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Several forwards played a key role in the Habs’ second quarter success, one
that saw them earn a point in eleven of twelve games.  A balanced three
line attack has yielded a team that is scoring at a much higher pace than last
season and one that regularly outshoots its opponent, something that didn’t
happen too often in 2011-12.  Our second quarter grades conclude with a
look at the forwards.

Stats are as of games played through March 7th.

Colby Armstrong: D: Defensively he continues to play relatively well
but in the offensive zone and physical department, areas where the club was
expecting him to have some sort of impact in, he is still not getting the job
done.  As players start to get healthy, he will need to pick up his game to
maintain his spot in the lineup.

2nd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 0 goals, 2 assists, -2 rating, 2 PIMS, 5 SOG, 9 hits, 9
Season Stats: 24 GP, 0 goals, 3 assists, -2 rating, 8 PIMS, 17 SOG, 23
hits, 15 blocks

Rene Bourque: C+: After a strong start to the season, he was starting
to cool off considerably before being shelved with a concussion. 
Considering it appears that he played a few games with the concussion (before
symptoms began to visibly present themselves), it makes his struggles a lot more

2nd Quarter Stats: 5 GP, 2 goals, 1 assist, +1 rating, 2 PIMS, 7 SOG, 3 hits, 4 blocks
Season Stats: 17 GP, 5 goals, 5 assists, even rating, 24 PIMS, 41 SOG, 21
hits, 8 blocks

Erik Cole: C+: Before the trade, Cole was showing signs that the
player who played so well last season was still around.  Unfortunately,
that production never seemed to materialize and he finds himself now in Dallas. 
I will say this though, regardless of Ryder’s offensive success, Cole’s physical
play will certainly be missed.

2nd Quarter Stats: 7 GP, 1 goal, 1 assist, +2 rating, 0 PIMS, 13 shots, 14 hits, 3 blocks
Season Stats (with Montreal): 19 GP, 3 goals, 3 assists, +1 rating, 10
PIMS, 41 SOG, 43 hits, 6 blocks

David Desharnais: B+: One of the biggest critiques I’ve had about
Desharnais is his unwillingness to assert himself offensively; seldom does he
ever look for his own shot.  He did for the most part in this quarter and
good things happened, not only for him but his line as well.  His work at
the faceoff dot still requires significant improvement though.

2nd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 5 goals, 5 assists, +5 rating, 4 PIMS, 24 SOG, 8 hits, 3
Season Stats: 24 GP, 7 goals, 8 assists, -1 rating, 16 PIMS, 37 SOG, 11
hits, 10 blocks

Lars Eller: A-: It’s amazing what some players can do when they’re not
playing on a different line or a different position every couple of games. 
For the first time all year, Eller found himself in a regular role for most of
the past few weeks and showed that he is capable of providing that
secondary/tertiary production that all contending teams need.

2nd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 2 goals, 7 assists, +5 rating, 12 PIMS, 15 SOG, 20 hits, 10
Season Stats: 22 GP, 3 goals, 11 assists, +5 rating, 18 PIMS, 37 SOG, 39
hits, 14 blocks

Alex Galchenyuk: B-: I’m beginning to wonder if fatigue has finally
caught up with the Habs’ rookie after missing so much of last season and playing
as much as he has this year.  He still has flashes of dominance that show
the player he one day will be but overall he was not as strong as he was early

2nd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 2 goals, 4 assists, +1 rating, 6 PIMS, 20 SOG, 7 hits, 9
Season Stats: 24 GP, 3 goals, 10 assists, +7 rating, 10 PIMS, 38 SOG, 9
hits, 12 blocks

Brendan Gallagher: A-: He received the promotion to the
Pacioretty-Desharnais line after the Cole trade and that seemed to revitalize
him after a slow-ish start to the second quarter of the season.  He’s the
type of player everyone wants on their line, willing to go to the dirty areas,
won’t back down from anyone, and has a good touch around the net.

