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Though the week ended in heartbreak, it was
still a good one for the Habs who earned a split with Washington.  It was
even better for Hamilton who lead their 1st round series 2-0.  The Montreal
series is further discussed in the Series Synopsis, while the Final Thought
debates the Canadian TV issue that quite frankly, shouldn’t be an issue
whatsoever.  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.  These power
rankings are carried forward from the regular season, no new ones will be started.






Tomas Plekanec

3 Didn’t play his best but
scored twice including the Game 1 GWG.
2 Brian Gionta 1 The smallest
player on the team but arguably the most aggressive.

Jaroslav Halak 2 Great in game 1 but struggled
down the stretch on Saturday night.
4 Scott Gomez 4 The fight
may have proved costly but props for sticking up for a teammate.

Mike Cammalleri 7 Career high in playoff points
already despite having only played 2 games.
6 Andrei Kostitsyn 10 For one game
at least, his high draft position was more than justified.

Andrei Markov 5 I still think something’s not
right with him but all in all a pretty good week.
8 Benoit Pouliot 8 Still the
weak link on his line but he’s starting to come around now.
9 Josh Gorges 6 Was overshadowed by his
partner this week, pretty quiet overall.

Dominic Moore 9 The only C
to at least be adequate on draws in each game thus far.
11 Marc-Andre Bergeron 12 Playing too much on D but
holding his own – needs to shoot more though.

Hal Gill 15 Likely a lot
of bruises after blocking so many shots already this series.
13 Jaroslav Spacek 16 Once again stepped things up
against Ovechkin, needs to keep it up.

Roman Hamrlik 11 May be time
to consider curtailing his ice time, giving Gorges/Gill more time.
15 Travis Moen 13 Needs to pick up the physical
play to counter Washington’s revised attack.

Maxim Lapierre 19 Very
effective, particularly on the cycle game, much better effort.
17 Tom Pyatt 18 The PK has been great so far,
he’s played a big part in that.
18 Sergei Kostitsyn 17 Strong
effort in Game 1, useless in Game 2, back to the bench you go.
19 Mathieu Darche 20 The feel good story has come
to an end, don’t see him lasting the series.

Dropped from the rankings: Ryan O’Byrne (14 – DNP)

 The Dog

The two games the Bulldogs played (and won)
this week were polar opposites of each other.  The first was a trap filled
game with little offense while the other was a run and gun affair with little
defence (and more Hamilton franchise records).


April 15
2 3


Manitoba 0 0 0 0 0/6 21
Hamilton 1 0 1 2 0/7 18

Attendance:  3,688
3 Stars:
  1) Belle – HAM  2) Stastny – MTB  3) Desjardins – HAM

April 17
2 3


Manitoba 1 0 1 2 1/4 30
Hamilton 1 5 2 1 4/8 37

Attendance:  5,626
3 Stars:
  1) Trotter – HAM  2) Subban – HAM  3) Belle – HAM


The offence was spread out nicely this past
week as only 2 forwards and 2 d-men failed to hit the scoresheet – even Cedrick
Desjardins picked up an assist in Saturday’s 8-2 romp.


# Player GP G A +/- SH PIMS
4 Michael Vernace 2 0 1 E 3 2
5 Alex Henry 2 1 0 E 2 0
6 Chad Anderson 2 0 1 +1 2 2
7 Yannick Weber 2 0 0 +1 0 2
10 J.T. Wyman 2 1 0 +2 3 0
12 Andrew Conboy 2 0 0 E 2 2
15 Mike Glumac 2 2 0 +2 6 0
19 Brock Trotter 2 2 1 +1 7 0
20 Ryan Russell 2 2 0 +2 5 0
25 Ryan White 2 0 2 +2 2 4
26 Grant Stevenson 2 0 1 +1 0 0
28 Aaron Palushaj 2 0 1 E 3 0
32 Frederic St. Denis 2 0 0 +2 3 0
42 Hunter Bishop 2 0 0 +1 2 2
44 Shawn Belle 2 0 1 +3 4 2
51 David Desharnais 2 1 1 +1 5 2
61 Andre Benoit 2 0 3 +1 0 0
76 P.K. Subban 2 1 3 +1 6 2


# Player Record SV% GAA
30 Cedrick Desjardins 2-0-0 .961 1.00


Goals: Mike Glumac/Ryan
Russell (2)
Assists: Andre Benoit/P.K. Subban (3)
Points: P.K. Subban (4)
+/-: Shawn Belle (+3)
PIMS: Ryan White (4)
Shots: Brock Trotter (7)

Round 1:

April 19: Hamilton vs Manitoba
April 21: Hamilton vs Manitoba
April 23: Hamilton vs Manitoba*
April 25: Manitoba vs
April 27: Manitoba vs Hamilton*


A series of quick hit comments on the
Montreal-Washington series so far:

– Nice to see the top lines scoring but every good playoff team needs that
secondary scoring.  So far, none of the 8 goals have been scored by anyone
below the 2nd line.

– As much as Halak deserves some blame for the 5th and 6th goals on Saturday, he
did a decent job holding the team in it, particularly just after the game was
tied at 4.  I think he should start Monday but it would not surprise me to
see Price get some time this series.  Mind you, I’d have said that before
now, it’s not the year of the goalie in the NHL this year.

– If the first 2 games have shown us something, it’s that the Habs need not be
intimidated by playing the top team in the league (at least points wise). 
When they scramble, Washington really takes it to them but the Habs can play
with them when they stick to the game plan and stay patient.  The next 2
games are a major opportunity to send a message, not only to Caps, but the
league as a whole that this team can legitimately compete.

– I’d like to see Gorges/Gill pick up an extra shift here and there and cut
Hamrlik’s time a bit.  With home ice (and last change) for Games 3 and 4,
the opportunity to do so is now.


There’s been all sorts of commotion over the
CBC/TSN issue with regards to why the latter is showing the games and not the
former.  Lots of people are wondering why CBC chose Ottawa-Pittsburgh over
the Habs-Caps series but to be quite honest, I can’t say I blame them.  In
the past few playoffs, RDS has drawn more viewers than CBC did for Montreal
games with fans publicizing their letters to CBC as to why they preferred RDS. 
Guess what, the CBC is actually listening to the fans.  Why show a series
when you know the fans will choose to watch elsewhere?  To me, that’s
decent business sense, especially considering the fact that one series is a 4/5
and the other a 1/8.  This isn’t an anti-Montreal sentiment; if they had
picked this series, would doing so mean that they’re anti-Ottawa?  I don’t
think so.  There’s plenty of things to worry about with this series, I’m
not quite sure this is one of them.  If the Habs can pull this series out,
they’ll be back on CBC next round and fans can go back to complaining about
their coverage and wishing TSN still had them…

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this article,
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