Montreal’s struggles continued throughout the third quarter although a handful of forwards managed to earn good grades in the next instalment of our report cards.
Players must have played in 5/20 games to receive a grade.
Brendan Gallagher – A-: The little engine just keeps on going. While Montreal hasn’t played a meaningful game in a while, you wouldn’t know it watching Gallagher. It’s disappointing that his career year is most likely going to be overshadowed by the Habs’ overall struggles but he has been one of the few that has been part of the solution and not the problem.
3rd Quarter Stats: 20 GP, 6 goals, 9 assists, 15 points, -5 rating, 4 PIMS, 79 shots
Max Pacioretty – B+: As much as his struggles in his cold streaks were frequently discussed, Pacioretty did have a nice little run at the beginning of the quarter that warrants a mention, especially considering Montreal’s offensive ineptitude. His knee injury certainly is a lousy end to what has been a tough season overall and it certainly won’t do anything to help his trade value either.
3rd Quarter Stats: 20 GP, 8 goals, 7 assists, 15 points, -1 rating, 10 PIMS, 51 shots
Alex Galchenyuk – B: The game-breaking skillset that he possesses wasn’t all that evident during this stretch of games but he wasn’t invisible like he has been in the past when he’s struggling offensively either. His all-around game is showing signs of improvement at the very least which should bode well for next season.
3rd Quarter Stats: 20 GP, 3 goals, 9 assists, 12 points, -11 rating, 0 PIMS, 47 shots
Paul Byron – B: He’s starting to get exposed in a full-time top-six role but all in all, Byron has done relatively well over the last couple of months. He’s at his best when he can be used more exploitatively but with the injuries the Habs have, that’s not going to happen the rest of this season.
3rd Quarter Stats: 20 GP, 4 goals, 6 assists, 10 points, -2 rating, 6 PIMS, 25 shots
Phillip Danault – B: Danault was playing well before taking the shot from Zdeno Chara that has, for all intents and purposes, ended his season (even though he did come back briefly). His next contract will be an interesting one to keep an eye on this offseason.
3rd Quarter Stats: 5 GP, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, +4 rating, 6 PIMS, 6 shots
Charles Hudon – B-: The night-to-night effort is there which makes it a bit easier to overlook the inconsistency in his production at the very least. Hudon has a good enough shot that he should be scoring more but these are the growing pains of going through a rookie NHL season.
3rd Quarter Stats: 20 GP, 4 goals, 5 assists, 9 points, +1 rating, 10 PIMS, 57 shots
Nikita Scherbak – C+: Scherbak had a few nice moments after being recalled and hasn’t looked out of place when he has played. His shift-to-shift consistency still needs improvement but that’s not all that surprising considering it has been a concern for a while now. With him needing waivers next year, he has a great opportunity to make an impression that he can be a regular next season.
3rd Quarter Stats: 7 GP, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, -1 rating, 2 PIMS, 14 shots
Daniel Carr – C: He didn’t get much of an opportunity out of this segment of games but he wasn’t as noticeable as he was in the second quarter either. Injuries will force Claude Julien to play him down the stretch so this is a good chance for him to showcase himself – not only to the Habs but to other teams around the league as his hold on a roster spot for next year is tenuous.
3rd Quarter Stats: 7 GP, 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 points, even rating, 2 PIMS, 10 shots
Nicolas Deslauriers – C: Unsurprisingly, his offensive outburst from earlier in the year failed to carry over beyond those few weeks, even when he was (questionably) moved into the top six. He’s a serviceable fourth liner that benefits from the enthusiastic Bell Centre statisticians but he also doesn’t need to be an every-game player down the stretch.
3rd Quarter Stats: 18 GP, 3 goals, 1 assist, 4 points, even rating, 12 PIMS, 26 shots
Byron Froese – C: He is being played more than he really should be but to his credit, Froese is doing well enough to stay in the lineup in the eyes of the coaches. He doesn’t make too many big plays but he also doesn’t make a lot of mistakes either. (And being the lone right-handed true centre doesn’t hurt either…)
3rd Quarter Stats: 17 GP, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, -3 rating, 8 PIMS, 19 shots
Logan Shaw – C: He is the definition of the prototypical replacement-level player. Shaw won’t do much that hurts the team but won’t do a lot to help either and that was the case over his first set of games with the Habs. It’s hard to tell if that will be enough to get him a qualifying offer in the summer.
3rd Quarter Stats (MTL only): 13 GP, 2 goals, 0 assists, 2 points, even rating, 4 PIMS, 25 shots
Artturi Lehkonen – C-: While it’s nice that Lehkonen can score against Ottawa, the Habs only play them a few times a year. Call it the sophomore slump if you want but at any rate, it has been an ugly year for Lehkonen. Defensively, he isn’t playing all that poorly but with the team in its current form, they need him to produce as well.
3rd Quarter Stats: 20 GP, 3 goals, 2 assists, 5 points, -6 rating, 8 PIMS, 41 shots
Jonathan Drouin – D+: The overall numbers don’t look terrible but those alone don’t tell the tale. Drouin has been guilty way too many times of casual play and his propensity to only shoot every now and then is disappointing for someone who has as good of a shot as he does. If he doesn’t play well these last few weeks, this could be a rough offseason for him.
3rd Quarter Stats: 20 GP, 4 goals, 8 assists, 12 points, -11 rating, 4 PIMS, 39 shots
Jacob de la Rose – D: To be fair, de la Rose was scratched enough times where it could be suggested he wasn’t given much of a chance but he was pretty underwhelming when he was in the lineup. The Tomas Plekanec trade benefits him more than anyone – if he can’t make a strong impression in these last few weeks, it may be time to move on in the offseason.
3rd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, 0 points, -2 rating, 7 PIMS, 11 shots
N/A: Tomas Plekanec (traded), Andrew Shaw (2 GP)