HabsWorld.net -- 

In this week’s HW Recap: The player rankings
assess the few positives of an otherwise terrible week for the Habs.  At
the holiday break, which Habs have contributed most to the teams’ point total? 
In lieu of a Bulldogs report, let’s look at the early season point shares, while
my Final Thought discusses one trait that hasn’t been discussed yet that should
be at the top of any list for potential hires.


Players are rated from 1 to however many
players play on a weekly (non-cumulative) basis.  Rankings will be tracked
weekly and averages provided. 

1) Carey Price: He kept his two games
close and at least somewhat respectable.  Even allowing four in the
Winnipeg game can’t be considered too bad, it could’ve been much worse. (Prev: 11  Avg:

2) Peter Budaj: The score may have
been 5-1 but it was a one-goal game for the longest time and the Habs directed
as many into their own net as the Hawks put past Budaj. (Prev:
N/A  Avg: 8.80)

3) Tomas Plekanec: Did he play well? 
Nope.  However, in a week where the team scored a whopping three goals,
having a hand in two of them is still somewhat of an accomplishment. (Prev: 13  Avg:

4) Raphael Diaz: In a week where the
team was outscored 12-3, having an even rating for the week suggests he had to
be doing at least something right out there. (Prev: 19  Avg:

5) Erik Cole: He had a rough game
against Chicago but was one of the few somewhat consistent threats in the other
two contests. (Prev: 1  Avg:

6) Andrei Kostitsyn: His ice time was
cut down but he still managed to hit the scoresheet.  This ‘less is more’
philosophy really does seem to work with him. (Prev:

7) Michael Blunden: When he saw the team
was struggling, he tried to provide some sort of a boost with the physical game. 
It didn’t work but good on him for trying. (Prev: 18  Avg:

8) Max Pacioretty: He had no
reservations about shooting the puck.  With there being little offence to
speak of, that wasn’t the worst idea even if some were from bad angles. (Prev:

9) Hal Gill: Like Diaz, he had a
respectable +/- rating despite the lopsided difference in scoring.  In a
week like this, that’s not bad although the one goal he was a minus on in
Winnipeg was a bad mistake by him. (Prev: 5
 Avg: 13.20)

10) Josh Gorges: It wasn’t his best
week out there but he was one of the few who wasn’t consistently making
mistakes.  He was down a bit in the shot block department though. (Prev:
9  Avg: 7.45)

11) Travis Moen: I was hoping for a
bit more of an offensive presence with him playing alongside Plekanec but he did
have some decent moments defensively at the very least. (Prev:
21  Avg: 12.45)

12) Mike Cammalleri: There were still
too many shifts where he seemed to be dogging it but there were more than in
previous weeks where he battled.  Not good enough, but progress. (Prev: 15  Avg:

13) Mathieu Darche: Like Blunden, he
at least tried to get things going physically.  Let’s leave it at that with
him. (Prev: 10  Avg:

14) Lars Eller: I’m sure he did
something to warrant getting benched but I’m not quite sure what it was. 
However, he didn’t do much to force the coach to keep him in either. (Prev:
6  Avg: 8.09)

15) P.K. Subban: His week reminded me
a lot of ex-Hab Patrice Brisebois.  It wasn’t the quantity of bad decisions
made, they just were costly and at really bad times. (Prev:
2  Avg: 9.27)

16) Louis Leblanc: He was on the line
that seemed to get benched a fair bit.  He didn’t hurt his cause at all but
he didn’t do anything to help it either. (Prev: 12  Avg:

17) David Desharnais: There are weeks
where he looks great with the power forwards and others where he looks lost. 
This was one of the latter. (Prev: 3  Avg:

18) Tomas Kaberle: This week we saw
some of the defensive deficiencies that Carolina fans were concerned with. 
Sadly, his offence didn’t offset any of it. (Prev: 4
 Avg: 10.00)

19) Alexei Emelin: His effort in
Winnipeg showed the coaching staff may be onto something by making him work on
his game in practice before playing regularly again. (Prev:
20  Avg: 13.67)

20) Yannick Weber: He didn’t do
anything to send a message to the coach that he should be playing more.  An
opportunity wasted for sure. (Prev: 14  Avg:

21) Petteri Nokelainen: Right now,
he’s more or less just killing time when he’s on the ice.  He’s not taking
enough draws to be a factor while he rarely is in the play. (Prev: 16  Avg:

22) Chris Campoli: He needs to play
himself into game shape, I get that.  Sooner or later, that rust needs to
come off as he is really struggling right now. (Prev: 17  Avg:

The Dog

The Bulldogs had the week off for the holiday
break but will have a busy set of games upcoming as they kick off a 4-in-6
stretch on Monday.

