HabsWorld.net -- 

It was a week that can only be categorized as
strange for the Montreal Canadiens.  Unfortunately for the organization,
the goal drought has trickled down to Hamilton as they scored just once in each
of their contests.  Newly acquired Jay Leach is the focus of this week’s 3
Up, 3 Down segment while the Final Thought looks at how organizational patience
remains critical at a time like this.  This plus the weekly power rankings,
in the Recap.


The PPR’s are on a cumulative basis with
some bias towards the current week.  The prev. column represents the last
ranking for the player; players not on last week’s list will be slotted back
where they were when returning from injury/benching/recall (italicized numbers). 
Thus, multiple players may have the same previous ranking.






Brian Gionta

7 Responsible for 50% of the
goals this week which is both good and bad.
2 Tomas Plekanec 1 If only he
had regular wingers who knew what to do with the puck.

Mike Cammalleri 2 If nothing else, he’s getting
chances but he certainly needs to bury more.
4 Scott Gomez 4 Quietly the
only forward aside from Gionta with multiple points this week.

Glen Metropolit 3 Of all the benchings in the 3
games this week, his surprised me the most.
6 Roman Hamrlik 4 Starting to
show signs of wearing down…surprised it took this long.

Carey Price 8 Showing signs that he’s
turning it around but still has a ways to go.
8 Jaroslav Spacek 8 Second
straight week of improved play aside from when he was hurt.

Travis Moen 6 The gritty play from the
beginning of the season just isn’t there anymore.
10 Ryan White Highest
rookie debut of the season, played physical and didn’t screw up.

Andrei Kostitsyn 18 For the first time in weeks,
the light bulb seems to be on again.
12 Paul Mara 11 Took a
couple of costly penalties, but he remains a steadying influence.

Josh Gorges 12 Solid aside from a few very
questionable decisions with the puck.
14 Maxim Lapierre 15 Looked out
of place with Plekanec but at least gave some good efforts.

Max Pacioretty 17 Looks more comfortable out
there, perhaps this is a workable role?
16 Kyle Chipchura 13 Didn’t play
bad enough to lose his job but not good enough to keep it.

Mathieu Carle A pair of quality games after
a shaky debut.  Wish he’d see the PP though. 
18 Tom Pyatt Not quite
the impact player from the preseason but played well regardless.
19 Marc-Andre Bergeron 19 Better than
last week, but that really isn’t saying anything notable.
20 Guillaume Latendresse 16 Benching was
a long time coming, let’s see if it wakes him up now.
21 Gregory Stewart 21 If I were
him, I’d be very worried about how many NHL days are left.

Dropped from the rankings: Jaroslav Halak
(9), Hal Gill (14), and Matt D’Agostini (20), the latter two due to injuries.

 The Dog

With Friday’s loss at the Bell Centre in
Montreal, the Bulldogs’ unbeaten in regulation streak came to an end. 
Despite this, they remain in 2nd place in the North Division.


November 6
2 3


Binghamton 1 1 0 2 1/2 26
Hamilton 0 0 1 1 1/8 37

Attendance:  14,702 (@ Bell Centre
in Montreal)
3 Stars:
  1) Brodeur – BNG  2) Keller – BNG  3) Subban – HAM

November 8
2 3


Hamilton 0 0 1 1 0/7 34
Binghamton 0 0 0 0 0/6 31

Attendance:  4,588 (@ Scotiabank
Place in Ottawa)
3 Stars:
  1) Desjardins – HAM  2) Brodeur – BNG  3) Kostitsyn –


Sergei Kostitsyn scored the game winner Sunday
vs Binghamton, let the call up talk begin.  Hey, it was his first goal in 7
games, he’d fit in perfectly on Montreal’s 2nd line come to think of it.


# Player GP G A +/- SH PIMS
5 Alex Henry 1 0 0 E 0 0
6 Chad Anderson 2 0 0 E 3 4
7 Yannick Weber 2 0 1 E 5 2
8 Maxime Lacroix 2 0 0 E 3 0
10 J.T. Wyman 2 0 0 E 10 0
12 Andrew Conboy 2 0 0 E 2 5
15 Mike Glumac 2 0 0 E 2 0
19 Brock Trotter 2 0 0 -1 3 4
20 Ryan Russell 2 0 0 E 3 0
21 Mathieu Darche 2 0 1 E 10 0
29 Eric Neilson 2 0 0 E 4 7
32 Frederic St. Denis 2 0 0 E 1 0
44 Shawn Belle 2 0 1 E 3 0
61 Andre Benoit 2 0 0 +1 7 4
74 Sergei Kostitsyn 2 1 0 E 2 0
76 P.K. Subban 2 1 0 -1 7 0
85 Mikael Johansson 1 0 0 E 1 0
91 Ben Maxwell 2 0 0 +1 5 2


