The three stars for March are a bit of a throwback – the re-emergence of the Danault line has bumped some of the more recent acquisitions off the list, with a rather familiar face joining them in goaltender Carey Price.
First Star: Brendan Gallagher
Gallagher has been on this list too many times to count; he’s the heart and soul of the Canadiens and has a knack for putting the puck in the net as well. He also happens to be one of the best 5-on-5 shot generators in the league, keeping company with the likes of Alex Ovechkin. It took him some time to get going this season, but once he found his groove it seemed like his whole line woke up. With him slated to miss the rest of the regular season due to yet another serious hand injury, it’ll be tough for the Habs to replace his energy and determination.
Stats: 12 GP, 7 G, 4 A, 11 PTS, +10 rating
Second Star: Carey Price
During the month of March, we saw a version of Carey Price that was much closer to the bubble version we were treated to last season. Having a stable backup in Jake Allen can only help, as Price clearly performs better when he gets some rest, and it’s even more important now with Price picking up a minor injury recently. The Habs will only go as far as Price can take them – unlike teams with superstars up front, he needs to be their difference maker come playoff time.
Stats: 9 GP, 6-1-2 record, 1.87 GAA, 0.931 save %
Third Star: Tomas Tatar
Much like his linemates, Tatar got off to a slow start this season, but he’s since returned to the form we’ve been used to seeing. Since his arrival in Montreal. Tatar has 146 points in 187 games played and has been arguably the most consistent scorer on the roster. Like his linemate Phillip Danault, Tatar is a UFA at season’s end and his consistency will be difficult to replace.
Stats: 12 GP, 2 G, 9 A, 11 PTS, +8 rating
Honourable Mention: Phillip Danault
Danault got off to a horrendous start this season but has since picked up the pace and is a main driver for one of the best lines in the league. It’s hard to say which is the “first” line on the Canadiens this season, but Danault’s is consistently one of the best two-way groups in the league and they consistently draw the toughest matchups. He may not be flashy, but if Danault was to walk as a UFA at the end of the season the team would have a massive hole to fill.
Stats: 12 GP, 2 G, 7 A, 9 PTS, +12 rating