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After a listless effort last week, the Habs
rebounded, picking up 5 of a possible 6 points while Hamilton used an offensive
explosion to solidify their division lead.  With Jaroslav Halak’s success
as a 9th rounder, let’s look back at the 2000 draft to see if any gems came out
of that one, while the Final Thought gives my take on the Georges Laraque
situation.  This plus the 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.






Mike Cammalleri

3 When the Habs gave him his big
deal, this is what they were expecting.
2 Brian Gionta 1 Didn’t put
the puck in the net this week but had a helper in each game.

Tomas Plekanec 2 As Cammalleri has turned his
game around, so too has Plekanec.
4 Jaroslav Halak 6 Allowed only
one goal in two games – does any more really need to be said?

Scott Gomez 5 Managed to continue his
scoring pace despite losing Gionta off his line.
6 Benoit Pouliot 7 He scores,
then scores again, then…well, you get the point.

Carey Price 4 Struggled early vs the Blues
but did hold the team in it to earn a point.
8 Roman Hamrlik 9 Is now
becoming more comfortable in his now slightly reduced role.

Josh Gorges 10 With Markov struggling a bit
right now, he was great stepping up.
10 Andrei Markov 8 You can tell
he’s not quite in shape yet, some questionable decisions.

Marc-Andre Bergeron 13 Saw his minutes cut
substantially but still picked up a pair of assists.
12 Glen Metropolit 11 No longer
picking up the points but was once again the best on his line.

Jaroslav Spacek 15 For likely the first time this
year, he finally justified his contract (for now).
14 Mathieu Darche I wasn’t a
fan of the call up at the time but he’s earned his PT so far.

Travis Moen 12 Glad to see him finally get a
point, not a fan of his staged fight though.
16 Hal Gill 14 A little
shaky at times defensively but hey, he actually got a point too!

Sergei Kostitsyn 15 A decent return for a player
who’d sat a while due to injury.
18 Maxim Lapierre 18 Started to
simplify things this week and what do you know, he scores.
19 Max Pacioretty 19 Not playing
overly poorly but the demotion was a long time coming.
20 Ryan O’Byrne 21 I’m pretty
sure I’m not the only one who hopes he sticks to playing D.
21 Paul Mara 16 Yet another
minor injury – who knew he was this brittle?
22 Matt D’Agostini 20 Perhaps this
short (max 2 weeks) demotion gets him going too.

Dropped from the rankings: Georges Laraque
(19 – DNP)

 The Dog

The All-Star Break proved to be beneficial for
the Bulldogs as they came out flying by blowing out division rival Rochester in
a statement game.


January 22
2 3


Hamilton 3 2 1 6 1/4 36
Rochester 0 0 1 1 0/3 30

Attendance:  5,671
3 Stars:
  1) Trotter – HAM  2) Wyman – HAM  3) Desjardins – HAM

January 23
2 3


Hamilton 0 2 1 3 1/4 28
Toronto 2 2 0 4 2/8 26

Attendance:  7,084
3 Stars:
  1) Hanson – TOR  2) White – HAM  3) Brent – TOR


Despite losing a plethora of offence (Mathieu
Darche – recall, Mike Glumac – injury, Mathieu Carle – injury, and Mikael
Johansson – reassigned to the SEL), the Bulldogs managed to pop 9 goals in just
2 games, led once again by Brock Trotter. 


# Player GP G A +/- SH PIMS
5 Alex Henry 2 0 0 E 0 10
6 Chad Anderson 2 0 0 E 2 0
7 Yannick Weber 2 0 3 +3 5 4
10 J.T. Wyman 2 2 0 +2 5 0
12 Andrew Conboy 2 0 0 +1 3 0
16 Gregory Stewart 2 1 1 +2 4 9
18 Dany Masse 2 0 1 +1 3 2
19 Brock Trotter 2 2 1 +2 7 4
20 Ryan Russell 2 0 0 E 6 0
25 Ryan White 2 1 1 E 2 17
26 Grant Stevenson 2 0 1 +1 1 0
27 Tom Pyatt 2 1 1 +1 3 2
32 Frederic St. Denis 2 0 0 +3 2 0
44 Shawn Belle 2 0 0 +1 1 2
51 David Desharnais 2 1 2 +1 6 0
61 Andre Benoit 2 0 0 E 3 4
76 P.K. Subban 2 0 2 +1 6 4
91 Ben Maxwell 2 1 2 +1 5 0


# Player Record SV% GAA
1 Curtis Sanford 0-1-0 .889 2.39
30 Cedrick Desjardins 1-0-0 .921 2.60


Goals: Brock Trotter (20)
Assists: David Desharnais (26)
Points: Brock Trotter (45)
+/-: P.K. Subban (+23)
PIMS: Ryan White (91)
Shots: Mathieu Darche (127)

This Week:

January 27: Hamilton vs Rockford
January 28: Hamilton vs Milwaukee
January 30: Hamilton vs Chicago
January 31: Hamilton vs Milwaukee

back at…

There’s always a few times a year where we
think back and wonder, "Hey, whatever happened to so-and-so?"  Keeping with
this year’s theme of looking back at the past decade, let’s see exactly where
Montreal’s draft picks in 2000 have wound up.

