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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.
It was an injury plagued campaign for Travis Moen this past season, which was a shame considering he was having a very productive offensive campaign, by his standards, until a concussion sidelined him in mid-January. He signed a four year $7.4 million deal over the off-season so #32 will be plying his gritty trade in the Canadiens colors for another little while.
When looking for offensive output, Travis Moen is not the first name that comes to mind. But he did light the lamp at what was a career pace until being on the business end of concussion midway through January. With Moen you know what to expect and the big winger brought it to the table every game he took part in. He was very solid on the penalty kill, stood up for teammates when he needed to and scored at a faster pace than any other time in his career. Anyone can speculate on what could have been had he remained healthy. What is certain is that the Canadiens are a better team with him in the line up and opposing teams do not take the same liberties when he’s around.
Season stats: 48 GP, 9 G, 7 A, 16 PTS, -3 rating, 41 PIMS, 0 PPG, 1 SHG, 45 Shots, 15:42 ATOI
5-Year AverageGP: 73
+/-: -7 PIMS: 73
Aside from last year, Moen has shown he is capable of playing a tough brand of hockey and remain healthy while doing it. At 30 years old, he’s approaching the end of his prime for the type of player that drops the gloves and runs around hitting everything he can. He’ll have a few more years of being effective but don’t expect to see the same Travis Moen this season four years down the line. Since joining the Canadiens he’s shown he has the ability to score timely goals and provide a strong penalty kill presence. He’s a smart player, an excellent skater and players seem to genuinely like him in the locker room. Michel Therrien has always enjoyed tough hockey so it’s logical to believe Moen will be able to work well with his new coach. He will continue to bring stability on the penalty kill and will knock players into oblivion from time to time.
The only fantasy teams that might draft Moen will be ones that are very deep. He has never been a player who was expected to deliver points and that spans all the way back to his days playing junior hockey in Kelowna. Last season’s scoring pace aside, I wouldn’t bet on Moen breaking the 20 point barrier. He was re-signed for his grit, toughness and his presence on the ice. He will throw hits and will drop the gloves when needed and that’s where his value comes into play. He does have a tendency to score big goals and I don’t see that changing. Watching him skate around with Brandon Prust will be something Canadiens fans will enjoy during the 2012-2013 season. Shame there’s no stat for how much fun that will be.GP: 79
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