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The Montreal Canadiens have played 4 games in the past week… and here is a week in review, along with a player’s analysis.

From November 22nd until the 29th, the Habs posted a record of 2-1-1-0. The week began with the heritage game in front of almost 60,000 people in Edmonton. The Habs worked hard and jumped out to a nice lead and held on for the win. Tuesday night they were back at home and got manhandled by probably the best team in hockey 5-2. The Canucks really did whatever they wanted, and Montreal did not have its best effort. Three nights later in Washington, the Habs managed to score early and often and despite making many mistakes they capitalized on their chances and won the game. The next night in Montreal they tied the Florida Panthers in a somewhat boring game. The Habs had a 1-0 lead until the dying minutes when Craig Rivet was called for a questionable penalty and the Panthers took advantage and tied the game. Subsequently Jose Theodore was denied his 100th NHL win.


Saku Koivu: The Habs captain is starting to play better. He had 3 assists in 4 games this past week and seems to have given Richard Zednik a little jump start. While Koivu has looked better he’s still not where he was last year and is still looking for his first goal in 11 Games…Weekly grade: B


Mike Ribeiro: The kid, who looked like he would never bust out, finally has. With 2 points in 4 games this week Ribs sits atop the Habs scoring leaders with 15 points. He’s become the Habs second most dangerous player only behind captain Koivu. He’s also shooting more with 11 shots in 4 games this week… Weekly grade: B+


Joe Juneau: Juneau has had a very rough week. While he’s trying he simply cannot shut out the oppositions bigger, faster and stronger forwards. It seems like Juneau’s NHL career is winding down, at least he knows when to call it quits. Weekly grade: D


Steve Begin: The Bob Gainey waiver pick up has payed off in a huge way. Begin knows his role and almost never has a bad game. He played well throughout the week getting under peoples skin and adding toughness to the Habs. His only flaw this week was a stupid and unnecessary penalty VS the Caps Friday night, but that’s the style of game he plays. Weekly grade: B+


Richard Zednik: Zed finally found his game thanks to Saku Koivu and a line change adding Ryder to the first line. Zednik had 3 goals in 4 games this week and seems to have found that jump he had most of last year. Weekly grade: A-


Yanic Perreault: After being a healthy scratch for 3 games Perreault has returned with a vengeance. He has 3 points in his last 4 games while playing LW and not complaining about it. He’s also stepped up his defensive play and has been extremely solid. It’s nice to see a guy challenge himself like Yanic did; I hope he keeps it up. Weekly grade: A


Jan Bulis: If he only knew how good he is…Bulis had an up and down week. Playing on the 3rd line hasn’t helped him at all but since he’s the Habs most complete player he’s needed there. Jan’s speed is vital when playing with Juneau and Dackell. Bulis showed a flash of what he could do early into Friday nights game against his former team in Washington. Since being traded to Montreal Bulis has 5 goals in 10 game VS his former team. Bulis only had that one goal in 4 games this week, but his overall play was good. Weekly grade: B-


Darren Langdon: Montreal’s first heavyweight since Donald Brashear, and he’s doing a fine job. Langdon is playing tough, fighting when he needs to and most of all he isn’t hurting the team with stupid penalties. He’s been a welcome addition to the Habs, whenever he’s in the lineup he’s always giving his all. Weekly grade: B-


Michael Ryder: After going through a mini rookie slump and being sat down once, Ryder was put on the first line and has exploded. He’s benefiting from extra ice time and playing with top Centre Saku Koivu. He had 3 points in 4 games this week, along with 2 goals in his last 2 games. Ryder looks like an early Calder candidate. Weekly grade: A+


Pierre Dagenais: After doing well in the AHL, Pierre was called up and saw his first NHL game with Montreal VS the Canucks Tuesday night. He had some trouble keeping up with the Canucks speed and was quickly sent down to the 4th line. Friday night he played a great game and got in the high traffic areas and scored a goal, and ended the night with 2 points. He’s brought some much needed size to the Habs and is enjoying playing with his former QMJHL teammate Ribeiro. Weekly grade: B-


Andreas Dackell: Seems like as Juneau goes, Dackell goes, and Juneau didn’t have a very good week. Dackell is working hard but like Juneau can’t compete with the NHL’s best. If it wasn’t for Bulis that line would be that much worse. Weekly grade: D


Niklas Sundstrom: A up and down week for Sunny. He started the week off great and played very well in Edmonton last Saturday and followed that up with being the Habs BEST forward against Vancouver three nights later. However Friday night in Washington he made many bad passes and had a numerous amount of giveaways. Sundstrom just has to stay consistent, and if he is, we could see more of him on the second line like we did early this week… and if not he’ll be in the press box. Weekly grade: B-


Chad Kilger: Chad only played twice this week and both games were on Saturday nights. Same old story with Kilger, we have seen how great he can be and how awful he can be. This week was one of the awful ones. Weekly grade: D-


Sheldon Souray: After a rough couple of games Souray is back playing the way he is capable of. He has 4 points in his last 4 games while only having one bad game this week VS the Nucks, while it seemed the whole team was off that night. Souray is making a strong case to play in the NHL ALL STAR game, I hope he gets there, for this has been his breakout year. Souray also has been playing well while constantly switching defensive partner’s which isn’t easy to do. Weekly grade: B+


Patrice Brisebois: While he hasn’t scored yet this year, Brisebois leads all Habs at +5 and is playing the best hockey we’ve ever seen him play. His overall play has been fantastic and his offense is starting to pick up too. He has 3 points in his last 4 games… Maybe we shouldn’t have booed him all along huh? Weekly grade: A


Andrei Markov: Markov is having a rough year and a rough past week. He was hurt Friday night in Washington while blocking a shot and hasn’t been the same player he was last year. While he’s been OK, we know he can be a lot better. On the bright side he was +2 in 3 games this past week, let’s hope he’ll be back in the lineup soon. Weekly grade: B


Stephane Quintal: After starting the season so strong, Quintal has struggled of late and didn’t play Friday in Washington. Quintal is a leader on this team, and he’ll step up his game… it’s just the type of player he is. Weekly grade: D


Craig Rivet: Rivet is making way too many errors in the backend and needs to play much better. While he did get 2 points this week he’s a -8 on the year and that must change in a hurry. Rivet also got called on the game tying penalty Saturday night VS the Panthers and was extremely upset, maybe that will fire him up and get him going, we’ll find out shortly. Weekly grade: C


Francis Boullion: Boullion didn’t have a great week, he is still throwing big hits but it’s often taking him out of position. On the bright side he’s a real team guy and sticks up for everyone. He never backs down from a challenge; he’s a guy you want on your team, but only playing if there are injuries. Weekly grade: C-


Mike Komisarek: Big Komo came up from the minors this week and played a great game Friday night in Washington. He was taking the body and playing really mean out there. He didn’t play as much Saturday in Montreal, but Claude Julien is slowly working him into the lineup, and look for him to play more and keep getting better. Weekly grade: B+


Jose Theodore: Theodore had a very good week, and would have been a great one if it wasn’t for the Vancouver Canucks. Theo looks like he did in 2001-2002 and is playing top notch hockey. He was amazing this past Saturday night, in spite of being denied his 100th NHL win. Weekly grade: B+


Mathieu Garon: Garon got a rare start this week in Washington and played as well as could be expected of him. Montreal really has no worries in goal, because either goalie can get them a win on any given night. Weekly grade: B+


That’s a week in review; hope to see more “A’s” next week.


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