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- January hasn't been a kind month for Lars Eller. He has just 12 points in 44 games, his lowest PPG average of any month.
In accordance with the Canadiens' season, the winds of change are blowing, as February features a first-timer topping the HW 3 Stars. Though closely contended, David Desharnais beat out Erik Cole, Mathieu Darche, Lars Eller, Alexei Emelin, Josh Gorges, Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec, Carey Price, P.K. Subban and Ryan White en route to being named the number one star for the month.
As chosen by Habsworld's readers, here are February's 3 Stars.
1 - David Desharnais (14 GP - 4 Goals - 8 Assists - 12 Points - Minus 1 Rating)
At this point, to say that Desharnais is having a breakout season would be an understatement. He has already surpassed his totals from last season (8G, 14A, 22P) and is currently on pace to top 60 points. Although many consider Desharnais' impressive totals to be a by-product of his talented linemates, one can't discredit the creativity and offensive that he provides. Nor can one not factor in Davey's contributions when considering the somewhat revived state of the powerplay, which he led with 5 powerplay points. The question remains whether he will be able to maintain this pace, but at this point in time, the future appears bright for the pocket-sized pivot.
47% of 1st Star votes, 13% of 2nd Star votes, 13% of 3rd Star votes.
2 - Max Pacioretty (14 GP - 7 Goals - 3 Assists - 10 Points - Minus 3 Rating)
Although he was narrowly edged out by his linemate, Desharnais, for top honours, Max continued his upward progression in the month of February. Leading the club in both goals (7) and shots on goal (41), Patches has begun to put up the consistent numbers that everyone has been hoping for since the blossoming power forward suited up for the Canadiens. Like Desharnais, this has been a breakout season for the young forward, and as this tumultuous season nears closer to the end, it almost appears a given that Pacioretty will be the team's first 30-goal scorer since Alexei Kovalev.
20% of 1st Star votes, 49% of 2nd Star votes, 11% of 3rd Star votes.
3 - Carey Price (5-6-1, 2.40 GAA, 0.916 SV%, 2 SO)
It grows increasingly difficult to write anything about Price that hasn't been said ad nauseam. Price is almost indisputably Montreal's most valuable player, he gives them an opportunity to win every game, and his play is rarely the reason for a loss. His calm, collected presence is invaluable in the crease, and despite his young age, he has emerged as one of Montreal's leaders. As has been the way for most of the season, Price's average statistics belie his true worth, and one must assume that he would be a legitimate Vezina candidate if he was playing for a more successful team.
16% of 1st Star votes, 13% of 2nd Star votes, 18% of 3rd Star votes.
HM - Alexei Emelin (14 GP - 1 Goal - 2 Assists - 3 Points - Minus 4 Rating)
A newcomer to this list, Alexei Emelin has had a positive impact in a season that has been noticeably deficient of bright spots. In recent years, Montreal's blue-line has been absent of a proper physical presence; this is no longer the case. If you were to poll the NHL, there is little doubt that most players are becoming aware of what awaits them should they attempt to gain the zone with their head down. Emelin led the Habs with 59 hits, which was 16 more than runner-up, Erik Cole (43), and his physical prowess didn't prove a detriment to the team, as he only compiled 8 penalty minutes. As Emelin grows increasingly comfortable on the North American ice, Canadiens' fans can be confident that they finally have a legitimate physical threat to keep the opposition honest.
9% of 1st Star votes, 9% of 2nd Star votes, 20% of 3rd Star votes.
Thanks to all that voted, and be sure to check in next month for March's 3 Stars!
- Vote for February's 3 Stars! posted by Matt Dilworth
- HW 3 Stars - The January 2012 Edition posted by Matt Dilworth