HabsWorld.net -- 

Fresh off the Olympic break, the Habs were
forced to the road for 4 games this week, winning 3 in impressive fashion. 
In Hamilton, the longest homestand of the season continued with the Bulldogs
winning all 3 of their contests; they now are just 5 points away from clinching
the playoffs.  It was a quiet deadline in Montreal but there is a silver
lining in that, while the Final Thought examines why we better used to the
action we saw on March 3rd for future deadlines.  This, plus the return of
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.






Brian Gionta

1 Scored in three straight
games, just keeps getting the job done.
2 Tomas Plekanec 2 Looked
invisible early on but stepped it up towards the end of the week.

Jaroslav Halak 4 Decent vs Los Angeles and
saved the day against the Ducks.
4 Carey Price 5 Struggled in
Anaheim but was rock solid in his other two starts.

Benoit Pouliot 5 Misses a month and picks up
right where he left off scoring twice.
6 Scott Gomez 3 Played well
offensively but lapses in the defensive end proved costly.

Josh Gorges 7 At times this week, he looked
like the only d-man who actually had energy.
8 Andrei Markov 8 Scored the
big tying goal in Anaheim, got better as the week went on.

Roman Hamrlik 6 Surprised that he still looked
tired despite the Olympic break.
10 Andrei Kostitsyn 8 Still looks
rusty out there but looked more confident each game at least.

Glen Metropolit 9 It sounds like a broken record
but he just finds a way to score each week.
12 Dominic Moore 14 The Habs
paid a lot for him but it’s paying off so far, 3 points this week.

Mathieu Darche 13 Doing the little things to
stay in the lineup such as playing physically.
14 Jaroslav Spacek 10 Like Hamrlik,
quite disappointing to see him tire out despite the break.

Sergei Kostitsyn 11 Tried for two games, didn’t
for the others.  50% effort won’t cut it.
16 Ryan O’Byrne 15 Finally
starting to look like the steady stay-at-home D we all hoped for.

Tom Pyatt 17 Wasn’t anywhere near as
effective when moved to the Plekanec line.
18 Travis Moen 18 Looks to
have developed some chemistry with Moore already.
19 Hal Gill 20 There’s
always an iffy moment or two with him but otherwise a solid week.
20 Maxim Lapierre 19 Dumb move
that could’ve had much worse repercussions on the team.
21 Ben Maxwell 22 Doesn’t make
a lot of mistakes but provides little else when he plays.

Dropped from the rankings: P.K. Subban (12
– minors), David Desharnais (16 – minors),
and Matt D’Agostini (21 – traded).

 The Dog

3 more home games, 3 more home wins to bring
Hamilton’s record on this homestand to an impressive 7-0.  With another
winning week, they’ll clinch a playoff spot.


March 3
2 3


Adirondack 0 1 0 1 0/6 26
Hamilton 1 0 3 4 1/7 37

Attendance:  2,510
3 Stars:
  1) Wyman – HAM  2) Desjardins – HAM  3) Pyorala –

March 5
2 3 OT SO


Chicago 1 1 2 0 0 4 0/1 33
Hamilton 1 2 1 0 1 5 0/1 33

Attendance:  4,159
3 Stars:
  1) Glumac – HAM  2) Krog – CHI  3) Wyman – HAM

March 6
2 3 OT SO


Hartford 0 2 0 0 0 2 0/1 32
Hamilton 2 0 0 0 1 3 0/1 27

Attendance:  3,667
3 Stars:
  1) Subban – HAM  2) Glumac – HAM  3) Weise – HFD


Newly acquired Aaron Palushaj was placed on
Hamilton’s top line alongside White and Pacioretty this week.


# Player GP G A +/- SH PIMS
5 Alex Henry 3 0 2 +3 3 0
6 Chad Anderson 1 0 0 E 2 0
7 Yannick Weber 3 0 0 -4 8 2
10 J.T. Wyman 3 4 1 +1 7 0
12 Andrew Conboy 3 0 0 +1 2 0
15 Mike Glumac 3 2 1 +2 7 0
16 Gregory Stewart 3 0 0 E 1 4
18 Dany Masse 3 0 0 -1 5 4
19 Brock Trotter 3 0 1 -2 2 0
20 Ryan Russell 3 2 1 +1 6 0
23 Max Pacioretty 3 0 2 +1 8 0
25 Ryan White 3 1 1 -1 7 2
26 Grant Stevenson 3 1 2 +2 8 0
28 Aaron Palushaj 2 0 1 E 5 0
32 Frederic St. Denis 3 0 1 +1 4 0
44 Shawn Belle 3 0 0 -3 6 4
51 David Desharnais 2 0 1 +2 4 0
61 Andre Benoit 3 0 1 +3 4 2
76 P.K. Subban 3 0 2 +4 6 0
91 Ben Maxwell 1 0 1 +1 2 0