Active Leaders:

Goals: DeSimone/Engqvist/Masse (6)
Assists: Brian Willsie (11)
Points: Brian Willsie (14)
+/-: Andreas Engqvist (+3)
PIMS: Zack FitzGerald (113)
Shots: Brian Willsie (102)


Dec. 26: Bulldogs vs Marlies
Dec. 28: IceCaps vs Bulldogs
Dec. 30: Bulldogs vs Americans
Dec. 31: Monsters vs Bulldogs

the Numbers

One of the newer stats out there that interests
me is point shares.  Basically, it’s a series of equations that equate a
players’ offensive and defensive performance into a calculation of how many
points he has contributed to the teams’ total so far.  That’s the
simplified version.  For more information about the history and the
formulas, please use

this link
, courtesy of hockey-reference.com where these stats come from.

Here are the numbers for the Habs so far:

Player  OPS  DPS  TPS 
Carey Price  5.4
Erik Cole  2.2 0.9 3.1
Max Pacioretty  2.3 0.7 2.9
Josh Gorges  0.2 2.5 2.7
P.K. Subban  0.7 2 2.7
Tomas Plekanec  1.5 0.7 2.2
Yannick Weber  0.9 1.2 2.1
Andrei Kostitsyn  1.5 0.3 1.9
David Desharnais  1 0.9 1.9
Raphael Diaz  0.3 1.3 1.6
Mike Cammalleri 1 0.5 1.5
Brian Gionta  0.9 0.6 1.4
Travis Moen  0.6 0.7 1.3
Peter Budaj  0.7
Jaroslav Spacek  0.1 0.6 0.7
Hal Gill  0 0.8 0.7
Lars Eller  0 0.7 0.7
Tomas Kaberle  0.4 0.1 0.5
Frederic St. Denis  0.1 0.3 0.4
Louis Leblanc  0.1 0.2 0.3
Alexei Emelin  -0.4 0.5 0.2
Andreas Engqvist  -0.1 0.1 0
Chris Campoli  0.1 0 0
Scott Gomez  -0.1 0.1 0
Michael Blunden  -0.1 0.1 -0.1
Petteri Nokelainen  -0.2 0.1 -0.1
Aaron Palushaj  -0.3 0.1 -0.2
Mathieu Darche  -0.6 0.3 -0.3

– Abbreviations: OPS: Offensive Point Shares, DPS: Defensive Point Shares,
TPS: Total Point Shares
– Numbers are rounded to the nearest tenth so there are some instances where
the TPS is +/- one tenth.
– Stats for players acquired during the season only show their contributions to
– Goalies have their own calculations and are not a part of either OPS or DPS.

Not surprisingly, Carey Price leads the team by
a healthy margin.  However, despite leading the team pretty much all season
in points, Tomas Plekanec sits 6th in total TPS, suggesting a lot of of his
production hasn’t attributed to too many extra team points in the standings. 
Raphael Diaz being in the top-10 also caught my eye as he has had a quiet year
for the most part, I didn’t think his defensive contributions had been that
significant (3rd best DPS on the team).  Also, for those arguing that
Mathieu Darche has no place in the lineup, a team worse OPS certainly only adds
to the argument.


In the discussion of the potential new coach
(and GM perhaps) next season, talk has immediately sprung to the language
debate.  Can he speak French?  Of course, the more important language
issue to me is how he can communicate with the players but let’s stay away from
that argument.  There is another characteristic that needs to be taken into
account by Geoff Molson or whoever ultimately will make the decision for the
coach and/or GM.

For years, Montreal has had the reputation
around the league of being a class organization, doing the right thing and doing
it respectfully.  The events of the first eleven or so weeks of the season
have really changed that in the wrong direction.  Say what you will about
the decision to fire both Perry Pearn and Jacques Martin as there were valid
hockey-related arguments for each but the way they went about it wasn’t
particularly pretty.  Perception around the league is very important too,
it reflects on how other players (potential Habs down the road) and staff
(coaches, GM’s, etc) view the organization.  In a time where change is all
but certainly on the way, this isn’t good.

This is why whoever gets the open vacancies
needs to command respect, not only from the players but also from ownership; be
above reproach.  The hirings need to send a message to the rest of the
league that the conduct taken by the organization will not happen again. 
This means hiring someone known for lots of antics, no matter how good the sound
bytes may be, might not be the best idea for this team, nor would a move solely
intended to serve a particular faction of the media/fan base (either side
of the language debate).  Instead, find a no-nonsense guy or two that can
start to spin this whirling cycle back in the right direction.  Sadly,
those aren’t always the easiest to find. 

Geoff Molson, all eyes are on you.  Not
just from the fans or the Montreal media, but the media and players all around
the NHL.  Be aware that your decisions will impact not just the present
team but future editions as well.  Perception is reality so take the time
to make sure the perception your hirings bring forth is the one this
organization truly needs, that winning above all else is the most important. 
Anything beyond that (languages spoken, coaching style, etc), is just icing on
the cake.

On behalf of everyone here at HabsWorld, I’d
like to wish all of our readers a safe and happy holiday season.

If you have any questions/comments, please feel free to drop me a line at [email protected].