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HW 3 Stars – March 2011 Edition

The last ballot for HW’s 3 Stars has been counted and the
votes tallied.  Although there was a clear victor for the #1 Star, the
votes showed that there was a wide array of opinion among our readers as to what
Canadien deserved the runner-up honours. Mike Cammalleri, David Desharnais, Hal
Gill, Brian Gionta, Jeff Halpern, Roman Hamrlik, Andrei Kostitsyn, Paul Mara,
Travis Moen, Carey Price, P.K. Subban and James Wisniewski all received votes
this month.  Nonetheless, one Canadien emerged as the clear recipient of
the HW #1 Star honours, and the final results are as follows:


#1 – Carey Price (7-7-0, 2.43 GAA, 0.928 SV%, 2

Despite being pulled in 3 games in the month of March,
Carey Price was (and is) unquestionably Montreal’s most valuable player. 
With the defence seemingly patched together with duct tape, Carey was forced to
rise to the occasion time and time again, keeping his team in games when lesser
goalies might have given up.  At the time of this writing, Price has
started a franchise-record 71 games, indicating how heavily his team relies upon
him.  It is clear that any playoff hopes will depend on Price putting up
the same performances to which we’ve grown accustomed.

48% of 1st Star votes, 20% of 2nd Star votes, 0% of
3rd Star votes.


#2 – P.K. Subban (15 GP – 5 Goals – 3 Assists – 8
Points – Minus 1 Rating)

The young defender continued his impressive rookie
season as he tied for the most goals scored in the month of March, outscoring
veteran snipers such as Mike Cammalleri and Brian Gionta.  Although his
tendency to take unnecessary penalties needs to be curbed, Subban’s passion for
the game is infectious, and was sometimes one of the only reasons worth watching
while Montreal slumped in March.  P.K. seems to be finding his niche on the
powerplay, and his hat-trick against the Minnesota Wild may be a glimpse into
the offensive catalyst he may eventually be.  It is astonishing to think
that we may only be seeing the beginning of the player that P.K. will become.

16% of 1st Star votes, 28% of 2nd Star votes, 28% of
3rd Star votes.


#3 – James Wisniewski (15 GP – 4 Goal – 6 Assists
– 10 Points – Plus 2 Rating)

Wisniewski earns the particular distinction of earning
HW Star honours while wearing a bird-cage on his helmet… a feat hopefully
never replicated.  The Wiz’s 10 points led all Canadiens in scoring, and
his 6 powerplay points were far and above those of any other Canadien. 
While his offensive prowess is well-documented, Wisniewski was among the leaders
in ice-time on many occasions, and played some difficult minutes across all
situations.  Team injuries have forced the Wiz to flesh out his defensive
game, and his +2 rating in March gives some indication to his effectiveness and
the growth of his defensive game.

20% of 1st Star votes, 24% of 2nd Star votes, 8% of
3rd Star votes.


Honourable Mention – Andrei Kostitsyn (15 GP – 5
Goals – 4 Assists – 9 Points – Minus 1 Rating)

Andrei is heating up at just the right time, hopefully
signifying that he’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs.  A
streaky scorer by nature, Andrei put in his best month of hockey since October,
as his 5 goals were tied for tops among the Canadiens.  As it has been all
year, Andrei’s goals almost always guaranteed a victory in March, and the
Canadiens have lost only twice all season when Andrei finds the back of the net. 
It was encouraging to see Kostitsyn meshing well with rookie Lars Eller and was
even more effective lately when reunited with Tomas Plekanec and Mike

4% of 1st Star votes, 16% of 2nd Star votes, 32% of
3rd Star votes.


Thanks to all that voted and be sure to follow HW’s
coverage of the 2011 playoffs.