# Player Record SV% GAA
1 Curtis Sanford 1-0-0 .879 3.69
30 Cedrick Desjardins 2-0-0 .948 1.44


# Player G/ATT
19 Brock Trotter 2/2
20 Ryan Russell 1/2
28 Aaron Palushaj 0/2
44 Shawn Belle 1/1
76 P.K. Subban 1/2


# Player SVS/ATT
1 Curtis Sanford 3/4
30 Cedrick Desjardins 4/4


Goals: Brock Trotter (28)
Assists: David Desharnais (38)
Points: Brock Trotter (62)
+/-: P.K. Subban (+38)
PIMS: Ryan White (113)
Shots: Mike Glumac (159)

This Week:

March 9:
Toronto vs Hamilton
March 12: Grand Rapids vs Hamilton
March 13: Grand Rapids vs Hamilton


There was a silver lining for the Habs on trade
deadline day this year.  No, I’m not referring to the acquisition of Aaron
Palushaj (for Matt D’Agostini) though I do think Montreal got a decent return
considering how D’Agostini struggled this season.  Although the Habs were
inactive, so too were many of their close rivals.  Let’s look at what
exactly, if anything those teams did to get better on March 3rd (focusing on NHL aspects

Philadelphia: No moves on deadline day (waived Syvret and Cote and lost
Emery for the season though)  Outlook: Considering Leighton/Boucher
is the tandem to take them to the promised land, this is a step back.

Boston: Added Seidenberg, lost Morris, Bitz – Frankly, I find this to be
a step back, they lose a decent gritty forward and a veteran d-man for someone
who has only been in the playoffs once since the lockout.  Outlook:
At best, a very small improvement.

NY Rangers: Added Eriksson, a player they could’ve claimed off waivers
just days earlier – and whether he sees NHL time has yet to be determined. 
No effect.

Atlanta: Added MacArthur, a nice piece to their bottom 6 and someone that
can help beyond this season.  I really liked this deal for them but he’s
not a player to put them over the top.  Outlook: They improved, but
having lost Kovalchuk earlier, I’m hesitant to proclaim them a playoff

Tampa Bay: Added Purcell, lost Halpern – A good deal for the future, but
this will make them worse unless Purcell comes in and starts scoring like the
Kings expected him to.  Outlook: Small step back, at least for now.

Florida: Added Bitz, lost Seidenberg – Bitz will help their bottom lines
but Seidenberg ate major minutes for them.  They’re sellers and would need
a huge turnaround to make the playoffs.  Outlook: A step back in the
short term but I do like the deal for Florida down the road.

NY Islanders: No moves on deadline day.  Outlook: No effect
(but did they have a legit chance at the playoffs anyway?)

So we have one team who may have slightly improved defensively and one who
helped their 3rd line after trading away their franchise player.  The Habs
may not have made it any easier on themselves to make the playoffs by opting not
to be overly active, but it’s not like other teams made it any harder on them
either.  Staying the course may wind up being the right strategy after all. 
Note: I opted to not put Carolina on the list above because of all the players
they got rid of – it would take a miracle for them to get back into contention.


With a lack of big names moving, many
proclaimed this past deadline day to be the most boring in years.  My
advice: Better get used to this, because this isn’t changing any time soon. 
So many teams (Montreal included) are becoming nearly capped out and there seems
to be more like this every year.  Thus, they don’t have the flexibility to
bring in the big(ger) name players.  Most teams keep room in case of
injuries (I say most as Montreal clearly hasn’t this year) so if there aren’t
many, they have space to add a depth player or two near the end of the year. 
Teams will wait as long as possible to preserve cap space which means that
deadline day is when these moves will happen.  I’m calling it now – there
will be many deals at the next deadline but just as few big names dealt. 
Get used to this trend; until the CBA changes any rules on trading (such as
sending cash or splitting the cap hit), this will be the new reality of the NHL
trade deadline.

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