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With a dismal December behind them, the Canadiens can look forward to
improving their chances of making the playoffs as they begin 2012.  We here
at Habsworld aren’t quite done with the 2011 yet, and after tallying the votes,
have designated the 3 Stars of December.  Although the #1 Star selection
was practically unanimous, Mike Cammalleri, Erik Cole, David Desharnais, Raphael
Diaz, Lars Eller, Alexei Emelin, Hal Gill, Josh Gorges, Louis Leblanc and Carey
Price all received consideration.

1 –  Erik Cole (14GP – 9 Goals – 4 Assists – 13 Points
– Even Rating)

With a whopping 70% of the first star votes, there was no question as to whom
Habsworld believed was Montreal’s most valuable player.  With 9 goals, Cole
almost accounted for a quarter of Montreal’s goals (sad but true), and that
total was more than double of the closest Canadien in that category (Andrei
Kostitsyn with 4).  Moreover, Cole led the team in powerplay points, and
his number of shots taken (43) was tied with Mike Cammalleri for the team lead. 
Simply put, Cole’s December performance was a bright spot in a dreary month.

70% of 1st Star votes, 18% of 2nd Star votes, 9% of 3rd Star votes.


 2 – Carey Price (4-6-3, 2.81 GAA, .908 SV%)

Last month’s first star struggled in the month of December, but a case could
be made that that was more indicative of the team in front of him.  Playing
in all but one game in December, Carey was one of the team’s most reliable
performers, and the very reason why some games were lost by one goal, and not
twelve.  Although Price would likely be the first to admit that his
statistics weren’t where he’d like them, the playoffs would probably be a
ridiculous concept for Montreal without Carey in net.

13% of 1st Star votes, 13% of 2nd Star votes, 9% of 3rd Star votes.


3 –  David Desharnais (14GP – 3 Goals – 8 Assists – 11 Points
– Plus 2 Rating)

It was an impressive month for the diminutive Desharnais, as his 11 points
placed him second on the team in scoring.  Seemingly able to create
chemistry with any linemate, his 8 assists were best on the team and his plus 2
rating was ranked first as well, alongside Raphael Diaz and Louis Leblanc. 
Despite his physical disadvantage and playing a large amount of minutes,
Desharnais rarely resorted to underhanded tactics, as his 2 penalty minutes
would indicate.  With offense proving rare most nights, Desharnais’
creativity and consistency has proved a valuable commodity in Montreal. 

0% of 1st Star votes, 27% of 2nd Star votes, 27% of 3rd Star votes.


HM –  Alexei Emelin (11GP – 0 Goals – 1 Assist – 1 Point
– Minus 3 Rating)

When Emelin was made a healthy scratch in December, many voiced their outrage
and were left scratching their heads as to why Montreal’s most physical defender
was being left by the wayside.  Well, Emelin’s mini-vacation didn’t hurt
his chances as Montreal’s hit-leader, as his 43 hits well out-distanced his
closest competitor (Erik Cole with 27).  At the time of this writing,
Emelin is ranked 17th in the NHL in this department, despite playing
significantly less games.  This is even more impressive as Emelin is still
learning to play in the NHL-sized rinks, and at times, on his unnatural side as
well.  Suffice it to say, Emelin has the opposition keeping their heads up
in the Montreal zone.

5% of 1st Star votes, 9% of 2nd Star votes, 24% of 3rd Star votes.


Thanks to all that voted, and we’ll see you next month!