Most of the mustaches have been shaved off, but Montreal’s November is long
from forgotten. The votes have been counted and the HabsWorld readers have
designated their 3 Stars for the month of November. Drawing from the likes
of Erik Cole, David Desharnais, Lars Eller, Alexei Emelin, Josh Gorges, Max
Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec, Carey Price, and P.K. Subban, there were many candidates deemed worthy of accolades; however, only a
few Canadiens could receive the ultimate honours.
1 – Carey Price (5-4-2, 1.97 GAA, .929 SV%)
Last month it was noted that Price’s goaltending statistics differed
significantly from his career numbers, but it appears that he attempted to
remedy this aberration. While his win-loss ratio didn’t change much from
October (Carey earned an additional win), his individual numbers improved to
something that we Habs fans are more familiar with. Price’s stats were
aided by the back-to-back shutouts that he posted versus the Carolina Hurricanes
and New York Rangers, and led to his second showing this season as the NHL’s 1st Star of the
week. With Peter Budaj struggling in his last few outings, Carey will have
to continue playing at this level if the Canadiens are going to compete for a
48% of 1st Star votes, 17% of 2nd Star votes, 14% of 3rd Star votes.
2 – Erik Cole (14GP – 5 Goals – 5 Assists – 10 Points
– Plus 3 Rating)
Cole’s numbers in November were likely more in accordance to what Habs’ fans
expected when Pierre Gauthier made his biggest splash in the free-agent market.
Buoyed by the thicket of hair on his lip, Movember’s Cole burst out of the gate
and gave Montreal what they had been lacking for so long: a true power forward.
Cole finished the month with the top +/- rating amongst forwards, and his drive
to the net created many chances and drew more than a few penalties. His 47
shots led the team in that department, and his miniscule 2 penalty minutes
signify that Cole’s physical play doesn’t come at a cost to the team. A
commensurate teammate, Cole even paid for Louis Leblanc’s parents to fly out to
Anaheim to see their son play in his first NHL game.
31% of 1st Star votes, 21% of 2nd Star votes, 21% of 3rd Star votes.
3 – Max Pacioretty (13GP – 6 Goals – 4 Assists – 10 Points – Minus
Despite Pacioretty’s November ending prematurely with an open-ice hit on
Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang that resulted in a 3-game suspension, he still managed
to lead all Canadiens with 6 goals. Pacioretty’s suspension likely cost
him the lead in shots taken, as his 45 shots were only 2 less than Erik Cole’s
team-leading 47 (Of note, the two ranked in the top-20 in this category at the
month’s end). Although the second-year winger is still learning consistency
at the NHL-level, Pacioretty’s game continues to mature, and he is making his
mark in all facets of the game.
14% of 1st Star votes, 35% of 2nd Star votes, 10% of 3rd Star votes.
Honourable Mention – Tomas Plekanec (14GP – 1 Goal – 11 Assists – 12 Points – Minus
It should come as a surprise to none that Plekanec remained the Canadiens’
top scorer after leading the team in points in November. Although his lone
goal scored was marginal by his standards, Plekanec’s 11 assists greatly
outpaced the rest of the team (P.K. Subban was second with 6). Playing in
all situations, logging major minutes, taking an obscene amount of face-offs and
being saddled with slumping wingers didn’t take away from his performance, so
much as highlight Plekanec’s worth. Despite playing in an unnatural
position on Jacques Martin’s failed powerplay experiment, Pleks still managed to
produce more points (5) with the man-advantage than any other Canadien.
Plekanec may not be a prototypical number 1 center, but he’s undeniably
Montreal’s most valuable pivot.
3% of 1st Star votes, 10% of 2nd Star votes, 14% of 3rd Star votes.
Thanks to all that voted, and make sure to return for next month’s voting!