It’s safe to say that the Habs don’t want to see Boston anytime soon after dropping two more games to them while they only picked up a single win for the week in Washington. Meanwhile, Laval continues to tread water and they are slowly but steadily losing ground on the final playoff spot.
Paul Byron: It’s far too early to say that the Habs are onto something with him at centre but all things considered, he fared relatively well in his first week at that position in quite some time. While he can’t win faceoffs (neither can Charles Hudon who has been taking most of the draws), he’s a responsible defensive player and he has a good sense of when to attack and when to stay back. I don’t think he’s a long-term solution but as a stopgap, they could do worse.
Jacob de la Rose: This was a weird week for him. It started with him getting a chance to show if he has some offensive potential but a screw-up later (in less than half a game), it was back to his usual fourth-line role where he plays less than everyone else. The Habs need to find out if he’s part of their future or if they would be better off trying to replace him in the offseason. In order to learn that though, it would be a good idea for them to actually try him in a different role or two and actually give him a chance to see if he can be more than a fourth liner.
David Schlemko: He’s showing why he hasn’t been deployed as a top-four option in the past. Schlemko has made quite a few boneheaded passes lately and is making Victor Mete look like the seasoned veteran on that pairing. I know he’s on his off-side but that doesn’t absolve him of everything. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Habs try to move him over the next month as he can be replaced with someone else via free agency next summer.
|25||Jacob de la Rose||4||0||0||-1||0||4||10:05|
Goals: Brendan Gallagher (16)
Assists: Danault/Drouin (16)
Points: Max Pacioretty (29)
+/-: Nicolas Deslauriers (+10)
PIMS: Andrew Shaw (47)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (178)
Laval had a chance to make up some ground in the chase for a playoff spot with a home-and-home set against one of the weaker teams in their division in Belleville. However, they were only able to come away with a split.
News and Notes:
– The good news for Jeremy Gregoire is that he returned to the lineup from his lower-body injury. The bad news is that Gregoire managed to get 42 penalty minutes in two games and a likely suspension for instigating a fight after the buzzer on Saturday.
– Chris Terry didn’t play in either game due to a lower-body issue of his own. He may be ready to return this week though. Nikita Scherbak was a late scratch on Saturday after feeling the effects of a blocked shot on Friday. Sylvain Lefebvre said that he should be back in the lineup on Wednesday.
– Eric Gelinas has been productive as of late with nine points in his last ten games. For perspective, he had a total of five points in his first 26 contests.
– Lines from last game:
Audette – Cracknell – McCarron
Veilleux – Eisenschmid – Gregoire
Boucher – Petti – Baun
Broll – Ebbing – Waked
Gelinas – Taormina
Parisi – Juulsen
Bourque – Lernout
Goals: Chris Terry (19)
Assists: Matt Taormina (33)
Points: Chris Terry (41)
+/-: Gregoire/Jerabek (+10)
PIMS: Jeremy Gregoire (68)
Shots: Chris Terry (125)
January 24: Syracuse vs Laval
January 26: Manitoba vs Laval
January 27: Manitoba vs Laval
The Habs picked up Logan Shaw via the waiver wire last week which caught a lot of people by surprise. Despite the injuries to Andrew Shaw and Phillip Danault, the Habs added to opt the new Shaw over calling someone up such as Nikita Scherbak or Adam Cracknell (who quietly has been quite good with Laval and has undoubtedly earned a look with Montreal as well). I’m beginning to get the sense that this won’t be the last claim between now and February 26th.
No one really knows how many players will move in the next month as Marc Bergevin hasn’t given any indication as to how much of this rebuild/retool/reset/insert re-word here is going to be done in-season or how deep it will ultimately go. However, if history is any suggestion, it’s not likely that too many players from Laval will get the opportunity to fill spots down the stretch. Instead, it wouldn’t be surprising to see other depth pieces brought in to allow the prospects to continue to develop as the organization originally intended. That would also allow the Rocket to continue to push for a playoff spot (though adding some players to help them out would really go a long way).
In the meantime, Shaw will get a chance to prove he’s worthy of a qualifying offer from Montreal this summer. Chances are, he won’t be the only Montreal waiver pickup that will be playing for a contract next year when the dust settles on the trade deadline.