It was another up and down week for the Habs,
with the highlight being a solid 3-1 win on the road in Detroit. The
Bulldogs struggled after losing their top scorer, and lost 2 of their 3
contests. The nostalgia segment looks at a former Finnish defender, while
the Final Thought discusses something the fans will be doing a lot of if the
team doesn’t improve fast – booing. This, plus the grades, in the Recap.
8.00 to 10.00:
I) Stars/Superstars playing at or above performance, salary, and role expectations.
II) Above average players producing beyond performance, salary, and role expectations.
III) Average/Role players delivering well beyond performance, salary, and role
7.00 to 7.75:
I) Stars/Superstars playing below performance, salary, and role expectations.
II) Above average players producing at performance, salary, and role expectations.
III) Average/Role players delivering beyond performance, salary, and role expectations.
I) Stars/Superstars playing far below performance, salary, and role expectations.
II) Above average players producing below performance, salary, and role expectations.
III) Average/Role players delivering at performance, salary, and role expectations.
I) Stars/Superstars playing outrageously below performance, salary, and role
II) Above average players producing far below performance, salary, and role expectations.
III) Average/Role players delivering below performance, salary, and role
The only game he lost this week was due to a goal that wasn’t even charged
against him. (Previous: 8.75 Average:
He did allow the one soft goal in Washington, but quite frankly, he certainly
wasn’t to blame for the team’s 3-0 loss. (Previous:
Another critical goal this week and was one of the
few d-men who didn’t make a blunder that immediately led to an opposition goal. (Previous:
Steady as always, and even chipped in on the
offensive side picking up a pair of assists, to lead all d-men in that category
this week. (Previous:
A very strong week aside from the Buffalo contest,
although he was more than due for one given the struggles of everyone else this
year. (Previous: 8.00 Average:
Had some ups and downs, and as we all have seen, the downs were much more
noticeable. (Previous: 7.00 Average:
He’s needed for his offence, and it’s not there – nothing this week and only 1
point in his last 10. At least he’s a healthy body, it could be worse. (Previous:
We all know the mistakes, so I won’t harp on them. A game or two off to
re-focus is exactly what he needs and hopefully he can get back to last year’s
(Previous: 6.00 Average:
8.50 The top point producer
this week, and was a major factor on almost every shift, be it even strength or
8.25 Tied with Lapierre for the
most goals this week, and was a force almost every time he was on the ice. (Previous:
7.50 Was a part of the success
of the 4th line this week, and was adequate in his first game on defence since
early April. (Previous: 6.75 Average:
7.25 I cringe when I see him on
a regular offensive line, but to his credit, he at least brings a physical
element to the Koivu line. (Previous: 7.25 Average:
7.25 I thought the coach
calling him out was unnecessary and unwarranted (there were other candidates),
but he responded well which is important. (Previous:
7.00 The criticism doesn’t seem
justified this week – he’s not a goal scorer and he is bringing a physical
element to the game, which is what his role is. (Previous:
7.00 As much as he’s been
playing fairly well, the offence is slowly starting to dry up from the captain. (Previous:
7.00 A small resurrection to
the offensive game while continuing his steady own-zone play. (Previous:
7.00 A decent season debut, I
was particularly glad to see him get ice time in key situations and even more
glad that he held his own. (Previous: N/A Average:
6.75 Slowly but surely, he
seems to be taking steps towards rounding back into form. (Previous:
6.25 Average: 6.97)
6.75 Really only played the one
game (I’m not factoring in the Detroit outing since he was injured quickly), but
didn’t do much in that game. (Previous:
6.75 Had his 5-game point
streak snapped, and his game has slipped since then – even the faceoffs are
becoming a concern now. (Previous:
6.25 There’s 2 ways to respond
to being called out by the coach – the right way, and the way Kostitsyn
responded – a ticket to the pressbox seems inevitable now. (Previous:
6.25 Give credit where credit’s
due, he did play well in Detroit. The rest of the week though is another
story. He’s not 100% healthy, let him heal, otherwise we’ll be seeing this
for far too long. (Previous: 5.75 Average:
Marc Denis continues to struggle for Hamilton,
with a GAA for the week over 4 for the second straight week. As a result,
the Bulldogs struggled, taking just 1 of 3 games.
