The Habs played well this past week but it didn’t translate to much in the way of success as they lost both of their games. In Laval, the Rocket put forth some of their better efforts as of late but unfortunately for them, it didn’t result in too many victories either.
Jonathan Drouin: These fancy, individual high-risk plays look great when they work but they haven’t been working often enough over the course of the season. At some point, it’s incumbent upon him to make some adjustments. With him having the greater defensive responsibilities at centre, he needs to do a better job knowing when to try the tougher play and when to keep it simple.
Artturi Lehkonen: Where has this Lehkonen been all season long? It’s amazing what scoring a goal has done for his confidence as he has been much more aggressive and assertive. It’s too bad that he couldn’t get going earlier but if he can keep this up down the stretch, that should bode well for next season.
Max Pacioretty: I know he’s not the type of player that can carry a line on his shoulders alone in terms of driving the play but considering he’s playing with a rookie (Charles Hudon) and a winger playing out of position at centre (Paul Byron), I’d like to see Pacioretty more involved in the play. Yes, that would also help his trade value but I’m not approaching this from that standpoint. Only so much can be asked of Hudon and Byron in their current spot so it’s up to the captain to find a way to pick up his play as long as this trio remains intact.
Goals: Brendan Gallagher (20)
Assists: Drouin/Galchenyuk (20)
Points: Max Pacioretty (33)
+/-: Nicolas Deslauriers (+9)
PIMS: Andrew Shaw (47)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (198)
Laval responded well in their first game following their thrashing at the hands of the Marlies but they were unable to build on that and finished the week with a 1-1-1 record.
News and Notes:
– On top of losing Matt Taormina, Yannick Veilleux, and Niki Petti last week, Chris Terry missed all three games with a lower-body injury. Meanwhile, Taormina and Petti will miss another 1-3 weeks with their injuries. Noah Juulsen was also out Saturday due to illness.
– David Vallorani was signed to a PTO but the league subsequently rejected the contract, deeming him ineligible since he started the season overseas. In his place, Luc-Olivier Blain, who played a pair of games in St. John’s last year, inked a PTO.
– Lines from last game:
Audette – Cracknell – Boucher
Broll – McCarron – Eisenschmid
Leveille – Ebbing – Gregoire
Waked – Blain – Baun
Gelinas – Leblanc
Parisi – Lernout
Bourque – Petgrave
Goals: Chris Terry (20)
Assists: Matt Taormina (36)
Points: Chris Terry (43)
+/-: Jakub Jerabek (+10)
PIMS: Michael McCarron (80)
Shots: Chris Terry (142)
February 14: Belleville vs Laval
February 16: Hershey vs Laval
February 17: Toronto vs Laval
We just couldn’t go the whole season without a controversy that mentions P.K. Subban. Brendan Gallagher’s comments postgame on Saturday about Subban looking to draw attention to himself wound up drawing all sorts of attention to Gallagher while exposing some friction between the two. Unsurprisingly, any time something negative gets said about Subban, the reaction has largely been negative. However, this is much ado about nothing.
There is no rule that says that teammates have to like each other when they play together and share that admiration when one gets traded away. It’s also well-known that brash and bombastic personalities (which Subban is) rub some people the wrong way; it’s not crazy to think some of his Montreal teammates weren’t a fan of that. So what? Why does this matter? If current Montreal players want to be friends with him off the ice, that’s fine. If they don’t, guess what, that’s also fine. There has been plenty of reaction regarding Gallagher’s comments but I think the appropriate one here is a simple whoop-dee-doo. There are more important things going on surrounding the Habs than this.