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The goaltending was there this week for the
Habs but not much else was as they dropped 2 of 3 while the Bulldogs split their
pair of games despite a depleted lineup.  With the team now past the
quarter pole, we look at the ups and downs of Jacques Martin’s coaching strategy
while the Final Thought notes a possible scoring solution the Habs haven’t
seemed to have thought of yet.  This plus the weekly power rankings, in the


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.






Tomas Plekanec

2 Set up all but one of the
goals this week and was a consistent threat.
2 Carey Price 7 A pair of
very strong outings including that 53-save effort vs Nashville.

Brian Gionta 1 Does missing one player really
make a difference?  When it’s him, it does.
4 Glen Metropolit 5 Quieted off
a little this week but still managed a goal vs the Coyotes.

Mike Cammalleri 3 Struggled on Saturday but
played well in the other two contests.
6 Jaroslav Halak 9 Only allowed
1 goal but still got the loss…hard to blame him for that one.

Roman Hamrlik 6 Already running out of gas,
but still had several strong moments.
8 Scott Gomez 4 Eventually,
he needs to start picking up the points, regardless of effort.

Josh Gorges 13 Couple of untimely penalties
but otherwise a decent week.
10 Paul Mara 12 Another one
that’s overworked, but a good week aside from hitting Price.

Jaroslav Spacek 8 Played well aside from when
injured, kudos for giving it a go Saturday.
12 Travis Moen 9 Saw flashes
of the early season Moen, but he needs to bring more.

Andrei Kostitsyn 11 Like Gomez, at this point,
just give me some positive results already.
14 Ryan White 10 Took the
penalty that ultimately killed the Habs’ chances in Nashville.

Jay Leach Steady, knows his limitations
and doesn’t try to force things.
16 Marc-Andre Bergeron 19 Produced
offence for both teams this week instead of just the opponents.

Tom Pyatt 18 Not hurting the team but isn’t
bringing anything to the table either.
18 Max Pacioretty 15 His
development is being stunted right before our very eyes.
19 Maxim Lapierre 14 Not quite
rock bottom yet but he’s not too far from it unfortunately.
20 Kyle Chipchura 16 Finally got
back in the lineup but didn’t do anything to impress.
21 Guillaume Latendresse 20 If he gets
benched, it’ll be the first thing he’s earned all season long.

Dropped from the rankings: Mathieu Carle
(17) and Gregory Stewart (21), both of whom were scratched for all 3 games this
past week.

 The Dog

With their starting goalie out of the lineup,
Cedrick Desjardins got a pair of consecutive starts this week, winning the
latter of the two.


November 10
2 3


Hamilton 0 0 1 1 1/7 39
Rochester 1 2 1 4 1/3 32

Attendance:  3,013
3 Stars:
  1) Henry – ROC  2) Mink – ROC  3) Salak – ROC

November 14
2 3


Syracuse 1 0 0 1 1/4 23
Hamilton 2 1 2 5 1/4 31

Attendance:  3,659
3 Stars:
  1) Glumac – HAM  2) Russell – HAM  3) Maxwell –


David Desharnais made his much anticipated
return to the Hamilton lineup this week and didn’t disappoint as he picked up a
trio of points.


# Player GP G A +/- SH PIMS
5 Alex Henry 2 0 0 E 2 0
6 Chad Anderson 2 0 0 -1 0 2
7 Yannick Weber 2 0 0 E 9 0
8 Maxime Lacroix 2 0 0 E 2 0
10 J.T. Wyman 2 0 0 -1 3 0
12 Andrew Conboy 2 0 0 E 4 0
15 Mike Glumac 2 3 1 E 12 0
19 Brock Trotter 2 0 2 E 2 0
20 Ryan Russell 2 2 0 +1 5 2
21 Mathieu Darche 1 0 0 E 4 0
29 Eric Neilson 2 0 0 E 4 5
32 Frederic St. Denis 2 0 0 E 0 0
44 Shawn Belle 2 0 0 +2 4 4
51 David Desharnais 2 1 2 E 2 4
61 Andre Benoit 2 0 0 E 2 0
74 Sergei Kostitsyn 2 0 2 +2 3 0
76 P.K. Subban 2 0 0 +1 8 4
91 Ben Maxwell 2 0 4 +1 4 0


# Player Record SV% GAA
30 Cedrick Desjardins 1-1-0 .909 2.51


Goals: Mathieu Darche (7)
Assists: Brock Trotter (8)
Points: Brock Trotter (11)
+/-: Tom Pyatt (+8)
PIMS: Eric Neilson (46)
Shots: Mathieu Darche (66)

This Week:

November 17: Hamilton vs Abbotsford
November 18: Hamilton vs Abbotsford
November 20: Hamilton vs Manitoba
November 21: Hamilton vs Manitoba

 3 Up, 3

Though this was also in last week’s Recap, the
decisions made by Jacques Martin lent itself perfectly to this feature again
this week.  At the quarter pole, here are the positives and negatives from
behind the bench this season:


1) Anyone can be sat down: Last year, it
seemed as if certain players could do no wrong.  Already, virtually every
player has been benched at some point this season.  It hasn’t worked as
well as it could have, but it’s still nice to see.

2) Goaltending situation: Without trying to start the controversy again,
there doesn’t appear to be a clear-cut #1 in Montreal.  Instead, he’s
letting the goalies fight amongst themselves; this week was a good example of
the benefits of this.

3) No rolling 4 lines: Finally, we’ve seen the end of the era where the
4th line played almost as much as the scoring lines did.  You could argue
some are playing too much, but I’d rather the better players playing too much
than the pluggers.


1) New day, new lines: We thought former
coach Guy Carbonneau was bad for this – turns out he was only scratching the
surface for the number of line changes that could actually be made within 6

2) Wrong situations for the forwards: Last I checked, players like Tom
Pyatt and Ryan White weren’t expected to be big scorers, so why are they even
seeing top-6 ice time?  Heck, they weren’t always getting that much ice
time in the minors. 

3) No flexibility on D: Despite the numerous changes up front, Martin
seems hesitant to flip the D around (except when injuries dictate). 
Perhaps changing the D pairings may help kickstart the transition game that
appears to be only a pipedream at this point in time.


As tempting as it may be to call for the hounds
to swarm around Jacques Martin already, the reality is he isn’t going anywhere
anytime soon, not with another 3.5 years left on his deal.  All we can
really hope for is that eventually he leaves the forwards alone for more than a
few minutes – only then will we see if there’s hope for some chemistry amongst
the line combos.


For all of the attempts to rectify the lack of
offence, believe it or not there is a legitimate option out there that hasn’t
been attempted yet amongst the 30 or so different combos used already this
season.  And no, it’s not bringing up Sergei Kostitsyn who has about as
many goals as his brother in the last month or so. 

How many times this year have we commented on how Glen Metropolit just seems to
get the job done?  I see it mentioned nearly after every game, he’s surely
the early favourite for the team’s unsung hero award.  Right now, he’s
getting the job done offensively, surely that justifies another promotion? 
Sure, it’s nice to have some offensive punch on the lower lines but I’d rather
see the 2nd line scoring than the 3rd if I can only choose one of the two. 
Consider Metropolit already plays on the powerplay, he’d have some familiarity
with playing an attacking style and some chemistry with Plekanec and ‘insert the
LW of the day here.’  Considering almost everything else has been tried,
it’s certainly worth a shot at this point.

If you have a question regarding my
capsheet or this article,
please feel free to
drop me a line at
[email protected]