggression as much and he has held his own taking on a bigger workload although no one’s going to realistically view him as a long-term option alongside Shea Weber.  With Victor Mete’s role diminishing, it’s nice to see Benn pick up a decent chunk of the slack so far.

Jacob de la Rose: He is not exactly taking advantage of his chance to show he’s worthy of a regular roster spot.  This isn’t to say that he is costing the team when he’s on the ice as he isn’t making glaring mistakes or frequently going to the penalty box but he isn’t contributing much of anything either.  The spot is there for the taking with Torrey Mitchell also largely being invisible while Michael McCarron did not play well in his chance either.  This is the time for de la Rose to step up and if he doesn’t over the next few weeks, it’s fair to wonder if he’ll get another chance or if he’ll be traded/waived.

Andrew Shaw: I’ve been critical of him when he has let his emotions get the best of him so I have to give him credit for largely getting rid of that part of his game (so far, at least).  He has been effective alongside Max Pacioretty and Phillip Danault as the player that will battle down low and get to the net; a complementary player like that on Pacioretty’s line is crucial and not many Montreal forwards are willing to do it.  That has made him a lot more valuable compared to last season.

StatPack

Skaters:

# Player GP G A +/- PIMS SOG ATOI
6 Shea Weber 2 0 0 -1 4 2 26:23
8 Jordie Benn 3 1 1 -1 5 1 21:02
11 Brendan Gallagher 3 1 0 -2 0 9 15:38
14 Tomas Plekanec 3 0 1 +1 0 7 18:06
17 Torrey Mitchell 2 0 0 +1 0 3 9:21
22 Karl Alzner 3 0 0 +2 2 1 20:28
24 Phillip Danault 3 0 1 -1 0 3 19:34
25 Jacob de la Rose 2 0 0 E 0 1 6:58
26 Jeff Petry 3 0 1 -1 0 3 25:02
27 Alex Galchenyuk 3 0 0 -3 2 12 15:34
34 Michael McCarron 1 0 0 +1 0 0 6:50
41 Paul Byron 3 0 0 E 0 3 17:00
42 Byron Froese 2 0 0 E 0 1 8:27
45 Joe Morrow 3 0 0 -2 4 6 16:21
53 Victor Mete 3 0 1 +2 0 2 11:28
54 Charles Hudon 3 0 1 -1 2 9 10:23
62 Artturi Lehkonen 3 0 0 -2 2 7 16:38
65 Andrew Shaw 3 1 1 E 0 2 17:35
67 Max Pacioretty 3 2 1 -1 0 20 20:39
88 Brandon Davidson 1 0 0 E 0 2 15:45
92 Jonathan Drouin 2 0 1 -1 0 4 16:12

Goalies:

# Player Record GAA SV% SO
39 Charlie Lindgren 2-1-0 1.65 .950 0

Team Leaders:

Goals: Gallagher/Pacioretty (7)
Assists: Jonathan Drouin (9)
Points: Drouin/Gallagher/Pacioretty (12)
+/-: Benn/Byron/Plekanec (+1)
PIMS: Andrew Shaw (20)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (85)

Laval Report

The week didn’t get off to a good start after Laval blew a three-goal lead to the worst team in the league but they were able to salvage a split of the weekend.

News and Notes:

- With both Charlie Lindgren and Zach Fucale in Montreal, the Rocket signed Etienne Marcoux out of ECHL Indy to a PTO deal.  He becomes the fifth different goaltender to dress for the team this season.

- Although Byron Froese doesn’t count as a veteran under the AHL development rule, his recall to Montreal actually gets rid of the logjam.  Jakub Jerabek falls into the 260-319 GP category as his games played at the pro level at ages 18 and 19 don’t count towards his games played total.  As a result, Laval doesn’t have to scratch any of their veterans for the time being.

- Lines from last game:

Forwards:

Carr – Holland – Terry
Deslauriers – McCarron – Baun
Boucher – Audette – Gregoire
Broll – Petti – Veilleux

Defence:

Taormina – Jerabek
Parisi – Leblanc
Gelinas – Lernout

Results:

November 11: Springfield 6, Laval 4
November 12: Laval 3, Hartford 2 (OT)

StatPack

Skaters:

# Player GP G A +/- SOG PIMS
2 Eric Gelinas 2 0 0 -2 2 0
3 Jakub Jerabek 2 0 3 +3 3 0
5 Tom Parisi 2 0 1 +2 6 0
6 Stefan Leblanc 2 0 0 E 1 0
11 Daniel Carr 2 1 1 +1 6 2
12 Kyle Baun 2 1 0 E 7 0
14 Brett Lernout 2 0 0 -5 4 2
15 Thomas Ebbing 1 0 0 -1 1 2
19 Antoine Waked 1 0 0 E 0 0
22 Chris Terry 2 2 1 E 7 0
23 Niki Petti 2 0 1 E 1 0
24 Daniel Audette 2 1 0 +2 7 2
25 Michael McCarron 2 0 1 E 2 5
27 Peter Holland 2 1 1 -1 6 0
28 Yannick Veilleux 2 0 0 E 4 5
34 David Broll 1 0 0 E 0 0
37 Jeremy Gregoire 2 1 0 -1 5 0
39 Jordan Boucher 1 0 0 E 2 0
40 Matt Taormina 2 0 2 -1 3 0
44 Nicolas Deslauriers 2 0 0 +1 9 4

Goalies:

# Player Record GAA SV% SO
33 Michael McNiven 1-1-0 3.52 .881 0

Team Leaders:

Goals: Carr/Terry (8)
Assists: Matt Taormina (13)
Points: Matt Taormina (15)
+/-: Jakub Jerabek (+12)
PIMS: Yannick Veilleux (24)
Shots: Daniel Carr (46)

Upcoming Schedule:

November 15: Utica vs Laval
November 17: Lehigh Valley vs Laval
November 19: Laval vs Manitoba

Final Thought

Michael McCarron’s performance with Montreal didn’t exactly leave a positive impression and his recent comments after being sent down aren’t going to help things.  He noted that he didn’t understand why his ice time was cut.  Really?  How could he not?  Was he contributing offensively?  No.  Defensively?  Nope.  Was he at least generating chances?  Not really, unless you count taking penalties to hand the opposition power plays as chances.  At some point, if that’s all a player can do, their ice time gets cut and they find themselves out of the lineup.  So what makes this so hard to understand for McCarron?

I get that he’s frustrated with being sent down although it was a decision that was more than justifiable.  He’s had enough tastes of the NHL to not want to go back to riding the buses in the minors.  It has happened enough to him that he should know not to say anything more than the usual cliches after getting sent down.  McCarron also noted that the coaches didn’t sit down with him to explain why he was being demoted.  In reality, did they really need to?  It didn’t really need explaining…at least, to everyone but McCarron.  Hopefully, he will soon come to the realization of the obvious and understand what he needs to do to get back to and stay in Montreal.  He can still be at least a decent fourth liner down the road but he’s running out of chances so he better make the next one count, whenever he gets that opportunity.