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For the 2nd straight week, it was a tale of 2
different teams for the Montreal Canadiens, but fortunately, the good team
showed up more often than the bad one did.  Meanwhile, the Bulldogs had
another half-decent week winning 2 of 3 as well, and now find themselves in unfamiliar territory, 2nd
in the division.  We’ll also have our weekly player grades, look around the
NHL, as well as a look at Canadiens prospect Cameron Cepek in a new feature,
plus a final thought on the NHL’s inability to do proper math in this week’s
edition of the Recap.

Player Grades

Previous week’s grades in italics.


Cristobal Huet:  A 
Looks much more like the Huet of last season, appears to be the #1, at least for
now.  (B+)

David Aebischer:  D+  Very shaky vs the Panthers, made
some tough saves, allowed some weak ones, pulled twice in a row, not good.  (B-)


Mark Streit:  B+  Noticed some real improvements in his
game lately, no coincidence that his ice time has gone up lately as well.  (B)

Craig Rivet:  B 
Big improvement in the defensive game over the past few weeks.  (A-)

Andrei Markov:  B  How he’s leading the team in points,
I’ll never know, but that’s gotta be good for something. (C+)

Sheldon Souray:  B  Looked surprisingly effective
joining the rush, only put 1 in his own net this week.  (C)

Mike Komisarek:  B-  Starting to take himself out of the
play going for big hits, needs to get back to the strong positional play.  (B)

Mathieu Dandenault:  C+  Nothing great from him, missed
a couple of big chances as a forward in his comeback game. (N/A)

Janne Ninnimaa:  D  2 minutes for whining = 2 straight
games in the pressbox…and counting.  (D+)


Guillaume Latendresse:  A  Looking more and more
comfortable each game, team worst +/- a big concern for me though. (B+)

Alexander Perezhogin:  B+  An absolute gnat this week,
making plays, and is now defensively responsible  Never thought I’d be
saying that 2 months ago. (B-)

Radek Bonk:  B+  Another strong week, needs some work on
breakways though, was that ever ugly. (B)

Mike Johnson:  B  I’m starting to notice that he’s
spending way too much time down on the ice, seemed very weak in the puck control
department this week, but otherwise, solid play.

Steve Begin:  B-  I wish he wasn’t re-demoted back to
the 4th line, he’s an effective player, but single-digit minute games aren’t the
best way to use him. (B)

Saku Koivu:  B-  Didn’t make a big splash overall this
week, plenty of room for improvement.. (A-)

Michael Ryder:  C+  Got a goal (and not by much), should’ve
had 4 or 5 if he was on his game. (B-)

Tomas Plekanec:  C+  Needs to score more goals like the
one in Florida, make the most despite reduced playing time. (C)

Andrei Kostitsyn:  C+  Curiously promoted after a
sluggish start to the season, didn’t play overly well or great, already back in
Hamilton.  (N/A)

Sergei Samsonov:  C  You can always see when he’s on the
ice, he makes the plays, not an unrealistic expectation to think he’d pot one
here and there. (C+)

Aaron Downey:  C  Making the big hits still, even had a
scoring chance this week. (C)

Alexei Kovalev:  C-  Okay, so he’s injured, but if the
pain’s too much, get out of the lineup!  For the second straight week,
mostly ineffective, only reason the mark’s higher is because he’s playing
injured. (F+)

Garth Murray:  D  I’m stunned by the amount he’s
regressed through the early part of the season, I wouldn’t be overly surprised
to see him on the waiver wire soon. (D+)


The Bulldogs earned 4 of a possible 6 points
this week, and now find themselves 2nd in their division, with games in hand on
everyone.  It should be noted though that their current point total would
have them out of the playoffs in any other division.


Tuesday, November 14,
Hamilton 5, Omaha 0
Hamilton Goals: Chipchura (1), Ferland (2),
Aubin (4), Lambert (3), Grabovsky (3)
26-20 Hamilton
  1/5  PK: 

Friday, November
17, 2006
Iowa 3, Hamilton 2
Hamilton Goals: Baines 2 (4/5)
39-30 Iowa
  0/3  PK: 

Saturday, November
18, 2006
Hamilton 3, Iowa 2
Hamilton Goals: Lambert (4), Jancevski (1),
Chipchura (2)
35-26 Hamilton
  1/3  PK: 

3 Key Notes:

1)  Jaroslav Halak is now tied for
the AHL lead in shutouts, is 2nd in GAA, and 3rd in SV%, and still has played
fewer games than Yann Danis.

