With the playoffs seemingly out of reach, the Canadiens continued to fight hard despite the odds, but with the recent pause to the schedule and Montreal’s recent struggles, it’s likely time to plan for an important offseason. This is reflected in the Three Stars, with both youth and veterans represented.
First Star: Tomas Tatar
Despite being a constant presence in the rumour mill, Tatar put up great numbers in February, scoring at a point-per-game clip. He’s been a fixture on this season’s Three Stars and leads the team in scoring with a career-high 61 points in just 68 games. Through all of the noise Tatar has been a true professional and enthusiastic member of the team that brings a solid effort each game. Though he would be missed, as a UFA after next season and with plenty of talent coming on the wings, Tatar may be expendable.
Stats: 15 GP, 4 G, 11 A, 15 PTS, +5 rating
Second Star: Jeff Petry
Petry has been another consistent subject of trade rumours, and as a coveted right-shot defenseman that can move the puck up ice with offensive prowess he would certainly command a hefty return. He’s enjoying another solid season with the Habs, having put up 40 points for the third straight season. Unlike Tatar, who could possibly be replaced in house, trading Petry, who is also a UFA after next season, would leave a gaping hole on the right side of the defence.
Stats: 15 GP, 3 G, 7 A, 10 PTS, -3 rating
Third Star: Nick Suzuki
Suzuki remains one of the few bright spots in what will likely be another lost season for the Canadiens. Though he’s slowed down considerably as of late, his 40 points so far are tremendous for a rookie season and gives the Habs plenty to look forward to. In particular, his development as a top-six centre has given the team plenty of options moving forward as they begin to define roles for the up and coming talent.
Stats: 15 GP, 4 G, 6 A, 10 PTS, -8 rating
Honourable Mention: Max Domi
After an excellent breakout season, Domi has been up and down all year, though he bounced back in February after a terrible slump. His 44 points thus far can only be seen as a disappointment after putting up a surprising 72 last season. There are some inconsistencies in his game but he has proven to be a valuable and passionate member of the club. An RFA at season’s end, his next contract should be a good indicator what the Habs expect from him moving forward.
Stats: 15 GP, 5 G, 5 A, 10 PTS, -1 rating