HabsWorld.net -- 

The All-Star break couldn’t have come at a
better time for the Habs, after a pair of losses on the road this week. 
Conversely, the All-Star break for the Bulldogs isn’t at the best time, after
they won their last 2 contests.  With Claude Lemieux returning this week,
we look back at a former Hab who played with him during his last stop overseas,
while the Final Thought looks back at this week’s All-Star festivities. 
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.

to 6.75:
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.

Under 6.00:
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


Carey Price:

The Atlanta game was a good one to shake off some of the rust.  The New
Jersey contest showed there’s still some left.  (Previous:
7.50   Average:

Jaroslav Halak:

There’s no sugarcoating it really, he did not have a good game vs the Thrashers,
nothing more needs to be said.  (Previous:
7.50   Average:


Andrei Markov:

This is more of what we expected at the beginning
of the season.  It’s not a coincidence that the PP success has coincided
with his point streak.  (Previous:

Mike Komisarek:

In a week where most of the D was shaky, it was nice to have his presence out
there, helping to make at least one pairing successful.  (Previous:
7.25   Average:

Josh Gorges:

Hopefully the break will do him some good, as he’s not been the same player we
saw even a month ago – he’s worn out.  (Previous:
7.00   Average:

Roman Hamrlik:

He wasn’t quite as bad as last week, but still far below what he needs to do to
help this team succeed.  (Previous: 6.75   Average:

Francis Bouillon:

Wasn’t bad, wasn’t great…wasn’t much of anything really.  I suppose it
could be worse, but I’m hoping to see more out of him soon.  (Previous:
7.00   Average:

Patrice Brisebois:

Don’t classify this as pure Brisebois-bashing, but he needs to have a seat in
the pressbox and soon – at his age, a rest here and there really is needed.  (Previous:
6.25   Average:


Max Pacioretty:
He’s getting to the right
spots and doing the right things.  It’s not his fault if his linemates
can’t get him the puck.  (Previous:
7.00   Average:

Steve Begin:
Had a goal and was benched
the next game.  It’s the 2nd time this season that’s happened, although
this time it wasn’t an empty net goal.  (Previous:
7.00   Average:

Maxim Lapierre:
Not as strong as before,
but still one of the few bright spots for the team this week.  (Previous:
7.75   Average:

Matt D’Agostini:
Would’ve had the highest
grade of anyone this week had he not made that costly mistake which turned out
to be the GWG in New Jersey.  (Previous: 7.00   Average:

Saku Koivu:
The ideal return from a
long injury, eased back into the lineup and still picked up a point.  I’m
glad he’s back.  (Previous: N/A   Average:

Guillaume Latendresse:
Decent overall, lost some
ice time on the PP as part of Carbonneau’s ridiculous plan of rolling the 4th
line in their place.  (Previous: 7.50   Average:

Andrei Kostitsyn:
Lacked the explosiveness that
we’d seen from him recently, although the play of his line overall was a
contributing factor for sure.  (Previous: 8.25   Average:

Robert Lang:
Perhaps I’m the jinxer
when it comes to Lang on both ends – I criticize him and he plays well, I praise
him and he struggles.  (Previous:
8.00   Average:

Gregory Stewart:
I think he did enough to
make a positive impression on the coaches, although I don’t think he’ll be back
up anytime soon.  (Previous: 7.00   Average:

Sergei Kostitsyn:
I can’t in good conscience
give all 3 line members the same grade…he got the short end of the stick.  (Previous:

Tom Kostopoulos:
Didn’t have the jump in
his game that made him and his line successful in recent weeks…no jump…a
common theme this week.  (Previous:

Tomas Plekanec:
He was just as bad as
Kovalev this week, but gets the slightly higher grade because of the salary (it
does get factored into these grades; it’s not just there to look fancy).  (Previous:
6.75   Average:

Alexei Kovalev:

His best game of the week was the ASG.  When you’re counted on to lead the
team when there’s injuries, that’s simply not acceptable.  With that said,
congrats to him on the ASG MVP award.  (Previous:

Week’s Average:
Season Average:

The Dog

Bolstered by the return of their captain (Kyle
Chipchura), the Bulldogs won the back half of their 4 contests this week.


January 19
2 3


Hamilton 1 0 2 3 2/7 31
Syracuse 2 2 2 6 1/7 35

Attendance:  3,842
3 Stars:
  1) Kelly – SYR  2) Rome – SYR  3) Harvey – SYR

January 21
2 3


Manitoba 2 1 1 4 3/5 29
Hamilton 2 0 1 3 1/4 36

Attendance:  3,043
3 Stars:
  1) Krog – MTB  2) Maxwell – HAM  3) Jaffray – MTB

January 23
2 3


Chicago 0 1 1 2 1/6 27
Hamilton 2 0 1 3 1/3 20

Attendance:  4,532
3 Stars:
  1) Desharnais – HAM  2) Hamilton – CHI  3)
Desjardins – HAM

January 24
2 3


Hamilton 0 2 3 5 1/4 28
Binghamton 1 0 2 3 1/3 35

Attendance:  4,594
3 Stars:
  1) Maxwell – HAM  2) Hennessy – BNG  3) Weber – HAM


A pair of recent returnees from the Habs led
the way this week, as both Yannick Weber and Ben Maxwell had 5 points each.


