November was an up and down month for the Canadiens and the monthly star voting certainly reflects that with the first star being an easy choice and the rest of the team having plenty of highs and lows.
First Star: Brendan Gallagher
Given the quality of his play early this season it should come as no surprise that Gallagher has been voted the first star of the month for the second month running by HabsWorld readers. This time it wasn’t even close, as he garnered 83% of the first place votes.
Gallagher has been Montreal’s most consistent and engaged forward all season and, health permitting, could be on track for a career year. At this point, it’s old news that Gallagher gives his all every shift and provides a much-needed spark, but he’s also grown into a leadership role on the team and leads the Habs with 13 goals on the season.
Stats: 15 GP, 8 G, 2 A, 10 PTS, 5 rating
Second Star: Carey Price
There aren’t many players that can play just five games and still get voted second star, but Carey Price is just that important to the Montreal Canadiens. After starting off the season looking out of sorts and then ending up on IR, Price came back with a vengeance winning five straight (four in November) and playing like his all-world self. When he’s playing like that the Habs can win just about any game and his play and health will be the key to salvaging this season if the team has any hope of making the playoffs.
Stats: 5 GP, 4-1-0 record, 2.00 GAA, .937 save percentage
Third Star: Jeff Petry
Though Petry has been subject to plenty of criticism during his time in Montreal, he has also excelled for stretches during his tenure despite being attached to some questionable partners. In general, he’s been a reliable second pairing defenseman this season, but his play during Shea Weber’s recent injury really stood out. While his traditional numbers, particularly plus/minus, aren’t great there is no doubt that Petry was a rock during that stretch, playing big minutes in all situations and looking strong on the first pair. If he can maintain his play, and the Habs can find a decent fit on his left side, the team defence could be in good shape.
Stats: 15 GP, 2 G, 4 A, 6 PTS, -6 rating
Honourable Mention: Andrew Shaw
While he’s not one to light up the scoresheet, Shaw has been consistently effective this season on a team lacking consistency. His high energy, heart and soul, style is a nice addition to a Habs forward group that still lacks grit and determination at times. Since Claude Julien took over for Michel Therrien, Shaw has been a far more useful player that has managed to be intense and physical without being reckless, giving the team a bit more of an edge when he’s on the ice.
Stats: 15 GP, 6 G, 2 A, 8 PTS, -3 rating