2nd Quarter Stats: 9 GP, 2 goals, 5 assists, +5 rating, 4 PIMS, 27 SOG, 6 hits, 6
Season Stats: 20 GP, 6 goals, 7 assists, +10 rating, 19 PIMS, 51 SOG, 29
hits, 10 blocks

Brian Gionta: B: It was only a matter of time before some of his
chances started to go into the net with consistency.  I think he’s being
over-used (second in TOI per game for forwards, leads the team in even strength
TOI) but he has handled the increased workload well.

2nd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 4 goals, 2 assists, even rating, 2 PIMS, 33 SOG, 6 hits, 8
Season Stats: 24 GP, 7 goals, 5 assists, -1 rating, 4 PIMS, 64 SOG, 22
hits, 12 blocks

Travis Moen: C-: For all of the flak he’s receiving, it should be
noted that he played more physically than he did early on.  Yes, he’s still
a shadow of what he used to be in that regard (and looking back to last season,
what we’re seeing appears to be the new norm for him) but his leadership and
defensive abilities should be enough to keep him in the lineup most nights.

2nd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 1 goal, 1 assist, -2 rating, 2 PIMS, 5
SOG, 24 hits, 7 blocks
Season Stats: 23 GP, 2 goals, 2 assists, -2 rating, 16 PIMS, 13 SOG, 38
hits, 13 blocks

Max Pacioretty: A+: Who would have thought that a fluky goal from his
own side of centre ice would be what got him going again?  All of the
elements of his game were on full display in recent weeks, particularly his
goal-scoring prowess and his speed.  I’d say he even played better than he
did when he was on a roll last season.

2nd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 8 goals, 6 assists, +8 rating, 6 PIMS, 47 SOG, 10 hits, 3
Season Stats: 20 GP, 8 goals, 12 assists, +6 rating, 18 PIMS, 72 SOG, 21
hits, 6 blocks

Tomas Plekanec: B-: How a playmaker like him went as many games as he
did without an assist is baffling.  Although he didn’t take many penalties,
the ones he did take were particularly untimely.  On the plus side, his
play at the faceoff dot improved while his defensive play was still strong.

2nd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 4 goals, 0 assists, +2 rating, 8 PIMS, 40 SOG, 11 hits, 7
Season Stats: 24 GP, 10 goals, 5 assists, -1 rating, 16 PIMS, 78 SOG, 13
hits, 10 blocks

Brandon Prust: A: I don’t think his offensive contributions are
sustainable but that on top of his much needed gritty play makes for one
impressive quarter.  Having the flexibility to play all three offensive
positions and on any of the lines in particular will make him very valuable when
everyone returns to the lineup.

2nd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 3 goals, 3 assists, +9 rating, 12 PIMS, 16 SOG, 37 hits, 10
Season Stats: 24 GP, 4 goals, 5 assists, +13 rating, 81 PIMS, 27 SOG, 60
hits, 16 blocks

Michael Ryder: B-: Even though he was picking up the assists, Ryder
often was a non-factor in his first few games.  In his defence, he was
getting bounced around on different lines and playing different roles so I don’t
want to be too critical of him.  Once he finds a more permanent home on a
line, I suspect he’ll be more consistent.

2nd Quarter, Season Stats (with Montreal only):  5 GP, 0 goals, 4 assists, -3 rating, 2 PIMS, 7 shots, 1 hit, 1 block

Ryan White: D-: I get that he has been told to not go over the edge
but there’s a difference between that and hesitating to be involved anywhere on
the ice.  He isn’t hitting as often, he isn’t as aggressive either
offensively or defensively, and his faceoffs have been inconsistent. 
Improvement is needed pretty much everywhere.

2nd Quarter Stats: 10 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, even rating, 4 PIMS, 2 SOG, 17 hits, 9
Season Stats: 17 GP, 1 goal, 0 assists, +1 rating, 50 PIMS, 11 SOG, 32
hits, 10 blocks