November was another rough month for the Habs as they weren’t able to shake their early-season funk. Nevertheless, a handful of players stood out amongst the rest, earning the most votes from our readers for our monthly three stars.
1st Star: Jake Allen – How many games did Montreal play last month where you can say the reason for them losing was goaltending? Were there any? Allen did well enough to pick up a few wins and for the most part, kept the team afloat to give them a chance even with the offence firing blanks. Unsurprisingly, he was voted first star on nearly half of the ballots.
Stats: 9 GP, 3-4-1 record, 3.00 GAA, .907 SV%, 1 SO
2nd Star: Artturi Lehkonen – Lehkonen was one of a few Habs to improve their production from October as he wound up being third in scoring for the month. Along the way, he played anywhere from the second line to the fourth (the first line action has come this month) while still playing an important defensive role. It’s a big season for him with his final year of arbitration eligibility on the horizon and more months like this would certainly bolster his value.
Stats: 14 GP, 3 goals, 6 assists, 9 points, even rating, 6 PIMS, 33 shots, 15:05 TOI
3rd Star: Nick Suzuki – In October, Suzuki had a few flashes of top-line production and last month, he had a few more. Yes, there are games where he has been quiet but he’s also 22 and not getting much in the way of support from the veterans. It’s quickly becoming a season of growing pains but Suzuki has done a better job than most at battling through it; he was the only other player besides Allen and Lehkonen to get more than 10% of first place votes.
Stats: 14 GP, 4 goals, 6 assists, 10 points, -7 rating, 2 PIMS, 35 shots, 19:40 TOI
Honourable Mention: Ben Chiarot – Offensively, his numbers dipped a bit but that was to be expected; it’s not as if Chiarot is going to be someone who typically scores a lot of goals. However, with Shea Weber and Joel Edmundson out and Jeff Petry completely out of sorts, the Habs have been asking Chiarot to take on way too big of a role. For the most part, he has handled it reasonably well.
Stats: 14 GP, 2 goals, 0 assists, 2 points, -1 rating, 10 PIMS, 30 shots, 23:38 TOI