The votes have been counted, and February’s 3 Stars have been selected.
This past month, voting was tighter than ever, and almost all eligible Canadiens
received votes in some capacity. David Desharnais, Lars Eller, Hal Gill,
Brian Gionta, Roman Hamrlik, Andrei Kostitsyn, Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec,
Carey Price, P.K. Subban, Yannick Weber and James Wisniewski all received nods
for the Stars selection, but as usual, only one Canadien could prevail.
Here are the HW 3 Stars for February:
#1 – Max Pacioretty (13 GP – 5 Goals – 4 Assists – 9 Points – Even
After earning an "Honourable Mention" status last month, the young
Pacioretty shot up the charts to earn the first star for the month of February.
If you happened to catch any games this past month, it was easy to see why.
Along with being tied for the scoring lead, Pacioretty was a physical force and
his 18 hits placed him 3rd on the team. He kept his game simple, and could
always been seen driving towards the net, shooting whenever possible and his
shots (40) were second only to Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta. Despite
starting the season in Hamilton, Pacioretty has grown into an integral role on
the Canadiens, and he is undoubtedly a bright part of the Canadiens’ future.
37% of 1st Star votes, 19% of 2nd Star votes, 19% of 3rd Star votes.
#2 – Carey Price (4-5-1, 2.62 GAA, 0.916 SV%, 2 Shutouts)
Despite possessing a losing record for the month of February, HW readers made
it clear that Carey was an important part of Montreal’s success. With all
of the injuries to the Habs’ defencemen, Carey has faced the second-most shots
in the NHL (behind Cam Ward) and was peppered with an average 30.6 shots
in the month of February. Nevertheless, Carey kept the Canadiens in most
games, and although Carey’s goals-against average was higher than usual, it
could be attributed to the collective team failure in front of him, and a result
of the penalty-kill’s struggles. Having witnessed Alex Auld’s recent
struggles, it was made only more clear that the Canadiens will only go as far as
Carey can carry them. As it stands, there is no obvious limit.
26% of 1st Star votes, 14% of 2nd Star votes, 18% of 3rd Star votes.
#3 – Tomas Plekanec (13 GP – 4 Goals – 5 Assists – 9 Points – +4
Tomas Plekanec, a mainstay on the HW’s 3 Stars list, continues to make a name
for himself as one of the elite two-way centres in the league. Plekanec’s
team-best plus 4 is indicative of his defensive abilities while his 46 shots on
goal underlined his offensive talent. This is made all that much more
impressive since Plekanec tends to draw the hardest matchups from opposing
teams. Jacques Martin shows no hesitation in pitting Plekanec against the
league’s best, and has him out for a vast majority of important faceoffs.
At the time of this writing, Plekanec was ranked 3rd in the NHL for faceoffs
taken, behind Sidney Crosby and Paul Stastny.
14% of 1st Star votes, 21% of 2nd Star votes, 11% of 3rd Star votes.
Honourable Mention – P.K. Subban (13 GP – 2 Goals – 7 Assists – 9
Points – -5 Rating)
The young defender had a month to remember as he tied for the team lead in
scoring, as well as eating big minutes for the club. Despite not always
playing on the first wave of the powerplay, Subban tied with Roman Hamrlik for
the team lead with 4 powerplay points. Nevertheless, it is the small
things that don’t show up on the scoresheet that make P.K. so valuable to the
Canadiens. Subban is always a physical presence, drawing top attention
from the opposition’s agitators, and can skate the puck out of the defensive end
with the league’s best. Although P.K. doesn’t seem to be earning any early
consideration for the Calder trophy, it is hard to fathom how the Canadiens
would be remaining afloat with their prized rookie. Perhaps the pundits
are swayed by Subban’s mature abilities, and forget that he is, in fact, a
11% of 1st Star votes, 23% of 2nd Star votes, 13% of 3rd Star votes.
Thanks to all that voted, and be sure to check in next month for the latest
installment of HW’s 3 Stars.