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- With a $5 M cap hit, Sergei Gonchar is one of the most expensive d-men in franchise history. The only ones higher are P.K. Subban ($9 M), Andrei Markov ($5.75 M), Mathieu Schneider ($5.75 M), and Roman Hamrlik ($5.5 M).
The votes have been counted for the final time this season, and the Habsworld readers have chosen their 3 Stars for the month of April. This month, there was an overwhelming sentiment as to who merited the honours, and even more so with regard to the first star. Mike Cammalleri, Mathieu Darche, David Desharnais, Lars Eller, Brian Gionta, Jeff Halpern, Roman Hamrlik, Tomas Plekanec, Carey Price, P.K. Subban and Yannick Weber all received consideration for the 3 stars, but only the highest ranked made the cut.
Without any further ado, here are your selections for April's 3 Stars.
#1 - Carey Price (6-1-3, 1.79 GAA, 0.943 SV%, 1 Shutout)
Despite posting some ridiculous goaltending statistics, Price was unable to lead his team to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. And while some may use this to dredge up a comparison to Jaroslav Halak's playoff performance last spring, Price's goals-against average (2.11 versus 2.55) and save percentage (.934 versus .923) were notably superior than those of Halak. Although his Game 3 gaffe demonstrated that Price still has much to learn, his consistent play under all situations showed that Montreal should have strength in net for years to come. Simply put, if Price doesn't play this way all season and in the playoffs, the Canadiens would have been emptying their lockers a lot earlier.
63% of 1st Star votes, 23% of 2nd Star votes, 9% of 3rd Star votes.
#2 - Mike Cammalleri (11 GP - 5 Goals - 9 Assists - 13 Points - Minus 5 Rating)
Aside from higher paid players (*cough* Scott Gomez *cough*), Mike Cammalleri was considered one of the more underachieving Canadiens in the regular season. His 47 points in an injury-filled season were tied for his lowest since breaking into the NHL on a full-time basis, and left a few wondering where the scoring prowess from the previous year's playoffs had gone. Well, that nose for the net returned in April, as Cammalleri was head and shoulders above all other Canadiens in scoring, and actually led the NHL in playoff scoring when the Canadiens were eliminated. Moreover, Cammalleri led the squad with 7 powerplay points, was second in shots, and typically led all forwards in time on ice. Thus, it seems that Cammalleri saves his best for the post-season, and anyone could see the focus in his game when the playoffs began. In fact, in his 26 playoff games with Montreal, Cammalleri has 16 goals, 13 assists and 29 points for a 1.12 points-per-game average.
20% of 1st Star votes, 37% of 2nd Star votes, 20% of 3rd Star votes.
#3 - P.K. Subban (11 GP - 4 Goals - 2 Assists - 6 Points - Minus 3 Rating)
When the candidates were announced for the Calder Trophy, awarded to the year's rookie of the year, Subban's name was noticeably absent. Nevertheless, I can't recall being less bothered by such a "snub", because in truth, P.K. stopped being a rookie in my eyes a long time ago. With the losses of Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges to injury, Subban has been thrust into the #1 defenceman position on many nights, and his team-leading ice-time reflects this. And while P.K.'s game still needs polishing, the subtle improvements to his game have been apparent. As the games became more important, his unnecessary penalties decreased, he proved a thorn in the opposition's top lines, and who can forget this clutch play in Game 7 with less than 2 minutes remaining in regulation time? The future is bright with Subban in the bleu, blanc et rouge.
11% of 1st Star votes, 31% of 2nd Star votes, 31% of 3rd Star votes.
Honourable Mention - Brian Gionta (11 GP - 6 Goals - 4 Assists - 10 Points - Minus 4 Rating)
Gionta demonstrated early in the playoffs that he would lead by example, tallying both goals in Game 1 against Boston. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to maintain this pace, but he remained a force to be reckoned with, as he led all Canadiens in goals scored, shots taken and game-winning goals in the month of April. This is all made that much more impressive as most defensive pairs know now to focus on the pint-sized captain as the only true threat on his line. Finally, one must assume that Gionta's leadership played a large part in keeping the Canadiens competitive, and permitted the Habs to fight through adversity all season.
6% of 2nd Star votes, 17% of 3rd Star votes.
This concludes HW's 3 Star segment for the 2010-2011 season. Until next season, enjoy your summer and thanks to all who voted!