With just two wins in ten games in the opening month of the season, there weren’t many positives for the Habs. However, a handful of players had decent starts to their season, earning them the nod as Montreal’s three stars for October as voted by our readers.
First place votes received five points, second place votes three points, and third place one point.
1st Star: Jake Allen – The Molson Cup recipient also was the clear-cut vote-getter from our readers with over half of the first place votes while being on over 85% of ballots, by far the most of anyone else. With only two wins in eight starts and pedestrian numbers, it was the type of performance from Allen that, on the surface, wouldn’t typically garner him top bidding in a normal month. However, those same numbers also mask how poorly the Canadiens played in front of him; Allen was the only reason that some of those games were close.
Stats: 8 GP, 2-6-0 record, 2.91 GAA, .907 SV%, 1 SO
2nd Star: Jonathan Drouin – In a month where feel-good stories were few and far between, Drouin’s return really stood out. It wasn’t just that he came back but rather that he did so while being one of Montreal’s more dangerous threats offensively, becoming a key cog once again in the process. He was the only other player to be on at least half of the ballots but was left off nearly a third of them, a fairly tough evaluation considering he led the team in scoring for the month.
Stats: 10 GP, 2 goals, 5 assists, 7 points, -5 rating, 8 PIMS, 17 shots
3rd Star: Josh Anderson – Anderson generated plenty of chances as part of Drouin’s line with his speed wreaking havoc for some of Montreal’s opponents. Unfortunately, as was the case for many Habs in October, those chances didn’t lead to many goals. That said, it’s the type of play that if maintained, good things should be coming on the numbers side as the season progresses.
Stats: 10 GP, 2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points, -4 rating, 4 PIMS, 27 shots
Honourable Mention: Mike Hoffman – The newcomer actually appeared on more ballots than Anderson but Anderson had way more top-two votes to earn him the third slot. Hoffman missed the first three games working his way back from an injury that cost him all of training camp but there certainly wasn’t much rust as his shot was an instant weapon for the Canadiens while he provided a bit of a lift on the power play as well. A decent start considering the extra time off.
Stats: 7 GP, 4 goals, 0 assists, 4 points, +1 rating, 2 PIMS, 12 shots