Ron Hainsey (1st round, 13th overall):

NHL GP: 375 – With Montreal: 32

The most successful of that year’s crop, he like several other highly touted
prospects (at least of late) got his best chance after he left the Habs. 
He was picked up off re-entry waivers by Columbus in 2005-06 and now plays in

Marcel Hossa (1st round, 16th overall):

NHL GP: 237 – With Montreal: 49

Another 1st rounder that could be labeled a bust as he played parts of 2
unspectacular seasons with the Habs before being shipped out for Garth Murray. 
He spent time with the Rangers and Coyotes before moving on to the KHL.  To
his credit, he did make Slovakia’s Olympic team though.

Jozef Balej
(3rd round, 78th overall):

NHL GP: 18 – With Montreal: 4

His second pro season turned out to be his best but unfortunately for him, the
bulk of that year was spent in Hamilton.  He was the key prospect dealt
away for ex-Hab Alexei Kovalev and has spent time with the Rangers and Canucks. 
He now plays for HC Trinec of the Czech league.

Tyler Hanchuck
(3rd round, 79th overall):

NHL GP: 0 – With Montreal: 0

A big physical defenceman is what the Habs hoped to get with this pick, but they
underestimated just how slow he was.  He never signed with Montreal and
toiled around with 10 different minor league teams in 4 different leagues until
the end of the 2007-08 season.

Johan Eneqvist
(4th round, 109th overall):

NHL GP: 0 – With Montreal: 0

Simply put, Eneqvist was one of those players that probably could have come over
and at least have a respective AHL career, but he opted to stay in Sweden,
playing parts of 9 seasons.

Christian Larrivee (4th round, 114th

NHL GP: 0 – With Montreal: 0

On the positive side, he actually earned an entry-level deal with the Habs but
made very little of it.  He played a grand total of 11 AHL games in his
career and left to play in Denmark up until this season.

Ryan Glenn (5th round, 145th

NHL GP: 0 – With Montreal: 0

Played his full college career but never got a call from the Habs. 
Fortunately for him, he got a look from the Rangers (see a trend here?), playing
with their farm system for a year before venturing on to several other AHL/ECHL
teams.  This season, he’s playing for Tampere in Finland.

Scott Selig (6th round, 172nd

NHL GP: 0 – With Montreal: 0

Another collegiate player who never got a sniff from the Habs.  Unlike
Glenn, he didn’t get a sniff from anyone really.  He played just 2 minor
pro seasons before hanging them up in 2006.

Petr Chvojka
(6th round, 182nd overall):

NHL GP: 0 – With Montreal: 0

A Czech d-man, he did come over to North America after being drafted, playing
with Medicine Hat (WHL) for a pair of seasons.  Like the others, he never
signed, and quickly hung up his skates after just 8 games in the Czech league in

Joni Puurula
(8th round, 243rd overall):

NHL GP: 0 – With Montreal: 0

Personally speaking, I always thought this guy might have had a chance had he
come over as his numbers in Finland were quite good just after being drafted. 
However, he opted to stay home and played up until this season, his final
campaign being in Denmark.

Jonathan Gauthier
(9th round, 275th overall):

NHL GP: 0 – With Montreal: 0

Drafted as a 20 year old, Gauthier’s numbers in the ‘Q’ were strong but
evidently not enough to earn a sniff from the Habs.  He toiled around in
the ECHL for several seasons before going back and forth between France and the
LNAH up until 2008.


I must admit, it was pretty easy to pick a
topic this week, as the Georges Laraque "future release" was at the forefront. 
My 2 cents – it’s a rare decision but given the circumstances, it’s clearly the
right one.  This is a player that almost every time he spoke made things
about himself and not the team; as the team’s alleged protector, it has to be
about the team at all times.  He’s not being paid to do anything but
stand up for his teammates and there was a largely evident unwillingness to do
that.  He has no trade value whatsoever so he’s stuck on the payroll no
matter what for the rest of the year.  If it’s deemed that he’s no longer
necessary, best to let him and the team move on before any more distractions
arise.  Considering the tragic circumstances in Haiti, perhaps it’s best
that he be free to take care of any family obligations.  I don’t think it’s
unfair that they released him at this time, with all due respect, the situation
over there isn’t changing any time soon, so how long should the Habs have
waited?  This was a bad situation for the Habs, I’m glad to see they’re at
least cutting their losses and moving on before things get worse.

As always, if you have a question regarding this article or the
(next scheduled update is Monday)
please feel free to drop me a line at
[email protected]