HabsWorld.net -- 

In a week where gas shortages were the big
newsmaker, it seems only fitting that the Habs are suffering from the exact same
thing. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are still in the division hunt, despite being
without many key players. The trade deadline came and went, and that’s where our
grades will focus this week. We’ll also take a closer look at Alexei Emelin, and
a final thought on how Bob Gainey may have been in the least enviable position
in the league, in the recap.


In order of standings as early games played
March 4th.  Only the last 2 days of trades will be covered here.


Incoming:  Dainius Zubrus, Mikko Lehtonen, Timo Helbling, Ty
Conklin, 2nd round pick
  Martin Biron, Jiri Novotny, 1st and 4th round picks
Synopsis:  Losing Biron could hurt, but added quality depth
to a team that had enough of it already.
Grade:  B+

New Jersey:

Incoming:  3rd round pick
  David Hale, 5th round pick
Synopsis:  Wasn’t it not too long ago that Hale was
considered a pillar for the future in the swamp?
Grade:  D+

Tampa Bay:

Incoming:  Jason Ward, Karl Stewart, Joe Rullier, 6th round
  Nikita Alexeev, Doug O’Brien, 5th round pick
Synopsis:  Some extra, cheap NHL depth for a team up against
the cap.
Grade:  C+


Incoming:  Lawrence Nycholat, Oleg Saprykin, 7th round pick
  Andy Hedlund, 2nd and 6th round picks
Synopsis:  Overpaid greatly for Saprykin, Nycholat underrated
Grade:  C+


Incoming:  Gary Roberts, Georges Laraque, Joel Kwiatkowski,
Nolan Schaefer, 3rd round pick
  Noah Welch, Dominic Moore, Daniel Carcillo, 3rd, 4th,
and 7th round picks
Synopsis:  Added 2 key players for really only a decent
defensive prospect.
Grade:  A


Incoming:  Pascal Dupuis, Jason Krog
  Alex Bourret, 3rd round pick, Niko Kapanen, Denis Hamel
Synopsis:  Overpaid for Zhitnik and Tkachuk, then deals
much for Dupuis? 
Grade:  D (this doesn’t factor in the 2 significant prior
deals, only the Dupuis one)


Incoming:  Richard Zednik, Ryan Smyth
  Robert Nilsson, Ryan O’Marra, 1st and 2nd round picks
Synopsis:  Traded a huge part of their future to try and
ensure they get a couple of home dates in the playoffs.  They still don’t
have enough to truly contend.
Grade:  B-


Incoming:  None
Synopsis:  Didn’t have much to work with, really didn’t need
to do a whole lot anyways.
Grade:  C


Incoming:  Michael Leighton
Synopsis:  Extra (and cheap) goalie depth, better than
nothing I suppose. 
Grade:  C


Incoming:  Yanic Perreault, 5th round pick
  Brendan Bell, 2nd round pick
Synopsis:  Good stopgap depth, but where’s his spot when the
Leafs are fully healthy?
Grade:  B-


Incoming:  Paul Mara, Alex Bourret, 3rd round pick
  Aaron Ward, Pascal Dupuis, Jason Krog
Synopsis:  The D for D deal was a wash, but getting Bourret +
a 3rd for Dupuis could be the steal of the deadline.
Grade:  A


Incoming:  Aaron Ward, Dennis Wideman
  Paul Mara, Brad Boyes
Synopsis:  I know the D needs help, but Boyes is a capable
player, while Wideman is a 3rd pairing guy at best.
Grade:  C


Incoming:  Shawn Matthias, 2 conditional picks (one up to a
first, the other a 2nd or nothing), 4th round pick
  Todd Bertuzzi, Joel Kwiatkowski
Synopsis:  Decent return for Big Bert, given the
Grade:  C+


Incoming:  Jiri Novotny, Andy Hedlund, 1st, 2nd and 6th
round picks, conditional pick
  Dainius Zubrus, Richard Zednik, Lawrence Nycholat, Jamie
Heward, Timo Helbling
Synopsis:  Only deal I didn’t like was dumping Heward for
very little, otherwise, not half bad for a selling squad.
Grade:  C+


Incoming:  Martin Biron, Denis Hamel, Lasse Kukkonen, 3rd
round pick
  Kyle Calder, Michael Leighton, 2nd round pick
Synopsis:  If they can reach a deal with Biron, the Flyers
may have gotten themselves a goalie for once.
Grade:  B

The Dog

The Dogs earned 3 of 6 points for the second
straight week, and are still in the dog hunt for 1st in the division.


February 28, 2007
Omaha 3, Hamilton 1
Hamilton Goal:
Benoit (8)
25-24 Hamilton
  0-4  PK: 

March 2, 2007
Milwaukee 3,
Hamilton 2 (SO)
Hamilton Goals:
Biron (7), D’Agostini (14)
Shootout:  Grabovski 1/1, D’Agostini
1/1, Milroy 0/1, Urquhart 0/1, Chipchura 0/1
37-28 Milwaukee
  1-6  PK: 

March 3, 2007
Hamilton 6, Chicago 3
Hamilton Goals:
Baines (11), Lambert 2 (8/9), Locke (18), Benoit (9), Ferland (17)
  3-11  PK: 

3 Key Notes:

 The Bulldogs made a "trade" this week, sending Aaron Downey to Providence for
goalie Phillipe Sauve, who not too long ago was David Aebischer’s backup in the
NHL for Colorado.

