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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.
Generally, the thought of acquiring a player who has scored more than 20 goals in each of the past three seasons would be exciting to fans. When Pierre Gauthier dealt away the struggling Mike Cammalleri for Rene Bourque, there wasn't a whole lot of enthusiasm about the move and after Bourque struggled mightily upon joining the Habs, there was even less. With a new coach and a chance to start his first full year with the Habs, Bourque has a chance to rebound in 2012-13.
Although his assist totals were way down from previous years, Bourque was scoring goals at a quality rate with the Flames (on a 28-goal pace) before joining Montreal. Despite getting off to what could be called a decent start with the Habs (four points in his first seven games with an even rating), it went downhill in a hurry as he collected just four points (three goals and one assist) in his final 31 games with an appalling -16 rating. On the plus side, his hit per game total improved from 2011-12 as did his takeaway-giveaway ratio. Unfortunately, those things don't matter much to the fans and certainly mean less to fantasy owners.
Season Stats: 76 GP, 18 G, 6 A, 24 PTS, -19 rating, 68 PIMS, 3 PPG, 1 GWG, 158 shots, 17:49 ATOI
Assuming that the centres from last year remain at that position and not tried on the wing, Bourque is the current top candidate to play on the second line which would be alongside Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta. That alone should provide some hope for him to get back to 20-goal form. If Michel Therrien prefers the idea of going with three lines capable of scoring goals, Bourque could be a candidate to play with Lars Eller on the third line. Although that might provide some more ideal matchups, the probable drop in ice time wouldn't help his numbers any. In terms of special teams, he will see some second unit powerplay time but I wouldn't expect him to be a regular on the penalty kill unit like he was with Montreal in 2011-12.
I can't see Rene Bourque having as bad a year as he did last season, he should be more consistent at the very least. That said, I also don't foresee him getting back to the 50-point plateau which is something he had accomplished the previous two years, especially with an offseason abdomen injury that will keep him out of the opening night lineup. If he does play with Plekanec/Gionta, he isn't going to be the primary scoring threat and he certainly won't be the go-to guy on the powerplay. I also expect him to be demoted/benched in late-game defensive situations in place of Travis Moen or even Brandon Prust which won't help his production either. Given his previous scoring prowess he is still worth drafting late in fantasy drafts despite his injury as a 3rd or 4th winger, just stash him on IR until he returns.
Have Your Say
- Fantasy Focus: Travis Moen posted by Alex Létourneau
- Fantasy Focus: Max Pacioretty posted by Justin Wright
- Fantasy Focus: Brian Gionta posted by Ken Beaumont
- Fantasy Focus: Carey Price posted by Naqeeb Shaikh
- Fantasy Focus: P.K. Subban posted by Matt Dilworth
- Fantasy Focus : Erik Cole posted by Jonathan Rebelo
- Fantasy Focus: David Desharnais posted by Alex Létourneau
- Fantasy Focus: Tomas Plekanec posted by B. La Rose