# Player Record SV% GAA
1 Curtis Sanford 0-1-0 .923 2.04
30 Cedrick Desjardins 1-0-0 1.000 0.00


Goals: Mathieu Darche (7)
Assists: 2 tied with 6
Points: Mathieu Darche (10)
+/-: Tom Pyatt (+8)
PIMS: Eric Neilson (41)

This Week:

November 10: Hamilton vs Rochester
November 14: Syracuse vs Hamilton

 3 Up, 3

With this week’s acquisition of Jay Leach,
let’s look at some of the positives and negatives that he’ll bring to the
Canadiens lineup.


1) Grit – With Ryan O’Byrne and even Hal
Gill out of the lineup, there’s a noticeable lack of grit on the back end. 
Though not a major tough guy, Leach will make the defence a little tougher
physically to play against.

2) Defensive responsibility – With things being so rough defensively at
times, having someone who has no desire whatsoever to go on the attack sounds
absolutely wonderful at the moment.

3) His old home – Though this may seem odd, he is coming from a team who
knows what to do defensively.  Learning in that system will go a long way
in helping him be successful in what will likely be his limited stint in


1) Speed – Hal Gill may have someone
who’d give him a run for his money in terms of slowness – the transition game
will take a hit when he’s on the ice.

2) First pass – Further to the previous, getting the puck to the forwards
(which already is an issue at times) is not a particular strength of his.

3) Experience – With rookies such as Yannick Weber, Shawn Belle, and
Mathieu Carle all seeing NHL ice this year, you’d think a 30 year old would
significantly trump them in experience.  Think again, as he only has 28
games of NHL experience himself.


Leach appears to be one of those players who if
you have no expectations for, he’ll do fine.  He’s not being brought in to
improve anything in particular, just to be a healthy (and really cheap) body. 
Last year, he logged 14.5 minutes per game in New Jersey, considering the
hesitation to use Bergeron and Carle regularly, that could come in handy.


With PK Subban scoring his first professional
goal in Hamilton’s loss at the Bell Centre earlier in the week, there were some
calling for him to get a chance with Montreal.  The question I pose to you
is this, how many times do you have to make the same mistake before you finally
learn from it?  Let’s face it, Guillaume Latendresse had no business
playing in the NHL when he first did and it appears his career may already be at
a crossroads as nothing more than an adequate bottom 6 forward.  Carey
Price appears to have been rushed much too quickly as well, how long will it
take him to get the development he should have received in Hamilton?  Heck,
even Max Pacioretty’s development isn’t going too well, the future 2nd line
winger got thrown in a little too quickly and has only now maybe found his
niche…as a checker.  It’s also arguable that Sergei Kostitsyn played too much too soon in
the NHL and look what that did to his head.

Now, let’s look at some of the players who got their development time and are
doing well as a result.  Maxim Lapierre was drafted as a 3rd/4th liner,
played over 140 AHL games and last year made a name for himself with the Habs as
a solid checker.  Jaroslav Halak saw nearly 90 minor pro games (Price
played 34 by comparison) and many feel he should be the #1 goalie now. 
Tomas Plekanec played over 175 games in Hamilton before being an NHL regular and
he’s been solid 2 of the past 3 years.  The recent recalls of Mathieu Carle
and Tom Pyatt can also be noted here, both saw 2 full years in the minors before
getting a sniff, Ryan White played a full AHL season before his recall.

PK Subban has played all of 13 games in the AHL and is still not even seeing ice
time on the top pairing.  Yes, some guys can make the jump to the NHL
straight out of junior, but most of those players were selected in the top-10 in
the NHL draft, Subban was a mid-2nd rounder (just like Latendresse was). 
What the Habs need right now is someone who can step in and produce right away,
Subban isn’t ready to do that just yet.  Let him develop properly (a full
season in Hamilton at the minimum), maybe then he’ll be able to meet the overly
lofty expectations many have placed on him already.  The famous saying,
"Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it" comes into play here – here’s
hoping we don’t see a repeat of recent history when it comes to Subban.

Did You

Alex Henry’s demotion to Hamilton on Sunday
spelled the end of his stint on Montreal’s cap, saving the team about $160,000
(which isn’t far off what Jay Leach will cost them).  Andrei Markov was
LTIR’ed earlier in the week, adjustments to the
reflect the new cap situation.  If you have a question regarding my
capsheet or this article, feel free to
drop me a line at
[email protected]