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HabsWorld’s 3 Stars – December 2010 Edition

The votes were wide and varying in a dismal month where the Montreal
Canadiens went 6-8-1.  For the first time this year, Carey Price failed to
earn any HW star honours, likely a result of his and the team’s struggles
throughout December.  Nonetheless, he did earn some votes, as did Mike
Cammalleri, Lars Eller, Brian Gionta, Scott Gomez, Jeff Halpern, Roman Hamrlik, Andrei Kostitsyn,
Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec and Yannick Weber.  Without any further ado,
here are your selections for December’s 3 Stars:


#1 – Scott Gomez (13 GP – 3 Goals – 10 Assists – 13 Points – -8 Rating)

The slow starts of Scott Gomez have been well-documented throughout the
years, as is his tendency to heat up as the season progresses. This year was no
different, save perhaps that the shifty centre’s struggles were even worse for
the first two months.  But shortly after the start of the month, Gomez missed two
games with a lower body injury before returning with a vengeance.  Perhaps he
healed a long-nagging injury, or perhaps it was the insertion of Max Pacioretty
on his line, but suddenly Gomez appeared to be in post-season form and began
racking up points at will.  Upon returning from injury, Gomez tallied 11 points
(1 goal, 11 assists) in 9 December games to tie Mike Cammalleri for the month’s scoring lead despite
playing 2 less games.  These are the numbers more expected from a man making $8
million.  Gomez also led all Canadiens with 7 powerplay points.

47% of 1st Star Votes, 20% of 2nd Star Votes, 20% of 3rd Star Votes


#2 – Mike Cammalleri (15 GP – 5 Goals – 8 Assists – 13 Points – -3

Although Mike Cammalleri’s numbers for December weren’t exactly elite
calibre, it wasn’t for lack of trying.  His shots (43) trailed only Brian Gionta
(52) and Tomas Plekanec (49),
and Cammalleri seemed to make scoring chances out of nothing with great
regularity.  With a little more luck, Cammalleri could have doubled his
production, but for some reason, pucks just didn’t go in with the frequency
we’ve come to expect.  Nonetheless, Cammalleri worked on other elements of his
game, becoming a shorthanded threat as he finally started playing regular shifts
on the PK and even dropped the gloves for his team.  Although everyone
would like to see more goals from the Habs’ purest sniper, there is no doubt
that the goals will come with his continued effort.

13% of 1st Star Votes, 30% of 2nd Star Votes, 3% of 3rd Star Votes


#3 – Tomas Plekanec (15 GP – 3 Goals – 5 Assists – 8 Points – Even

Statistically speaking, December was Plekanec’s worst month this season by
far.  But as most know, not all of Plekanec’s contributions show up on the
scoresheet.  By drawing the oppositions’ top defenders, Plekanec opened up
some space for second-line pivot, Scott Gomez, who as previously mentioned, has
returned to true form.  Furthermore, Plekanec remains a key cog on of the
NHL’s best penalty-killing units and currently has taken the 3rd-most face-offs
in the league, trailing only Sidney Crosby and Paul Stastny.  In a month
where the Canadiens struggled to score, Plekanec’s defensive efforts were even
more apparent, and he was one of only 4 Canadiens suiting up for most December
games without a minus rating.

17% of 1st Star Votes, 7% of 2nd Star Votes, 17% of 3rd Star Votes


Honourable Mention – Max Pacioretty (9 GP – 2 Goals – 2 Assists – 4
Points – -4 Rating)

After leading the Hamilton Bulldogs in goals (17 in 27 games), Max Pacioretty
was called up to play alongside Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta.  He made an
instant impact, injecting some rare physicality to the Canadiens as well as
demonstrating some impressive offensive skills and a drive for the net. 
Moreover, Pacioretty’s size was a welcome change for the undersized Gomez and
Gionta, and his presence alone seemed to kick-start their game.  Although
Pacioretty is still clearly a work in progress, his work in the month of
December might lead to believe that the young forward might be making this list
more frequently in the near future. 

3% of 1st Star Votes, 10% of 2nd Star Votes, 20% of 3rd Star Votes


Make sure to check in next month for January’s HW 3 Star voting and thanks to
all that voted!



All votes counted carefully by
Matt Dilworth