The Habs, despite a pair of less than
impressive efforts this week, continue to be in the hunt for top seed in the
East. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs weren’t so lucky, dropping all 3 of
their contests, slipping to 4th in their division. The stat of the week
looks at shooting accuracy, while the Final Thought segment discusses how
clinching the playoffs could mean very little, plus the weekly grades, in the
8.5 – 10: Player has exceeded
expectations for the week, very strong contributions.
6.5 – 8: Player has met expectations
for the week, play has helped or at worse, not hurt the lineup.
5 – 6: Player has performed below
expectations for the week, play has at best not hurt the team, but likely has
had a negative affect.
Under 4.5: Player has had a week to
forget, questions should soon be arising about his future with the organization.
#41 – Jaroslav Halak: 9.0
Yes, he did get a shutout, but he was fighting the puck most of the night and
rarely looked confident on the ice. (Season Average:
#31 – Carey Price: 8.5
Great vs the Devils, but a pair of the Ottawa goals were caused by a lack of
focus either following the play or controlling the rebound. (Season Average:
#44 – Roman Hamrlik: 8.0 Was the
most consistent defender again this week, and that’s impressive considering he
spent time with Brisebois.
(Season Average: 7.35)
#79 – Andrei Markov: 7.5
He’s pinching way too much on the PP, effectively neutralizing his above average
shot from the point. (Season Average:
#8 – Mike Komisarek: 7.5
Kept things more simple this week, but still has a ways to go to get back to the
form that has him the highest rated defenceman in the grades. (Season Average:
#26 – Josh Gorges: 7.0 We
saw more of him being interviewed than on the ice this week it seemed, nothing
overly spectacular or wrong with his play.
(Season Average: 6.91)
#51 – Francis Bouillon: 7.0
His physical play has really picked up lately, the only thing I’m concerned with
is his durability – is he going to be able to keep it up in the playoffs?
(Season Average: 7.00)
#3 – Ryan O’Byrne: 7.0 Still the
odd mistake in terms of decision making, but that’s to be expected…as long as
the mistakes aren’t frequent, he’ll stay in the lineup.
(Season Average: 6.67)
#71 – Patrice Brisebois: 6.0
To put it nicely, there was never a dull moment when he was on the ice, I’ll
leave it at that.
(Season Average: 6.65)
#6 – Tom Kostopoulos: 8.0
Bar none, his best week as a member of the Montreal Canadiens, a threat at both
ends of the rink, often generating high quality scoring chances.
(Season Average: 6.80)
#11 – Saku Koivu: 7.5 I know some
people are still down on him, but right now, he’s playing as good as he has all
season. (Season Average:
#14 – Tomas Plekanec: 7.5
Lately, he seems to be passing off way too often, sometimes taking himself out
of good shooting range.
(Season Average: 7.73)
#46 – Andrei Kostitsyn: 7.5
It’s tempting to just say ‘Ditto Plekanec’, but I can’t – I can say that he had
another solid week though. (Season Average:
#73 – Michael Ryder: 7.5
He’s still not completely "back" yet, but over the last month, Ryder has easily
played his best hockey…only thing left to do is score. (Season
#74 – Sergei Kostitsyn: 7.5
The goals weren’t there, but he was making plays for others, so it works out
fine in the end. (Season Average:
#84 – Guillaume Latendresse: 7.0
I’m curious to see how long he stays with Koivu this time, you can’t argue with
production – it’s the lack of that the rest of the week that hurts him here. (Season Average:
#40 – Maxim Lapierre: 7.0 A
surprise scratch on Saturday, it certainly wasn’t from a lack of hustle, but if
the team wants to go to 3 offensive lines, he’s in trouble. (Season Average:
#27 – Alexei Kovalev: 7.0 Sloppy
penalties and overhandling the puck – I think he’s trying to overcompensate for
his injury, I think a day or two off would go a long way to help him return to
(Season Average: 7.90)
#54 – Mikhail Grabovski: 7.0
Decent outing Saturday, but I still can’t quite see how he’s going to help this
team in the playoffs when the physical play really picks up.
(Season Average: 6.75)
#21 – Chris Higgins: 7.0 At
least his goal slump hasn’t stopped him from shooting, but the rest of the game
needs to get going soon. (Season Average:
#20 – Bryan Smolinski: 7.0
Fluky or not, that was a key goal against the Devils to go along with another
ordinary week from the veteran.
(Season Average: 6.90)
#32 – Mark Streit: 6.5
Anyone else think he’s pouting about not being used on defence? I can’t
think of any other logical reason for the heavy decline in his play lately.
(Season Average: 7.04)
The losing streak continued for Hamilton this
week, it now sits at a season worst 6 games.
Games 65-67 of the season.
3 Stars: 1) Rinne – MIL 2) Guerriero – MIL 3) Ellison –
3 Stars: 1) Oystrick – CHI 2) Lehman – CHI 3) Trotter –
3 Stars: 1) Battaglia – TOR 2) Clemmensen – TOR 3) Walser –
Brock Trotter had his best week as a pro, and
led the team in scoring…which explains a lot why the team lost all 3 games.
Goals: Locke (22)
Assists: Locke (32)
Points: Locke (54)
+/-: Milroy (+12)
PIMS: Stewart (117)
March 19: Hamilton vs Syracuse
March 21: Toronto vs Hamilton
March 22: Hamilton vs Toronto
Last week, we compared the
quantity of shots taken to each player’s shooting percentage, essentially, who
needs to be shooting more based on their success so far. This week, a
follow up to that, as we look at the number of shots each player has vs their
number of misses. The higher the SPM (shots per miss), the better.
|Kyle Chipchura||36||6||6.00||Mark Streit||143||49||2.92|
|Maxim Lapierre||58||15||3.87||Francis Bouillon||56||20||2.80|
|Tom Kostopoulos||84||22||3.82||Roman Hamrlik||115||45||2.56|
|Alexei Kovalev||203||54||3.76||Josh Gorges||31||16||1.94|
|Saku Koivu||136||43||3.16||Mike Komisarek||75||41||1.83|
|Steve Begin||53||18||2.94||Andrei Markov||134||74||1.81|
|Tomas Plekanec||165||57||2.89||Patrice Brisebois||39||27||1.44|
|Michael Ryder||127||47||2.70||Ryan O’Byrne||7||6||1.17|
Whenever the little ‘x’ goes by the Canadiens
name (to say they’re officially in the playoffs), there’s going to be little
time for celebrating, and even less time to rest some of the veterans (ie:
Kovalev & Koivu.) With the Northeast Division and really, the top echelon
of the Eastern Conference so tight, jockeying for position will be more critical
than before. A small winning streak at the end may get the club a
division title and a 1st round matchup with one of the teams they’ve had success
against this year (Boston or Philadelphia – if they can stay in), while a mini
losing streak may cost them home ice advantage and see them get a less than
desirable opponent in Pittsburgh or New Jersey. The regular season record
notwithstanding, I know I certainly don’t want to have the Devils as a 1st round
opponent. In the West, we see Detroit slowing down after clinching the
playoffs (an annual event), but the same luxury can’t be afforded to the Habs,
or really any other team in the upper half of the East. I’m sure we’ll all
celebrate when the team clinches (which could come towards the end of this
week), but the way things are shaping up, it may be the only thing that gets
celebrated for a while.