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Team overall grade: B

Currently (Jan.12) tied for 8th in the Eastern conference


Tomas Plekanec – Grade: A+

47 Games, 10 Goals, 36 Assists, +6, 24 Pim, 1 PPG & GWG, 109 Shots

Notes: Tomas has developed into Mr. Everything this year. He centers the top line, earns significant time on the power play,

and a regular turn in short handed situations. He’s one point short of a point per game pace, and has been incredibly

consistent scoring this season, aside from a recent 4 game drought, and has spent time in the top 20 NHL scorers this season.

He’s on his way to a career season, as he approaches his first time as a UFA.

Mike Cammalleri – Grade A-

47 Games, 20 Goals, 17 Assists, +11, 12 Pim, 4 PPG & GWG, 157 Shots

Notes: Steady Cammalleri has clicked well with Plekanec, as Mike always puts in a consistent effort, and along with his speed

and hockey sense remains a constant offensive threat on the ice. Mike is a scorer who plays bigger than his size; he will

battle anyone hard to get the puck, and can put it in the net when given the chance.

Scott Gomez – Grade B-

43 Games, 6 Goals, 24 Assists, +1, 24 Pim, 2 PPG, 86 Shots

Notes: Started off very slowly, with only 11 points in his first 22 games. He then missed 4 games due to a groin injury.

Since his return, he’s managed 19 points in 21 games, which is up to the team’s expectations of him to start the seaosn. His

overall stats may not be stunning at the end of the season, but if he can continue to score at near a point per game rate

through to the rest of the season, then his role will be cemented as the #2 centre on the team.

Andrei Kostitsyn – Grade B-

40 Games, 12 Goals, 13 Assists, +3, 20 Pim, 5 PPG, 86 Shots

Notes: Started off slowly, almost glacier like. His effort level was still high, which you could see through his physical

and defensive play. But the offensive results were not there for the first 1 1/2 months, until the middle of November, when

the streaky scorer found his offensive game and rattled off 20 points in his next 20 games, excluding a 3 game minor injury

to his leg. Unfortunately, he sustained a significant knee injury at the end of December, and required surgery which will put

him out of action for 6 weeks. At the time of his injury, he was clicking well on a line with Plekanec and Cammalleri.

Glen Metropolit – Grade B

41 Games, 10 Goals, 10 Assists, -2, 16 Pim, 6 PPG, 1 GWG, 78 Shots

Notes: Metro is another player that fits in well to any head coach’s system. Despite the assigned role of the #3/4 center,

he has the versatility to fit in on any line, as well as handling regular penalty killing assignments and the occasional

power play. He has provided offensive results above expectations, and has great hockey sense.

Brian Gionta – Grade B

26 Games, 10 Goals, 8 Assists, +4, 14 Pim, 2 PPG, 1 GW, 91 Shots

Notes: Gionta started off the season red hot, with 1 goal in each of his first two games. His exceptional speed and

tenacity on the forecheck have helped put some fear into many, bigger NHL defenceman when Gionta has the put and comes into

their zone . A broken foot near the middle of November, knocked Brian out for 21 games. His return has been welcomed, as

he’s managed 5 points in the 7 games since his return. His leadership has been noticeable, and despite being the smallest

player on the team and one of the smallest in the NHL, Gionta is a warrior on the ice. His recent pairing with former

teammate Scott Gomez and newcomer Benoit Pouillot hav been an effective and productive 2nd line, which the Habs sorely need

to boost their first line.

Travis Moen – Grade B

47 Games, 7 Goals, 3 Assists, -3, 40 Pim, 1 PPG, 2 SHG, 71 shots

Notes: Started the season with two goals, one fight and one assist in his first 3 games to start the season, and provided

fans with higher expectations. However, the GM did not sign him for his offensive skill. Moen is a big presence up front,

with good skating ability and tenacity, willing to be aggressive when it calls for and not needlessly. He sticks up for his

teammates when necessary, which greatly helps the smaller forwards on the team.

