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In this week’s HW Recap: The playoff ‘dream’ is
over but a handful of Habs still put up some decent performances over their
three games.  It was a better week for the Bulldogs who won three of four
but sadly for them they failed to make up much ground in their faint playoff
push.  Patrick Roy as coach was a popular topic of discussion, my Final
Thought examines why it may be best to pass on him for now.


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: His hat trick against
the Sens was impressive, particularly with a pair of goals being scored from in
close.  Interestingly enough, if not for some big saves or missed
opportunities, he could have had another two or three that game. (Prev:
 Avg: 4.22)

2) David Desharnais: Someone needed to
set Cole up for his goals and he did just that on a couple of them.  One
small concern is his recent drop on the draw lately, it has been four games
since he was on the good side of 50%. (Prev: 1
 Avg: 6.30)

3) Carey Price: He had a solid game
against the Senators and it certainly wasn’t his fault they lost in Buffalo (no
goal support).  With Budaj playing a little more lately, he has looked more
fresh out there which has been good for him. (Prev:
 Avg: 5.17)

4) P.K. Subban: Not having all of the
teams’ offensive responsibilities on his shoulders has given him some more
confidence, he seems to be rediscovering the proper balance between playing it
safe and aggressively. (Prev: 6  Avg:

5) Josh Gorges: I think it’s safe to say
he’ll be battling until the very end of the season…and probably a bit more
after.  He’s still doing all the little things he has all year long even
though the Habs are long out of it, a sign of a good leader. (Prev:
4  Avg: 8.70)

6) Tomas Plekanec: I think the
coaching staff needs to highlight how he plays when shorthanded and encourage
him to play that way at all times.  4-on-5 is when he’s at his best and
that was the case against this week. (Prev: 3
 Avg: 6.65)

7) Lars Eller: After a week where he
looked completely disinterested, this was a much better effort from him both on
the ice and on the scoresheet.  If nothing else, he is getting a lot more
experience on the wing which could come in handy. (Prev:
14  Avg: 7.65)

8) Max Pacioretty: He had a few shifts
where he was dominant but a lot more where he wasn’t as noticeable as usual. 
Oh well, he’s allowed to have an off week. (Prev: 7
 Avg: 4.36)

9) Andrei Markov: Although he failed
to hit the scoresheet, his overall game improved considerably.  His head
wasn’t always thinking quicker than his feet as he is starting to get closer to
being in actual game shape. (Prev: 10  Avg:

10) Aaron Palushaj: He is making a
case to stick around past this year.  I still would like to see him moved
up in the lineup to see how he fares in a role that he played in Hamilton (a
top-6 forward). (Prev: 15  Avg:

11) Petteri Nokelainen: He scored for
the second straight week and when the team is struggling to score most nights,
any sort of production from the fourth line is nice to see. (Prev:
12  Avg: 18.12)

12) Alexei Emelin: It was a quieter
week for him which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  With Markov alongside
him, he is playing a steadier game although he still managed to get some decent
hits in. (Prev: 9  Avg:

13) Peter Budaj: His game in Philly
was simply okay, I’m most disappointed that three of his goals were allowed with
the Flyers on the PP, putting Montreal’s chances of setting the league PK record
in jeopardy. (Prev: 8  Avg:

14) Ryan White: He demonstrated that
he knows how to get himself mixed up in every scuffle after the whistle but his
performance while the play is actually on continues to underwhelm. (Prev:
16  Avg: 12.40)

15) Chris Campoli: He quietly is
picking up a few assists here and there and is starting to make his previously
low scoring numbers a bit more respectable.  His defensive game is another
story though. (Prev: 20  Avg:

16) Frederic St. Denis: His footing
was a little shaky at times but other than that he had a pretty good game
against the Flyers.  He has done enough to earn another game before the end
of the year (it’s all dependent on injuries right now). (Prev:
17  Avg: 16.67)

17) Brad Staubitz: He fared better in
the fisticuff department than last week but if he wants to prove he’s worthy of
a spot next year, doing a little something more during the play would likely go
a long way. (Prev: 23  Avg:

18) Louis Leblanc: I know they burned
one of their callups on him but if he’s going to be invisible most shifts, send
him back down already; that’s probably where he should be anyway. (Prev:
11  Avg: 15.42)

19) Yannick Weber: I was thinking to
myself during the Ottawa game that he needed to do something soon to get
noticed.  He got hurt two shifts later, not exactly what I had in mind. (Prev:
 Avg: 16.00)

20) Rene Bourque: Leaving him in the
top-6 doesn’t seem to be working, a drop to the 4th line might be useful to try
and give him some sort of positive momentum heading into these final weeks of
the year. (Prev: 19  Avg:

21) Michael Blunden: Timid is not a
characteristic I’d use to describe his play most weeks.  It’s appropriate
for this one though, as the going got tough, he backed off to the perimeter
(though he still managed to get a misconduct). (Prev:
 Avg: 16.54)

The Dog

Although they made up little ground in their
late push for the playoffs, it was a good week for the Bulldogs in the middle
stage of their never ending road trip as they won three of four.