3 Stars: 1) White – HAM 2) Pacioretty – HAM 3) Nesbitt
3 Stars: 1) Regan – BNG 2) Mauldin – BNG 3) Hamel
Attendance: 14,446 (played at Bell
Centre in Montreal, 2nd largest regular season crowd in Bulldogs history)
3 Stars: 1) Zubov – BNG 2) Weber – HAM 3) Hennessy – BNG
For the second straight week, Ryan White led
the way offensively chipping in with 2 goals and 2 assists and is making a
charge up the rookie scoring rankings.
Goals: D’Agostini (14) (Active
leaders: Glumac/Maxwell (8))
Assists: Lehoux (19)
Points: D’Agostini/Lehoux (25)
+/-: Belle (+14)
PIMS: Stewart (84)
Milwaukee vs Hamilton
December 6: Hamilton vs Grand Rapids
December 7: Toronto vs Hamilton
Over the years, the Habs have periodically
selected overagers towards the latter end of the drafts. In recent memory,
Mark Streit (drafted as a 26 year old) and Mikhail Grabovski (drafted at 20) are
recent success stories. Back in 2001, the Habs drafted two of these
players – one never made it, while another did, albeit briefly.
Martti Jarventie was a 4th round pick of the Habs in 2001 when he was 25 years
of age. Like Streit, the Finnish defenceman made the Habs right out of
training camp after spending the previous 7 years in the Finnish league.
Although he wasn’t in the lineup on opening night, he made his NHL debut one
week later. Sitting here years later, this remains his only game.
When the team was fully healthy, he was dispatched to the Quebec Citadelles,
where he played out the season, picking up 21 points in 59 games.
Following that season, he returned to Finland, where he played another 5
seasons, before deciding to try his luck in Sweden. That trip didn’t last
all that long, as after one season, he returned back to the Finnish league.
However, after just 3 games with Karpat (the same team as Canadiens’ pick Oskari
Korpikari), he has left the team and failed to resurface.
Over the years, it’s been commonplace for fans
in Montreal to boo one or more of the opposing team’s players when they come to
town; examples of this are Zdeno Chara, who got it both with Ottawa and Boston,
and Mats Sundin to a degree while he was with Toronto. I’ve never thought
too much of it, until this week, when 2 former Habs, Mark Streit and Craig
Rivet, got the same treatment. Now, I could understand this if they’d done
something in the past to anger the fans, or just didn’t want to come back to
Montreal – UFA’s who’ve rejected offers from the Habs in the past have received
the booing, and I have no problem with that.
But what did these two do? Streit was only offered a token deal, well
below what anyone would’ve considered market value and what he actually
received. And, he wanted to stay in Montreal, unlike some who have
left in the past. In fact, it’s a very similar situation to Sheldon Souray
from a year prior, I really hope he doesn’t get the same reception. As for
Rivet, here’s a player who spent parts of 12 seasons in Montreal, several of
which as an alternate captain, a good locker room guy, and not a half bad player
at times too. And technically, he didn’t even choose to leave, he was
traded. For this, he gets booed like some of the most hated players to
Canadiens fans. I don’t get it, and I don’t like it. Are we going to
see this for each and every former Montreal Canadien who comes to town,
regardless of how they left? For the sake of those players, and for the
fan base of the Canadiens organization as a whole, I sincerely hope not.
Time to show some class, and appreciate what some of these former Habs brought
to the table. That, or save your vocal chords for what could be a very
long couple of weeks if the team doesn’t get a lot better quickly.