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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.
The second quarter of this NHL season proved to be a very strong one for the Canadiens as the team picked up at least a point in all but one of their games, vaulting from seventh to first in the NHL's Eastern Conference in the process. The defence corps had a significant role in the offence; here are the second quarter grades for them and the goaltenders.
Peter Budaj: A-: The Habs' backup was forced into action when Carey Price was under the weather and he fared quite well, allowing a grand total of one goal in the two games Price missed. He also beat the Bruins to help Montreal stay atop the East. Budaj finally looks like he's in game shape which is what the Habs will need with a busy schedule down the stretch.
2nd Quarter Stats: 3 GP, 3-0-0 record, 1 SO, 1.34 GAA, .944 SV%
Season Stats: 5 GP, 3-1-1 record, 2.57 GAA, .906 SV%
Carey Price: B-: Price had a stretch over the past couple of weeks where he was really struggling but beyond that he played decent. Yes, he hasn't stolen as many games as last year but he hasn't needed to either with the rest of the team playing better. He ended the quarter with a quality effort against Carolina where he looked more confident than he had recently.
2nd Quarter Stats: 9 GP, 5-1-3 record, 2 SO, 2.40 GAA, .909 SV%
Season Stats: 19 GP, 12-4-3 record, 2.33 GAA, .912 SV%
Francis Bouillon: C: After being a player who was regularly counted on to play top-four minutes, Bouillon has regularly been getting benched late in games over the last couple of weeks. He looks like he is beginning to slow down but still is playing okay. The Habs have been at their best when all of the defencemen are relatively close in minutes played; I would expect that Bouillon will start to see his minutes increase slightly in the games ahead.
2nd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 0 goals, 1 assist, +1 rating, 4 PIMS, 6 SOG, 16 hits, 16
Season Stats: 24 GP, 0 goals, 5 assists, +2 rating, 8 PIMS, 18 SOG, 39 hits, 24 blocks
Raphael Diaz: B: Although he wasn't the powerplay dynamo that he was early on in the year, Diaz continued to play a reliable two-way game. His absence due to a concussion is really being felt but the team is hoping he will be back before much longer.
2nd Quarter Stats: 7 GP, 1 goal, 3 assists, +5 rating, 0 PIMS, 9 shots, 2 hits, 14 blocks
Season Stats: 19 GP, 1 goal, 12 assists, +5 rating, 4 PIMS, 29 SOG, 9 hits, 35 blocks
Alexei Emelin: B+: The sophomore blueliner is beginning to play with more confidence in the offensive zone. He is more aggressive looking for his shot and is making good decisions on when and when not to pinch. With Markov being asked to play more lately, I would expect Emelin to be counted on to do more in the near future as well.
2nd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 1 goal, 5 assists, +5 rating, 9 PIMS, 15 SOG, 39 hits, 13
Season Stats: 24 GP, 1 goals, 7 assists, +5 rating, 15 PIMS, 21 SOG, 86 hits, 23 blocks
Josh Gorges: C+: I mentioned this in my last HW Recap but something is off with him but it's hard to put a finger on what specifically. Lately, he has played a bit better since being partnered up with Subban, who he played with a lot down the stretch last year. With Diaz likely to miss a few more games at least, hopefully that can continue.
2nd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 1 goal, 4 assists, +6 rating, 4 PIMS, 10 SOG, 22 hits, 25
Season Stats: 24 GP, 2 goals, 4 assists, +4 rating, 13 PIMS, 18 SOG, 35 hits, 60 blocks
Tomas Kaberle: C: The frequent guest of the press box had a decent return to the lineup when Diaz went down but as long as he is only playing well enough to get sheltered minutes, his effectiveness is really going to be limited. I'm sure he'll get more opportunities as the season goes on.
2nd Quarter Stats: 4 GP, 0 goals, 2 assists, +2 rating, 0 PIMS, 4 SOG, 0 hits, 7
Season Stats: 10 GP, 0 goals, 3 assists, +4 rating, 0 PIMS, 11 SOG, 2 hits, 11 blocks
Andrei Markov: B: There's no doubt that he already is beginning to slow down. Markov hasn't played this many games in quite a while nor has he had to log as many minutes as he has for even longer. Still, he has been a key part of the powerplay which quietly has picked up in recent games.
2nd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 1 goal, 4 assists, +1 rating, 2 PIMS, 23 SOG, 4 hits, 8
Season Stats: 24 GP, 5 goals, 10 assists, -1 rating, 8 PIMS, 39 SOG, 10 hits, 31 blocks
P.K. Subban: A: The only reason this isn't an A+ is his struggles in coverage that have led to a few goals. Beyond that, he has been the Habs' top defenceman on quite a few nights and is starting to finally hit the net more regularly with his bullet of a shot. Things are looking up for him.
2nd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 3 goals, 6 assists, +1 rating, 6 PIMS, 38 SOG, 17 hits, 13
Season Stats: 18 GP, 6 goals, 9 assists, +1 rating, 12 PIMS, 51 SOG, 25 hits, 21 blocks
Yannick Weber: N/A: He hasn't played enough to be evaluated. I'm starting to doubt he will play enough to get a grade this season.
2nd Quarter Stats: 1 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, -1 rating, 2 PIMS, 0 SOG, 2 hits, 0 blocks
Season Stats: 2 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, -1 rating, 2 PIMS, 0 SOG, 3 hits, 2 blocks
- First Quarter Grades: Forwards posted by B. La Rose
- First Quarter Grades: Goalies & Defence posted by B. La Rose