# Player GP G A +/- SH PIMS
3 Ryan O’Byrne 4 1 1 +4 5 13
4 Dan Jancevski 4 0 2 +2 2 6
5 Alex Henry 4 0 0 -2 3 5
6 Chad Anderson 2 0 1 +1 3 2
7 Yannick Weber 4 2 3 -2 13 2
10 Greg Stewart 2 0 0 E 0 0
11 Steve Gainey 4 1 0 -1 5 0
15 Mike Glumac 4 2 1 -2 11 0
19 Brock Trotter 4 1 1 -1 9 4
20 Ryan Russell 4 0 1 +1 6 4
22 Kyle Chipchura 2 1 2 +3 6 2
24 T.J. Kemp 4 0 1 -2 5 2
28 Ryan White 4 1 0 E 2 0
32 David Desharnais 2 0 3 E 2 2
41 Mathieu Aubin 3 1 0 E 8 2
42 Olivier Latendresse 3 1 1 -1 4 5
44 Shawn Belle 4 1 0 -1 3 21
49 Ryan Flinn 2 0 1 +1 1 0
72 Mathieu Carle 4 0 0 E 4 2
85 Yanick Lehoux 4 0 3 -2 12 2
91 Ben Maxwell 4 2 3 E 11 2


# Player Record SV% GAA
30 Cedrick Desjardins 2-0-0 .919 2.50
38 Marc Denis 0-2-0 .857 4.57


Goals:  Glumac (19)
  Lehoux (28)
  Lehoux (43)
  Russell (+19)
  Stewart (131)

This Week:

January 26:  AHL All-Star Classic
January 30:
  Hamilton vs Toronto
January 31:  Hamilton vs Lake Erie

28-16-2-0, 3rd in division


With all the talk about Phoenix’s financial
struggles recently, the city of Hartford has been thrown to the forefront with
them having declared interest in bringing a team back there.  With that in
mind, let’s look at a Hartford pick that went on to join the Habs.

A 2nd round choice (32nd overall) of the
Whalers in 1988, Barry Richter’s nomadic-like journey began before he even
played for a Hartford affiliated team.  He was moved to the Rangers in late
1993 and spent a trio of seasons in their organization, getting just a small
sniff of NHL action (4 games, recording 1 assist).  From then on, it was
waiver claims and Group VI signings for him, and Boston was his next
destination.  Although his stay there was short, it was a lot more
successful, as Richter played 50 games for the B’s in 96-97 before being stuck
in the AHL the following season.  From there, it was onto the Islanders
where he spent the entire season with the big club.  Prior to the 99-00
season, he signed with the Habs.  In his 2 year stint, he played a total of
25 games with the Habs, while his 2000-01 AHL campaign saw him tied with
Miroslav Guren for the team lead in points by a defenceman.

That was it for his NHL aspirations, as Richter departed to Sweden prior to the
start of the 01-02 season.  He spent a pair of years there, playing for
Linkoping, before moving on to Zug in Switzerland.  He spent 5 seasons
there, playing alongside former Habs Paul DiPietro, Claude Lemieux, and Oleg
Petrov, before hanging them up at the end of last season.


The All-Star Game has far too
often become an afterthought in the current NHL landscape, especially with the
lack of success in Dallas and Atlanta from years past.  This year may very
well put it back on the map, after the Canadiens organization put together a
very memorable experience, and the game itself was one of the better ones. 
People need to embrace the fact that it’s not a real game, but neither is the
NBA game – in fact, you could argue that there’s more defense in the NHL one as
it stands now.  This year, the fans seemed to, as there were fewer qualms
about the game itself. 

After seeing the atmosphere in Montreal and comparing it to the last few games,
you’d have hoped the NHL would have learned its lesson with sending the game to
non-hockey markets, but evidently not as the next one is in Phoenix.  Oh
well, if nothing else, they’ll have 2 full years to hype it up – and considering
there may not even be a team in Phoenix by then, they’re going to need that
time.  If there turns out to be any sort of excitement for that game in
2011, you can be assured that it’ll be riding the coattails of this weekend’s

Our comment feature still isn’t
fully functioning, so to anyone who’s
sent comments recently and hasn’t gotten anything back, I apologize – I simply
didn’t receive them.  If you’d like to drop me a line, please do so by
e-mailing me.