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In this week’s HW Recap: Finding some positives
in what was for the most part a disappointing week for the Habs that ended
better than it started.  It was reversed for Hamilton who started off
strong and ended with a whimper while my Final Thought discusses Pierre Gauthier
appearing at many various NHL arenas lately and why we shouldn’t be reading too
much into it.


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) Erik Cole: The one thing that has
impressed me lately is that despite the team struggling, his intensity level
hasn’t wavered and his production certainly hasn’t either. (Prev:
3  Avg: 4.40)

2) Lars Eller: His final two games
were both strong as he scored key goals in each while providing some strong PK
efforts.  One downside is his continued struggles at the faceoff dot which
he needs to improve on soon. (Prev: 13  Avg:

3) David Desharnais: He only had the
one assist but was a catalyst on that top line and contributed to several good
chances.  He did pass up some good shooting opportunities though; his shot
is decent and could catch goalies off guard. (Prev:
 Avg: 7.73)

4) Max Pacioretty: Another strong week
for the winger who is putting those fatigue concerns to rest.  On his goal
in Pittsburgh, it was impressive how high he shot from how tight he was, it was
a true scorer’s goal. (Prev: 1  Avg:

5) Andrei Kostitsyn: His effort against
Washington was terrible but he then turned around after suggesting he’d take
less to re-sign in Montreal and put up a pair of good games. (Prev:
17  Avg: 7.54)

6) Alexei Emelin: He’s not here for his
physical play but rather his defensive efforts.  He did very well in
breaking up some key rushes, something we haven’t seen a lot of from him this
year. (Prev: 22  Avg:

7) Carey Price: He certainly wasn’t at
fault in the shutout loss to Washington while he played a good game in Toronto. 
Fortunately, his ‘injury’ isn’t supposed to be serious. (Prev:
6  Avg: 5.13)

8) Scott Gomez: There’s no denying the
transition game is more effective with him now back in the lineup.  Still
minimal production but the energy is certainly there, something that can’t be
said for everyone. (Prev: 10  Avg:

9) Hal Gill: This was the second
straight week where it appeared limiting his minutes gave him that extra energy
to compensate for his continued drop in mobility.  He was once again quite
effective shorthanded. (Prev: 11  Avg:

10) Rene Bourque: The best way to sum
up his week would be ‘meh.’  There were some good moments and some quiet
ones, something I suspect we’ll be getting used to. (Prev:
12  Avg: 11.00)

11) Tomas Kaberle: He’s now the top
point producing defenceman on the team (including his Carolina numbers). 
That’s good for him I suppose but quite disappointing when you think about it. (Prev:
15  Avg: 11.43)

12) Travis Moen: It was another quiet
week for him even though his line scored a few goals along the way.  This
is more of what he should be doing but after his offensive breakthrough this
year, it’s a bit disappointing. (Prev: 14  Avg:

13) Raphael Diaz: His game against
Washington was a struggle, he earned his seat in the pressbox in Pittsburgh. 
He bounced back well in Toronto though scoring the game winner. (Prev:
18  Avg: 12.27)

14) Josh Gorges: This was not his best
week of the year, not even close.  I will note that he looked better when
paired up with Gill; he’s trying to do too much with Subban and that’s not his
style. (Prev: 8  Avg:

15) Tomas Plekanec: Something isn’t
right with him right now.  He seems content to float around in the
defensive zone and just looks disengaged too often.  I’m not sure if he’s
hurt or not but some time off either way may be required. (Prev:
5  Avg: 7.33)

16) Peter Budaj: I don’t think he had
a bad game necessarily in Pittsburgh but he didn’t help his cause either. 
It may be a few more weeks before we see him again. (Prev:
4  Avg: 9.14)

17) P.K. Subban: I think enough has
been made of his struggles already so I’ll stay away from that.  I will
caution him to be more careful; where there’s controversy, there’s Subban which
isn’t ideal for a #1 blueliner. (Prev: 7  Avg:

18) Mathieu Darche: He did some great
work defensively that went unnoticed.  Sadly for him, his offensive game
hasn’t been noticed in a long time now and that’s an area where he still is
supposed to help. (Prev: 21  Avg:

19) Michael Blunden: He was bumped
back down to fourth line ice time (where he should be) and his game was less
noticeable as a result.  His continued physical play is encouraging though. (Prev:
9  Avg: 15.44)

20) Chris Campoli: Let’s see, finding
a positive…he showed he can at least play more than 6th/7th minutes.  I
think he’ll be better wherever he inevitably gets dealt to, he’s just not
fitting in. (Prev: 19  Avg:

21) Yannick Weber: The momentum from
his game in Boston is long gone.  Now he’s playing like a fringe defenceman
and is rightfully getting played as one; that is to say not much. (Prev:
16  Avg: 11.57)

22) Petteri Nokelainen: Apparently he
suffered an injury in Pittsburgh.  At least that gives the team a better
excuse to scratch him over the next little while. (Prev:
24  Avg: 18.69)

The Dog

Last Saturday’s ‘Steeltown Showdown’ was
supposed to be a big stepping stone for the Bulldogs as a win would have got
them within a few points of the division lead.  Instead, a tough loss has
led to some big questions.



Hamilton 4, Milwaukee 2

January 21:

Toronto 7, Hamilton 2


The third line of
Masse-Dumont-Schultz was Hamilton’s best as they had a hand in half the goals
the team scored.









5 Alex Henry 2 0 0 -1 1 0
7 Joe Callahan 2 0 0 -1 1 5
10 Philip DeSimone 2 0 1 -3 3 0
13 Zack FitzGerald 2 0 2 E 0 5
15 Phillipe Lefebvre 2 0 0 E 1 0
16 Olivier Fortier 1 0 0 E 0 0
17 Mark Mitera 2 0 0 -1 0 2
18 Dany Masse 2 2 1 +2 7 0
20 Louis Leblanc 2 1 0 -3 6 2
21 Ian Schultz 2 0 3 +2 3 5
22 Andreas Engqvist 2 0 1 -2 2 0
23 Joonas Nattinen 2 0 0 E 1 0
24 Brian Willsie 2 1 0 -3 7 2
28 Aaron Palushaj 2 1 1 -2 6 5
32 Frederic St. Denis 2 0 0 -1 1 2
40 Gabriel Dumont 2 1 0 +2 5 7
51 Mitch Wahl 1 0 0 E 2 0
55 Garrett Stafford 2 0 2 -2 0 0
67 Alexander Avtsin 2 0 0 -2 2 2






29 Robert Mayer 1-0-0 .913 2.01
52 Nathan Lawson 0-1-0 .741 7.00

Active Leaders:

Goals: Andreas Engqvist (13)
Assists: Garrett Stafford (17)
Points: Aaron Palushaj (27)
+/-: Andreas Engqvist (+9)
PIMS: Zack FitzGerald (146)
Shots: Brian Willsie (150)


January 24: Hamilton vs Lake Erie
January 27: Toronto vs Hamilton
January 28: Hamilton vs Lake Erie


Montreal GM Pierre Gauthier has been spotted
more than Waldo in recent weeks as he makes the rounds in advance of next
month’s trade deadline.  At first, I thought there may be something
imminent brewing but then I remembered that he is still the team’s Director of
Pro Scouting, he retained that title when he took over for Bob Gainey. 
Every GM picks up the scouting levels at this time of the year, especially those
that are looking to sell. 

Buying teams are generally seeking veterans
that scouts and GM’s are more familiar with as they’ve been around longer. 
Sellers are typically trying to get tabs on some of the younger players that
they haven’t seen as often.  As Gauthier has covered nearly half the league
in the last two weeks, this suggests he’s in the latter category. 
Regardless of your preference (buy or sell), this should come as an encouraging
sign to most as it appears that Gauthier is doing his due diligence, something
it seems he didn’t do in the trade a couple weeks back.  Better late than
never I suppose.

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