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Habs' final grades: Forwards
Habs' final grades: Forwards(2010-06-05 21:43 posted by B. La Rose)

With the Habs' year now complete, it's time to sit back and reflect on the season (and playoffs) that was.  Today, the second part of HabsWorld's 2009-10 wrap-up with the player grades for Montreal's forwards.  As was done for the goalies and defencemen, the grades are broken down by regular season and playoff performance.

In order to qualify to be graded, a player must have played in at least 25% of the games during either the regular season and playoffs.  Note that players who played in over 25% of the games but were traded do not appear on this list (D'Agostini and Latendresse).

Forwards:

Mike Cammalleri - Season: B+, Playoffs: A

Streaky is the best way to describe Cammalleri's 2009-10 campaign.  It took him nearly 3 weeks to score his first goal while he didn't score in his final 12 regular season games either.  Between that though, he was the dynamic scorer we all expected him to be.  As for the playoffs, what really can you say, he was phenomenal for the first two rounds, though he did fall off a bit vs the Flyers.  An interesting stat tidbit - Cammalleri played more playoff games this year than in his entire professional career combined.

Stats:
Season: 65 GP, 26-24-50, +7 rating, 16 PIMS
Playoffs: 19 GP, 13-6-19, -6 rating, 6 PIMS

Mathieu Darche - Season: B-, Playoffs: C+

He was one of the few players called up this year that made an immediate offensive impact with 5 points in his first 9 games although he tailed off down the stretch.  Along the way, he impressed the team enough to forego attempting to return him to Hamilton, a sign of how well he played early on.  He was virtually a non-factor in the playoffs, only seeing double digit minutes in Game 1 vs Washington and Game 5 vs Philadelphia.  It'll be interesting to see if he gets offered another two-day deal like the one he was playing on this season.

Stats:
Season: 29 GP, 5-5-10, +2 rating, 4 PIMS
Playoffs: 11 GP, 0-1-1, -1 rating, 2 PIMS

Brian Gionta - Season: A-, Playoffs: A

Easily the most controversial of the UFA pickups in the summer but he quickly proved the naysayers wrong as he became a leader on and off the ice.  It also didn't hurt that he led the team in goals despite missing a quarter of the season.  His scoring prowess continued through the playoffs where he was one of the few who actually made some noise in the 3rd round loss to the Flyers.  The biggest offseason question with him is whether he'll be named captain or not.

Stats:
Season: 61 GP, 28-18-46, +3 rating, 26 PIMS
Playoffs: 19 GP, 9-6-15, -6 rating, 14 PIMS

Scott Gomez - Season: B, Playoffs: B-

Performance wise, he wasn't too bad during the season finishing 2nd on the team in points.  But when you have a cap hit of over $7.3 M and don't surpass the 60 point plateau (with only 12 goals), it has to be considered disappointing.  That being said, I think his underrated playmaking abilities really helped Gionta in particular this year, so he wasn't a waste as many claim him to be.  His playoff performance was a mirror image of the season, not bad, but more was expected.

Stats:
Season: 78 GP, 12-47-59, +1 rating, 60 PIMS
Playoffs: 19 GP, 2-12-14, -6 rating, 25 PIMS

Andrei Kostitsyn - Season: C+, Playoffs: C

He reminds me a lot of ex-Hab Alexei Kovalev - he can make a dazzling play on one shift while causing fans across the world to rip their hair out on the next.  This season was a continuation of his enigmatic career path, full of flashes of brilliance and others of disinterest.  Unfortunately in the playoffs, we mostly saw the latter aside from his 3-goal game vs the Caps in Round 1.  With 1 year left on his contract, some other team may give him a shot hoping that a change of scenery unlocks Kostitsyn's talent.

Stats:
Season: 59 GP, 15-18-33, +1 rating, 32 PIMS
Playoffs: 19 GP, 3-5-8, -1 rating, 12 PIMS

Sergei Kostitsyn - Season: C, Playoffs: C-

He was doomed to fail basically from the start and it was mostly of his own doing.  His sense of entitlement (to an NHL roster spot) did not sit well with anyone in the organization - heck, most fans didn't think much of it either.  He did have some quality games though and became a regular on the PK for a while so his season wasn't a complete waste.  That effort was far from existent in the playoffs though, where more off ice incidents ruled the headlines.  His contract is up and I can't see him coming back next season - a trade would be best for everyone.

Stats:
Season: 47 GP, 7-11-18, +4 rating, 8 PIMS
Playoffs: 5 GP, 0-0-0, E rating, 0 PIMS

Maxim Lapierre - Season: C+, Playoffs: B

To say he was a disappointment the first half the season may be an understatement as Lapierre failed to maintain, let alone build upon his scoring levels from last year while his physical play was inconsistent.  As the year progressed though, he settled into a role and his confidence grew basically each game.  This trend continued into the playoffs where he was at his best while scoring some timely goals as well.  That playoff effort may very well have saved his career with the Habs.

