The second quarter of the season is where things really started to fall apart for Laval. Despite that, a handful of forwards were still quite productive and as a result, there are some top grades up front.
Players must have played in at least 5/19 games to receive a grade.
Chris Terry – A: Terry once again found himself among the league leaders in scoring at the halfway point which is what Marc Bergevin signed him to do. It’s hard to exceed expectations when they’re that high but it’s safe to say he has met them so far. His performance has earned him a shot with the Habs at some point (just like his linemates) but unless they get hit with a few more injuries, he might not get that opportunity.
2nd Quarter Stats: 19 GP, 9 goals, 14 assists, 23 points, -2 rating, 14 PIMS, 72 shots
Nikita Scherbak – A: There was no rust and Scherbak was no worse for wear following the knee injury that he suffered early on with the Habs. He has shown himself to be Laval’s most skilled player on a night in, night out basis. That’s what he needed to do heading into the season and so far, so good…even if his defensive play is still lacking at times.
2nd Quarter Stats: 11 GP, 5 goals, 7 assists, 12 points, -4 rating, 10 PIMS, 26 shots
Adam Cracknell – A: Considering Cracknell was doing next to nothing offensively in Hartford, the fact that he has come in and been productive to the extent that he has been is quite something. He is adapting well to moving back to centre and has shown a scoring touch he has rarely displayed (and some of his goals were of the highlight reel variety). This whole line was easily worthy of an ‘A’ rating.
2nd Quarter Stats: 16 GP, 8 goals, 6 assists, 14 points, -4 rating, 8 PIMS, 37 shots
Jeremy Gregoire – B+: Heading into the season, Gregoire needed to prove he could not only be more than a fourth liner but also become a legitimate contributor for this team. He has done the first part and while the second is still a work in progress, he has taken some nice steps forward in that department. A strong second half would go a long way towards determining whether or not he gets a qualifying offer in June.
2nd Quarter Stats: 16 GP, 2 goals, 6 assists, 8 points, +5 rating, 19 PIMS, 24 shots
Niki Petti – B: Petti has taken advantage of the extra ice time that the injuries and recalls have necessitated and has worked himself into a pretty important secondary player. He has done a decent job defensively while chipping in from time to time as well. For someone that’s on a minor league deal, being able to do that is pretty good.
2nd Quarter Stats: 19 GP, 3 goals, 3 assists, 6 points, -4 rating, 10 PIMS, 21 shots
Jordan Boucher – C+: Boucher has become a favourite of Sylvain Lefebvre who has moved him up in the lineup on several occasions and it seems like he has become Lefebvre’s designated ‘shake things up’ player. All things considered, Boucher has done alright although he is exposed when he is in a top-six spot. He’s a decent player to have as depth on a minor league deal but an entry-level pact shouldn’t be in the cards.
2nd Quarter Stats: 19 GP, 3 goals, 1 assists, 4 points, +5 rating, 6 PIMS, 20 shots
Michael McCarron – C+: I know he hasn’t got to play on that top line and instead has had secondary players on his wing but in his third professional season, McCarron should be able to put a line on his shoulders more often than he has. The Habs need to develop his offensive skills as much as they can while he’s waiver-exempt as he isn’t going to get much opportunity to do so in the NHL down the road.
2nd Quarter Stats: 15 GP, 3 goals, 3 assists, 6 points, -4 rating, 23 PIMS, 26 shots
Yannick Veilleux – C: Veilleux is another player who has seen spot time in the top six but is much better off in the bottom half where he doesn’t become a liability. He has worked himself into a regular role in the lineup but it would be nice to see Montreal’s actual prospects in that bottom six playing ahead of him more often than note.
2nd Quarter Stats: 19 GP, 2 goals, 2 assists, 4 points, -4 rating, 17 PIMS, 27 shots
Markus Eisenschmid – C: After getting off to a good start to the season, an injury derailed things. If you’ve been keeping tabs on Eisenschmid over the years, this has become the norm for him. Unfortunately, he hasn’t played particularly strong since returning and has found himself dropped to the fourth line at times as a result. They need more from him in the second half.
2nd Quarter Stats: 16 GP, 1 goal, 3 assists, 4 points, +2 rating, 6 PIMS, 30 shots
Daniel Audette – C-: Like last year, injuries and recalls forced Audette into what has basically been a full-time top-six role. Also like last season, his production has been frustratingly sporadic. He went an entire month without a point which, for someone with the ice time he has had, is unacceptable.
2nd Quarter Stats: 19 GP, 3 goals, 2 assists, 5 points, -6 rating, 33 PIMS, 33 shots
Kyle Baun – C-: Baun was a pretty useful player early on this season but in recent weeks, he has become more of a depth piece which is not what the Habs were hoping they’d be getting when they brought him in just before the season started. For someone that’s about to hit the market as a Group VI UFA in July, he’s not helping his cause.
2nd Quarter Stats: 19 GP, 1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points, even rating, 8 PIMS, 21 shots
Thomas Ebbing – C-: Ebbing has been used solely on the fourth line and has been mediocre at best when he has been in there. He’s passable as injury depth but he’s better off being in Brampton where he can develop a bit. Adding some extra depth to the AHL roster to allow Ebbing to go down would be a good idea for Bergevin and Rocket GM Larry Carriere.
2nd Quarter Stats: 9 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, -3 rating, 2 PIMS, 4 shots
Antoine Waked – D+: Remember in the preseason where Waked was one of the bright spots and it looked like he had some intriguing upside? It’s time to organize a search party for that player as Waked has seen his role and effectiveness tumble for a while now. He’s an effective energy player but for someone who demonstrated a scoring touch in junior last season, just playing aggressively for a few minutes a game isn’t good enough. Spending time in Brampton where he can log a lot of minutes and play in offensive situations would be very beneficial for his development…so don’t expect it to actually happen.
2nd Quarter Stats: 19 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, -4 rating, 6 PIMS, 11 shots
David Broll – D+: He can hit and he can fight. Unfortunately, Broll is below average in pretty much every other category which has had him relegated to a reserve role for the most part even with the injuries and recalls.
2nd Quarter Stats: 5 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, -1 rating, 9 PIMS, 4 shots
N/A: Daniel Carr (3 GP), Peter Holland (3 GP then traded)