March 20:
3, Rockford 1

March 23:
3, Hamilton 2

March 24:
3, Chicago 2

March 25:
2, Peoria 1


The Bulldogs added a trio of
college players on tryouts and all three stepped into the lineup right away as
more players got bit by the injury bug.









3 Robert Slaney 4 1 0 E 5 2
5 Alex Henry 4 0 0 -1 0 8
6 Joe Stejskal 4 0 0 -3 3 4
10 Philip DeSimone 4 0 0 -4 6 0
11 Alain Berger 4 0 1 E 5 0
13 Zack FitzGerald 4 0 0 -1 1 2
14 Trevor Hendrixx 1 0 0 +1 0 2
15 Phillipe Lefebvre 4 0 1 +1 4 2
17 Mark Mitera 4 0 1 +3 6 4
21 Ian Schultz 3 1 0 -1 4 0
22 Andreas Engqvist 3 0 2 +2 7 6
23 Joonas Nattinen 4 1 1 +2 7 0
24 Brian Willsie 4 4 2 +5 16 4
25 Jesse Todd 3 0 2 +2 7 0
26 Ryan Flanigan 3 0 0 +2 5 4
27 Travis Novak 3 1 0 +1 2 0
32 Frederic St. Denis 2 0 0 +1 4 0
40 Gabriel Dumont 4 1 0 -3 5 4
44 Olivier Dame-Malka 4 0 1 +2 10 10
53 T.J. Fast 2 1 0 +4 1 0
67 Alexander Avtsin 4 0 1 -1 4 0






29 Robert Mayer 3-1-0 .943 1.91
52 Nathan Lawson 0-0-0 1.000 0.00

Active Leaders:

Goals: Andreas Engqvist (19)
Assists: Brian Willsie (23)
Points: Andreas Engqvist (37)
+/-: Flanigan/Slaney/Todd (+2)
PIMS: Zack FitzGerald (229)
Shots: Brian Willsie (211)


March 28:
Hamilton vs San Antonio
March 29: Hamilton vs Texas
March 31: Hamilton vs Houston


The Patrick Roy talks hit a whole new peak this
week as rumours swirled that he had signed a letter of intent to coach the Habs
next year (which considering his QMJHL team is still playing, that’s a little
hard to believe).  Accordingly talks have started as to whether or not he’d
be a good fit to take over as coach.  I’m on the no side of the fence and
here’s why:

– Experience: I personally don’t want the Habs
to hire a coach without NHL experience this offseason, the marketplace is hard
enough to deal with without factoring in one of their worst seasons in ages and
the general angst of the fans; tossing a rookie coach to that is asking for
trouble.  If I had to pick someone without NHL experience, I’d still be
insisting on some sort of professional experience which Roy currently lacks both
as a head coach or as an assistant.

– Language: I’m sorry but it needs to be said. 
There’s a debate on whether or not the coach should speak French but it’s an
absolute must that the coach should speak English.  Roy’s English is weak
at the best of times.  In an age where communication is paramount, this has
the potential to really be problematic in a locker room where the primary
language is English.

– Temperament: There’s nothing wrong with
having a lot of passion and Roy certainly has that.  However, at least once
or twice a year he has said or done something that gets him in the leagues’ bad
graces.  With the pressure of the NHL and the market, it’s safe to expect
he’ll make these mistakes here.  As we’ve seen with previous coaches and
with coaches on other teams, showing up the officials or venting to the media
doesn’t accomplish much, it’s almost always detrimental to the team.

I have no problems with bringing Roy into the
organization if they feel he could be the coach of the future.  I think
he’d be the perfect fit to take over in Hamilton, let him transition to the pro
game while getting to work with the bumper crop of prospects.  It would
also introduce him to the concept of working under someone (management), a
dynamic he has yet to face with the Remparts while allowing him to make some of
the inevitable mistakes and to hopefully learn from them.  I truly believe
Roy will one day coach the Habs but that time doesn’t have to be next season. 
I’ve often criticized the team for rushing their player prospects to the NHL too
early, here’s hoping they don’t make the same mistakes with their potential
coaching prospects.

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