The ballots have been submitted, the votes counted and the 3 Stars for
October have been chosen by the HabsWorld readers. As is usually the case,
there was a wide variety of players receiving votes, but a clear idea of the
most deserving players quickly emerged. Mike Cammalleri, Eric Cole, David
Desharnais, Raphael Diaz, Lars Eller, Josh Gorges, Andrei Kostitsyn, Travis
Moen, Petteri Nokelainen, Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec, Carey Price and
Yannick Weber all received consideration for the 3 Stars, but the following were
the top vote-getters.
#1 – Max Pacioretty (11GP – 4 Goals – 5 Assists – 9 Points – Plus 2
There were a few that were skeptical that Max Pacioretty would ever play
hockey again after Zdeno Chara broke his neck on March 8th, 2011.
Determined to prove the non-believers wrong, he spent the off-season
rehabbing and putting on some extra muscle for a full recovery, and nabbed the
First Star honours for the month of October. Pacioretty tied Tomas
Plekanec for the team lead in scoring, and led the club in shots on net (41).
To further perpetuate the belief that he possesses Wolverine-like healing
abilities, Max returned after missing a half-game to play with a torn wrist
ligament, and recorded 3 points in a victory that snapped a 6-game losing
streak. Pacioretty has quickly become an integral part of Montreal’s
offense, and should he continue his upward progress, may garner some
attention for the Bill Masterton Memorial trophy.
55% of 1st Star votes, 14% of 2nd Star votes, 14% of 3rd Star votes.
#2 – Carey Price (4-4-2, 2.59 GAA, .900 SV%)
Thus far, Carey Price’s numbers are a far cry from those of last year (2.35
GAA, .923 SV%). That being said, Price’s numbers may have been skewed by
his team’s performance, and Price was the sole reason for keeping the Canadiens
competitive on many nights. Playing in all but one game in October, Price
turned Montreal’s season around by winning 3 games in one week and finally
earned his 100th career victory. As a
result, Carey was named the NHL’s first star of the week, and his numbers (1.33
GAA, .950 SV%) were closer to what fans expect from their starting goaltender.
Provided he continue his dominating performances, Price should be a mainstay on
this list for the rest of the season.
19% of 1st Star votes, 19% of 2nd Star votes, 21% of 3rd Star votes.
#3 – Tomas Plekanec (11GP – 4 Goals – 5 Assists – 9 Points – Plus 1
Tied for the team lead in scoring, Tomas Plekanec logged major minutes while
filling every conceivable role in the team. Plekanec killed penalties,
"controversially" played the point on the powerplay, and on most nights,
frustrated the opposition’s top players with his savvy defence. Moreover,
Plekanec led the team in game-winning goals (2) and shared the lead for
powerplay points (3) on a team that had its fair share of troubles with the man
advantage. Despite Plekanec’s defensive responsibilities, he remains one
of Montreal’s consistent offensive threats, and will likely remain in
competition for the team’s scoring lead for the duration of the season.
12% of 1st Star votes, 17% of 2nd Star votes, 17% of 3rd Star votes.
Honourable Mention – Josh Gorges (11GP – 0 Goals – 6 Assists – 6 Points
– Plus 6 Rating)
Wary of his newly-constructed knee, GM Pierre Gauthier was content to sign
Josh Gorges to a one-year deal until he could verify that he was 100% healthy.
Thus far, it seems that those fears were in vain, and Josh may have returned an
even stronger player. Despite receiving no powerplay time, Gorges actually
led the Canadiens in assists (6) and his plus/minus (+6) was exceptional
considering the tough minutes he played at even-strength and short-handed.
Offensive contributions aside, Gorges’ shot-blocking remains a strong part of
his game, and he led the team in this department as well (30). Gorges was
paired with P.K. Subban after a few games, and has appeared more comfortable on
the left side, while the duo has contributed to some solid two-way defence work
2% of 1st Star votes, 11% of 2nd Star votes, 6% of 3rd Star votes.
Thanks to all that voted, and make sure to return for next month’s voting!