George Laraque – Grade D

25 Games, 0 Goals, 2 Assists, -6, 24 Pim, 0 Shots

Notes: Laraque is in the second year of three in his contract since signing as a UFA with the Habs in 2008, and rumours

abound that he may not start the third season wearing a Habs uniform. Injuries have slowed Laraque greatly, this season and

last. When his only role on the team is to provide toughness, he is becoming little use to the Habs, who may either trade him

before the deadline, or buy him out in the off season, due to the small return Laraque has been on the Habs investment in


Max Pacioretty – Grade B-

46 Games, 3 Goals, 11 Assists, -4, 18 Pim, 65 Shots

Notes: Pacioretty is still developing during his NHL apprenticeship, and slowly providing some help at times this seaosn. He

has good size and skating ability, with above average passing, shooting and hockey sense. He still needs to develop

physically, since he gets knocked off the puck easily and out muscled in most 1-1 battles. He is only 21, having started the

season as a 20 year old, and requires patience and more seasoning before bigger things are expected of him. For now, he will

find ice time on one of the bottom two lines, while filling in for injured players occasionally on the top two lines.

Maxim Lapierre – Grade C

47 Games, 2 Goals, 6 Assists, -10, 46 Pim, 55 Shots

Notes: Lapierre has the ability to play the hockey “pest” role and play it well. His role on the team has floated between

3rd and 4th line centre, and occasionally on the wing to fill in for injured players. He also starting to learn to use his

fits after his mouth has antagonized an opponent to frustration, a task he had not quite learned consistently in his previous

seasons with the Habs. His defensive play has been below average this season.

Benoit Pouliot – Grade B

9 Games, 4 Goals, +0, 4 Pim, 1 PPG, 2 GWG, 22 Shots

Notes: Pouliot was hampered by a wrist injury at the time of his trade from Minnesota for underperforming Gui Latendresse.

It took him several games to recover from that time, but he has blossomed on the 2nd line with forwards Gomez and Gionta.

Benoit is an above average skater, but has wonderful hands around the net, and plays with more effort than expected, based on

previous labelling while with the Wild. His devensive game is average. If he continues to play this way, he should remain on

one of the top two lines.

Matt D’Agostini, – Grade C-

31 Games, 2 Goals, 2 Assists, -8, 17 Pim, 39 Shots

Notes: D’Agostini has under performed this season, and suffered what some those might be a season ending concussion.

Missing only 13 games, he played more tentative since his return to the ice. Matt has a sniper’s ability, with only average


Sergei Kostitsyn – Grade C-

19 Games, 1 Goal, 3 Assists, -4, 2 Pim, 21 Shots

Notes: Sergei started a big controversy for the team, after being demoted to the minors during the preseason, and

threatening to play in the KHL if he wasn’t traded. His attitude & demands to the demotion rendered him radioactive to other

NHL general managers, who wanted nothing to do him, leaving him untradable. He put in some effort while toiling in the AHL,

and injuries to other NHL forwards allowed him a chance to return to Montreal. Sergei has some offensive talent, but does

not appear to fit well into a traditional winger’s role. He may improve if given a chance at centre, or elsewhere. Currently

he is is not in the lineup due to an ankle injury.

Ryan White – Grade C+

14 Games, 0 Goals, 2 Assists, -5, 11 Pim, 4 Shots

Notes: Ryan’s game is all about defence. He plays a safe game defensively, rarely beaten, and has a physical edge to his

game. He has bounced up and down from the minors to fill in for injuries. Next season may prove a better opportunity for a

full time position in Montreal.

Tom Pyatt – Grade C+

19 Games, 0 Goals, 0 Assists, -9, 6 Pim, 18 Shots

Notes: Like linemate Ryan White, Pyatt’s game is all about defence. He has good hockey sense, with great speed to provide a

presence on the forecheck. His defensive stats do not reflect this skill, but he is effective in his role, considering this

is his first pro season where he’s played a few games in the NHL.

Incomplete Grades: Gui Latendresse [traded], Greg Stewart [minors], Kyle Chipchura [traded], David Desharnais [minors], James

Wyman [minors]


Marc-Andre Bergeron – Grade B-

40 Games, 10 Goals, 13 Assists, -6, 12 Pim, 6 PPG, 4 GWG, 80 Shots

Notes: Despite missing the entire preseason and the first two games of the season, Bergeron has produced very well

offensively for the Habs. His shot is one of the hardest & fastest in the NHL, which is a huge benefit on the power play and

other offensive situations. However, the defensive side of his game is below average. His lack of size makes it difficult to

play against larger forwards, and with his penchant for wanting to contribute offensively, he gambles too often leaving his

teammates with difficult situations to defend against. His offensive ability have helped to keep him in the lineup as a

forward, when the team has had 6 other healthy defenceman, to take advantage of his power play presence.