2)  With Kyle Chipchura finally scoring this week, this leaves Eric
Manlow as the only regular forward yet to score.

3)  Like their NHL counterparts, the Bulldogs have been quite
successful in scoring shorthanded goals, with 4 in the first 16 games of the

the Rinks

With contributions from
Normand Szcyrek.

Keeping It In The Family: On
November 15, Alexander Ovechkin formally fired his agent, Don Meehan of Newport
Sports Management. There are unconfirmed reports that Ovechkin’s mother will be
his new agent, and will handle his next NHL contract negotiations in 2008 as
well as any new business endeavours. During a recent interview with Don Meehan,
his former agent mentioned that the standard player agent contract Ovechkin
signed with Newsport Sports will stay in effect for around another 1.5 years.
It’s assumed that Newport will continue to collect their negotiated percentage
cut of Ovechkin’s current contract, as well as any endorsement deals in place.
Before the firing, there was a report that Newport was working with Ovechkin &
the Capitals to create OV’s own, official website. It is to be styled after
Myspace.com and would include videos, a message section, and a journal of
Alexander’s thoughts and news. Whether or not that website proceeds to fruition
is unknown.

Columbus not so Gallant now:  It came as no surprise to anyone, but
Columbus fired head coach Gerard Gallant after yet another slow start to the
season.  Reports suggest former Philadelphia coach Ken Hitchcock and
Canadiens consultant Andy Murray are the front-runners for the position. 

Jagr hits 600:  On Sunday, Rangers forward Jaromir Jagr notched his
600th career goal in a 4-1 win vs Tampa Bay.  He is the 16th player to
reach that plateau.  Interestingly enough, his 500th goal also came against
the Lightning.

In the
System – NEW

By: Jason Brisebois

Cameron Cepek was drafted by the
Canadiens 199th overall in the 7th round of the 2006 draft. He is a native of
Huntington Beach, California and currently plays for the Portland Winter Hawks
of the WHL. He is a physical defensemen, and cannot be expected to put up
significant numbers on the scoresheet. He is known for his substantial time in
the penalty box and his tenacity on the ice. He is not afraid to drop the
gloves, as he has done so numerous times in Portland. Some of the biggest
complaints about Cameron are that he is not overly mobile, and can be knocked
off the puck with ease occasionally. On the positive, he has a strong shot and
plays hard every night.

Stats – Regular Season







2006-07 5 1 0 1 -5 20
2005-06 21 2 8 10 +5 71
2004-05 66 2 2 4 +4 104
Totals 92 5 10 15 +4 195

Stats – Playoffs







2005-06 12 0 1 1 -8 10
2004-05 7 0 0 0 +1 4
Totals 19 0 1 1 -7 14

Next week’s feature: Mathieu Carle


For many years now, a team’s winning percentage
was determined, quite simply, by total wins divided by games decided in
regulation.  Years ago, that was all well and good, since there were no
shootouts, and at one point, no overtime either, but as usual, the NHL hasn’t
caught up with the times and adapted the system.  Officially, using the
current (and outdated) system, the Canadiens 11-5-0-3 record (yes, I break down
the OTL’s and SOL’s), the Habs have a winning percentage of .688, which seems
quite nice.  However, it also is very unrealistic, given how the team has
lost 8/19 games (.421, meaning a true winning percentage of .579), and 2 of
their 11 wins have come in a shootout.  If the NHL wants to keep its
outdated system, they should at least factor out the shootout wins, since the
losses don’t count in the percentage; if this were to happen, the Canadiens’
winning percentage would fall to .642, somewhat more realistic, but not fully. 
Why do extra time losses not count as part of a winning percentage, but extra
time wins do?  Is the league that far behind the times, or is this a sign
of things to come in terms of overstating things?  First, winning
percentage, plus attendance, what’s next?  Revenues?  Brain cells? 
Only time will tell.