2)  Yann Danis is healthy again, at least somewhat, dressing for all
3 games this week.  As a result, Cedrick Desjardins has been sent back to

3)  The Bulldogs released their clear day and residence rosters this
week.  They are as follows:

Clear-day (playoff eligible):

Forwards: Ajay Baines, Kyle
Chipchura, Matt D’Agostini, Jonathan Ferland, Mikhail Grabovski, Andrei
Kostitsyn, Maxim Lapierre, Francis Lemieux, Corey Locke, Eric Manlow, Duncan
Milroy, Zack Stortini, Cory Urquhart

Defencemen: Andrew Archer, Andre Benoit, Mathieu Biron, Jean-Philippe
Cote, Danny Groulx, Dan Jancevski, Ryan O’Byrne

Goaltenders: Yann Danis, Jaroslav Halak

Residency status (eligible if there
are injuries/callups):

Forwards: Mathieu Aubin,
Troy Bodie, Jimmy Bonneau, Michael Lambert

Defencemen: Jon Gleed

Goaltenders: Cedrick Desjardins, Phillipe Sauve

In the

By Jason Brisebois

Alexei Emelin:

This week, we will feature 20 year old
defensemen Alexei Emelin. The native of Togliatti, Russia was drafted by the
Habs in the 2004 entry draft, 84th overall.  He is 6’1, and a somewhat
light 187 pounds. Emelin plays a very physical and aggressive game.  He is
not known for his offense, but more for being solid defensively, a guy you don’t
want to go up against while in the opposition’s end.  He is known for
crushing checks, and a relentless style of play. At the same time though, Emelin
needs to bulk up if he wishes to be truly effective. He really needs that extra
muscle to be able to fight for the puck down low. He also needs to cut down on
penalties, which have been a major concern for his coaches over the last few

Emelin is having a great season after coming back from an ugly stick swinging
incident at the end of last year. He is continuing his strong defensive play
with Lada Togliatti of the Russian Super League. He obviously has the talent and
grit to play in the NHL, but many are wondering if he will ever come over to
North America. There is no question that if he does not come over in the next
year or two, he will not remain in the system. That in itself would be a huge
blow to the Habs, who are definitely counting on him to bring some solid defense
on the
back end in the next few years.

Team League Season Regular Season
GP G A P +/- PIM

Lada-2 Togliatti

RUS 3rd level
02/03 31 1 1 2 +10 20

Lada-2 Togliatti

RUS 3rd level
03/04 2 0 0 0   10

CSK VVS-2 Samara

RUS 3rd level

CSK VVS Samara

Vysshaya Liga
03/04 53 2 4 6 -9 198
Team Russia WJC U-18 04 6 0 0 0 0 10

Lada-2 Togliatti

RUS 3rd level
04/05 11 2 3 5   14

Lada Togliatti

Russian Hockey League
04/05 12 0 1 1 +2 24
Team Russia WJC 05 6 1 0 1 -2 8

Lada Togliatti

Russian Hockey League
05/06 44 6 6 12 +9 131
Team Russia WJC 06 6 2 5 7 +3 39

Lada Togliatti

Russian Hockey League










Next week: To be determined.


The trade deadline has come and went, and the
Habs were virtually a non-factor, aside from the Craig Rivet deal a few days
prior.  Bob Gainey in recent days has been taking a thrashing in the media
due to his inactivity and lack of public commenting about it.  Is the
criticism justified?  The not commenting in public part is, but I’m not
sure the rest is.  Fortunately, that’s not my call to make and is really
irrelevant in the context of this part of the article.

Let’s face reality, the team overachieved early on, and is underachieving right
now; their 9th place standing a reasonable spot for the way the team was
assembled for the season.  The team is nowhere near competing for a Cup, so
why waste future assets?  But, why not spend a little and try and make a
run to ensure the team does make the playoffs?  Those are the 2 biggest
questions running through the minds of the fans of the Montreal Canadiens, and
there really is no right or wrong answer.  And it is for that same reason
that Gainey was in a lose-lose situation, stay pat and face the critics who say
they needed to do something, or make moves and face the critics who say the team
isn’t going anywhere anyways, just play out the stretch and hope for the best.

As hockey fans, we always want "our" team to be busy in the trade market and to
always contend, but the truth is, it rarely can be done season to season. 
The Habs in prior years have made a splash near the deadline (Kovalev, Aebischer
deals), and have also been somewhat successful.  So what if this year they
try to make a go of it the other way?  Bob Gainey is a smart man, he saw
the writing on the wall that said in order to seriously contend, the team needs
a significant overhaul, something that couldn’t be done in a couple of days, so
he waited and will deal with that issue in the off-season.  Rather than give
him all the grief in the world now, let this other method play itself out a
little, and then weigh in.  We’ll all know more of what’s going on then,
and that’s always a good thing.