Andrei Markov – Grade A+

12 Games, 3 Goals 10 Assists, +3, 8 Pim, 3 PPG, 1 GWG, 27 Shots

Notes: Andrei suffered a terrible injury [ankle, requiring surgery] during the first game of the season, causing him to miss

35 games. His return had some style to it, as he provided 2 goals and an immediate presence to the lineup. Markov is the

team’s top defenceman, in all three zones of the ice.

Jaroslav Spacek – Grade B-

45 Games, 3 Goals, 9 Assists, +6, 38 Pim, 1 PPG, 71 Shots

Notes: A steady presence on the blueline, overall his play has been good. His offensive numbers are lower than predicted, but

that may be due to teammate Marc-Andre Bergeron, who has garnered the lion’s share on the power play.

Roman Hamrlik – Grade B-

40 Games, 5 Goals, 11 Assists, -3, 24 Pim, 2 PPG, 1 GWG, 68 Shots

Notes: Hamrlik missed part of the preseason and the first NHL game due to an injury, then suffered a knee injury causing him

to miss 6 games in December. Hamrlik managed to fill in as the #1 defenceman during Markov’s injury, and performed well. He

is usually paired with fellow Czech countryman Spacek, and together they form a decent 2nd pairing.

Paul Mara – Grade C-

37 Games, 0 Goals, 7 Assists, -13, 44 Pim, 30 Shots

Notes: His plus/minus numbers are well below expectations. Mara tends to take poor penalties, typically when an opposing

forward has beaten him in position, or badly timed penalties, . His signing by the Habs was likely as a stop-gap measure,

until a depth player like Ryan O’Byrne or prospect in the minors is ready for a regular spot in the lineup.

Josh Gorges – Grade B

47 Games, 3 Goals, 5 Assists, +2, 28 Pim, 1 GWG, 32 Shots

Notes: Gorges is a steady presence on the blueline, as a defensive defenceman. He occasionally gets beaten by larger

forwards, but his hockey smarts usually puts him in good positioning to counter the play. He’s developing more into a team

leader this season, particularly since 10 players left the team in the off season.

Hal Gill – Grade B-

33 Games, 2 Goals, 1 Assists, -5, 45 Pim, 25 Shots

Notes: Gill is a huge speciman, with a wingspan that most forwards cannot get past. While not fleet of foot, he plays well

within his means, to keep from being beaten very often. He is very effective on the penalty kill, as few forwards can stay

in front of the net when Gill want to move them out.

Ryan O’Byrne – Grade C+

24 Games, 0 Goals, 1 Assist, -2, 29 Pim, 11 Shots

Notes: O’Byrne impressed many Habs pundits with an excellent pre-season, using his size and speed to provide an agressive

and intimidating play. This continued into the first 1 1/2 pro games to start the season, before a knee injury kept him out

of the lineup for 18 games. His return to the lineup has left him a little less aggressive. Perhaps he rushed back from the

injury before being fully healed, which often happens to pro players due to their competitiveness. Look for O’Byrne after the

Olympic break to improve after a needed rest.

Incomplete Grades: Yannick Weber & Mathieu Carle [minors]


Carey Price – Grade B

29 Games, 10 Wins, 15 Losses, 3 OTL, 2.67 GAA, .915 Sv%, 0 SO

Notes: Price is an exceptional goalie from a technical stance, but he has been hot and cold with the Habs this season.

Price usually faces the higher ranked teams, but this season Jacques Martin has gone with the hot goalie, and each goalie

have played continuously for streaks when both the team & goalie are doing well.

Jaroslav Halak – Grade B+

20 Games, 12 Wins, 6 Losses, 1 OTL, 2.46 GAA, .927 Sv%, 2 SO

Notes: Halak has been consistently good, and sometimes great, for the Habs this season. While he usually faces the

non-higher ranked teams, as most backup goalies do, this season he has seen action against tougher teams, and done well

overall. Some controversy has followed Halak this season, since some believe he / his agent has asked for a team while some

interpret the request as one for more playing time with the Habs. The number of starts between the two goalies have been

close to split this season, it appears to be an argument this season as to whether Price or Halak are the 1A / 1B ranked

goalies, or vice versa.