Despite a tough schedule in February, including a stretch against the Lightning, Jets, Predators and Leafs, the Habs continue to battle for a playoff spot, while relying on solid goaltending and balanced scoring. Here are the players that you voted as the top performers of the month.
First Star: Max Domi
Domi continues to far exceed expectations in his first season as a Montreal Canadien, both in his play at centre and his production. He’s now set career highs in both goals and points, eclipsing the 60 point plateau in early March.
His tenacious and energetic play is reminiscent of Brendan Gallagher at times though he is far more of a playmaker than a shooter, proving to be a tremendous distributor of the puck. While may not be the long-term solution down the middle, his play gives the Habs options and it is clear that he was born to play in the limelight of a big Canadian market.
Stats: 13 GP, 6 G, 9 A, 15 PTS, +9 rating
Second Star: Brendan Gallagher
This season Gallagher has emerged as on the best 5-on-5 scorers in the NHL, with his 26 even strength goals placing him sixth in the league, ahead of guys like Nathan MacKinnon and Connor McDavid.
He reached the 30-goal mark for the second straight year in early March and is now entrenched as an excellent goal scorer on a team that desperately needs goals. Signed for two more seasons at an unbelievable $3.75 million a year, he’s clearly one of the best bargains in the NHL and brings it on every single shift.
Stats: 13 GP, 8 G, 3 A, 11 PTS, +5 rating
Third Star: Carey Price
Though his record was only slightly above the .500 mark for the month of February, his play was a key factor in helping the Habs hang onto a playoff spot for the time being.
Since he took some time off around the All-Star break Price has been among the league’s best goaltenders, looking calm and confident while propping up an at times suspect defensive unit. Given the decline in Antti Niemi’s play and Marc Bergevin’s inability or reluctance to add a more reliable backup option at the deadline, the Habs will likely need to ride Price for the vast majority of the remaining schedule.
Stats: 12 GP, 6-5-1, 2.39 G.A.A., 0.923 save %
Honourable Mention: Andrew Shaw
Shaw has missed some time to injury on occasion this season but has proven to be very valuable when in the lineup adding some sandpaper and scoring touch.
Primarily playing in a top-six role, Shaw does a lot of the dirty work alongside the likes of Domi and Drouin and is on track to hit 20 goals for the first time as a Hab and second in his career. At 27, he’s one of the older members of the offence, signed for a further three seasons, Shaw has the ability to be a difference maker for the Habs.
Stats: 9 GP, 5 G, 4 A, 9 PTS, +7 rating