Stats:
Season: 76 GP, 7-7-14, -14 rating, 61 PIMS
Playoffs: 19 GP, 3-1-4, -2 rating, 20 PIMS

Georges Laraque - Season: D, Playoffs: N/A

Since he played more than 25% of the regular season schedule, I'm obligated to mention him here.  He didn't play much and when he did, he didn't bring much to the table; to be frank, did any of us really expect different after last season?  On the plus side, he did score a goal this season, his only one as a Hab.  He'll be bought out this summer at a cap hit of $500,000 for both 2010-11 and 2011-12.  Consider this - Laraque's 1 goal will have cost the team $4 million over a 4-year period.  There's money well spent and then there's this.

Stats:
Season: 28 GP, 1-2-3, -6 rating, 28 PIMS
Playoffs: DNP

Glen Metropolit - Season: B, Playoffs: C-

It was basically a career year for Metropolit who scored more goals than in any other season and if it weren't for a late season injury, he likely would have set a new mark in points as well.  With all of the injuries early on, he stepped up his game, particularly helping out on the PP where he tallied 10 times.  Unfortunately, his late season injury derailed his momentum, rendering him pretty much useless in the playoffs and also likely ending his days with the Canadiens.

Stats:
Season: 69 GP, 16-13-29, -1 rating, 24 PIMS
Playoffs: 16 GP, 0-2-2, -3 rating, 4 PIMS

Travis Moen - Season: C, Playoffs: C

He was brought in to provide some grit and muscle to the Habs and he did just that...for about 2 weeks.  From there, he seemed to catch "Montreal-itis," a disease that seems to suck the life out of most physical/tough guys that join the team from another organization.  The negatives aside, he did play well defensively and on the PK, a trend that continued in the postseason.  Adding another physical player to the team I think would go a long way towards helping Moen rediscover that side of his game once more.

Stats:
Season: 81 GP, 8-11-19, -2 rating, 57 PIMS
Playoffs: 19 GP, 2-1-3, E rating, 4 PIMS

Dominic Moore - Season: B, Playoffs: B

Most people didn't see the point in adding Moore, a 3rd line player to a team seemingly full of 3rd liners.  Some of us (such as me) lamented the fact they acquired him too early, squandering precious cap dollars.  I don't think there's many complainers now though as he was very effective during the season and in the playoffs.  He scored some key goals and played well defensively while winning a lot of faceoffs (at least during the season).  Of all the UFA's, he seems to be the one that almost everyone wants back.

Stats:
Season: 69 GP, 10-18-28, -3 rating, 43 PIMS (With MTL: 21 GP, 2-9-11, +4 rating, 8 PIMS)
Playoffs: 19 GP, 4-1-5, +1 rating, 6 PIMS

Max Pacioretty - Season: C, Playoffs: N/A

It was supposed to be a breakout year for the former 1st rounder but it just never materialized, despite more opportunities than most people would've liked to see.  Like Moen, the physical game wasn't always there and his offensive game clearly wasn't up to NHL standards.  The good news was that he was sent down to work on his game, the bad news was that multiple injuries pretty much prevented that from happening.  Next year, he may be handed a spot again but the jury's still out on whether his limited time in Hamilton will make him ready.

Stats:
Season: 52 GP, 3-11-14, -5 rating, 20 PIMS
Playoffs: DNP

Tomas Plekanec - Season: A, Playoffs: B-

He was a bright spot this season establishing a new career high in points, quickly making some forget about his subpar 39 point effort last year.  Even better was the fact that his defensive game didn't slip despite the offensive improvements.  However, his playoff performance, aside from a good series vs the Caps was merely adequate at best which isn't too good when you're the team's top point producer.  His contract situation will be one of, if not the most intriguing storyline between now and July 1st.

Stats:
Season: 82 GP, 25-45-70, +5 rating, 50 PIMS
Playoffs: 19 GP, 4-7-11, -4 rating, 20 PIMS

Benoit Pouliot - Season: B+, Playoffs: C-

When he came to the Habs, he was a scoring revelation, finally, a large-ish (6'2) forward with a scoring touch.  However, an injury seemed to eliminate his momentum (haven't I said this about half the team already?) as he wasn't the same late in the year.  This continued into the playoffs where his offensive game completely vanished though to his credit, he at least picked up the physical play.  If there's one good thing about these struggles, it's that it should hold his contract demands for next season down.

Stats:
Season: 53 GP, 17-11-28, +8 rating, 43 PIMS (With MTL: 39 GP, 15-9-24, +8 rating, 31 PIMS)
Playoffs: 18 GP, 0-2-2, -5 rating, 6 PIMS

Tom Pyatt - Season: B, Playoffs: B

Thought by many to be merely a minor league throw-in as part of the Gomez deal but he turned some heads in training camp and improved from there.  Offensively, he was pretty much non-existent but defensively, he fit in right away, earning the trust of the coaching staff in a hurry.  In the playoffs, he played with a lot more confidence, rushing the puck up ice and generating some offensive opportunities, something he wasn't doing in the season.  He may have split time between the Habs and Hamilton this year, but he'll be a full-timer next season.

Stats:
Season: 40 GP, 2-3-5, -5 rating, 10 PIMS
Playoffs: 18 GP, 2-2-4, -1 rating, 2 PIMS

Keep checking HW over the next couple of weeks where we'll continue our end of season grades as Ian Russell covers the Bulldogs, as well as our draft and UFA coverage.





Also Read
- Habs' final grades: Goaltenders and Defencemen posted by B. La Rose
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