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The third quarter of the season has come and gone and the Habs find
themselves exactly where they were after the second quarter – sitting alone atop
the Northeast Division.  Although the usual suspects had a large hand in
their success over the past few weeks, there were some others who stepped up
their games as well.  Our quarterly grades begin with the goaltenders and

Stats are as of games played through April 3rd.


Peter Budaj: A: Normally I’d give a player who played in just
two games an N/A but the way he was able to hold back Boston in relief warranted
special mention.  He also played quite well in his lone start against
Winnipeg and certainly has made the case that he should be playing more often
down the stretch.

3rd Quarter Stats: 2 GP, 2-0-0 record, 2.15 GAA, .903 SV%
Season Stats: 7 GP, 5-1-1 record, 2.47 GAA, .906 SV%

Carey Price: B+: Although there was still the odd lapse in
terms of positioning, Price has picked up his game in recent weeks and is
getting closer to his stellar form of last season.  If he can maintain this
level of play in the final weeks, fans should be more than comfortable about the
Habs’ goaltending heading into the postseason.

3rd Quarter Stats: 11 GP, 6-3-1 record, 1 SO, 2.24 GAA, .918 SV%
Season Stats: 30 GP, 18-7-4 record, 3 SO, 2.30 GAA, .914 SV%


Nathan Beaulieu: N/A: Beaulieu acquitted himself quite well in his
first couple of games aside from being a bit too tentative in his own zone at
times.  He moved the puck well, looked alright on the powerplay, and used
his skating ability to get out of trouble.  I think he’s still far away
from being ready for a full-time job but this was a promising start.

3rd Quarter, Season Stats: 2 GP, 0 goals, 1 assist, +2 rating, 0 PIMS, 1 SOG,
1 hit, 2

Francis Bouillon: C+: I have found myself becoming more and
more concerned with some of his decision making in the defensive zone.  He
looks at times like he is starting to wear down.  That said, he isn’t
playing particularly poorly overall and is still logging important minutes. 
It would be wonderful to see him off the powerplay though.

3rd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 1 goal, 2 assists, +4 rating, 2 PIMS, 11 SOG,
27 hits, 14
Season Stats: 36 GP, 1 goal, 7 assists, +6 rating, 10 PIMS, 29 SOG, 66
hits, 38 blocks

Davis Drewiske: N/A: He certainly isn’t going to be a player
who will have a significant role moving forward but as a depth defenceman, he
looks like he will be a nice acquisition.

3rd Quarter Stats (Montreal only): 1 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, -1
rating, 0 PIMS, 0 SOG, 1 hit, 2
Season Stats: 21 GP, 1 goal, 3 assists, +2 rating, 14 PIMS, 20 SOG, 14
hits, 21 blocks

Alexei Emelin: B: The improvement in his offensive game keeps
impressing me.  He has been enough of a legitimate threat to prevent teams
from cheating in their coverage to focus on Markov while he continues to play
well defensively.  Strong progression in his second season for sure.

3rd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 2 goals, 2 assists, -3 rating, 13 PIMS, 9 SOG,
19 hits, 21
Season Stats: 36 GP, 3 goals, 9 assists, +2 rating, 28 PIMS, 30 SOG, 105
hits, 44 blocks

Josh Gorges: B: I don’t think he is having as much of a
positive impact as he did last year but he has been much better since being put
back with P.K. Subban.  He remains the defensive anchor for this
team…which is the exact reason why he should be the last defenceman to get
time on the powerplay; he looks overwhelmed when put in that role.  I’m
hoping he finds a way to step up his game a bit more between now and the

3rd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 0 goals, 1 assist, +2 rating, 0 PIMS, 9 SOG,
17 hits, 26
Season Stats: 36 GP, 2 goals, 5 assists, +6 rating, 13 PIMS, 27 SOG, 52
hits, 86 blocks

Andrei Markov: B+: In recent games he has improved in his own zone
which was nice to see after some surprising mistakes earlier on in the year. 
He continues to live on the powerplay when it comes to his points (20/24 have
been with the man advantage); it would be nice to see some more balance there
but as long he is contributing to goals scored I can’t complain much. 
Having his minutes scaled back at times has helped him handle the bigger
workloads when he needs to play more.

3rd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 2 goals, 7 assists, -2 rating, 2 PIMS, 20 SOG,
6 hits, 21
Season Stats: 36 GP, 7 goals, 17 assists, -3 rating, 10 PIMS, 59 SOG, 16
hits, 52 blocks

Greg Pateryn: C-: Although Pateryn has been a steady, reliable
rookie for Hamilton this year, that wasn’t the case when he was with Montreal. 
He played like he was nervous (completely understandable by the way) which is
what got him benched and demoted pretty quickly.

3rd Quarter, Season Stats: 3 GP, 0 goals, 0 assists, +2 rating, 0 PIMS, 0 SOG,
2 hits, 1 block

P.K. Subban: A+: What’s left to be said that hasn’t already been
noted?  He has taken his defensive game to new heights and remains the
Habs’ biggest threat with the man advantage.  I’d like to see him take
fewer runs at people when trying to make a big hit but that’s about the only
concern I have about his game.

3rd Quarter Stats: 12 GP, 4 goals, 9 assists, +9 rating, 14 PIMS, 37 SOG,
18 hits, 18
Season Stats: 30 GP, 10 goals, 18 assists, +10 rating, 26 PIMS, 88 SOG,
43 hits, 39 blocks

Jarred Tinordi: C: I was a little surprised to see him benched so
quickly in games towards the end of his stint with the big club.  He didn’t
play too poorly, he mostly made the right decisions in his own end.  One
concern I had was the speed of his decision making, he will need to make those
correct reads quicker the next time he gets a chance.  All in all though,
it was a decent first stint for the former first rounder. 

3rd Quarter, Season Stats: 6 GP, 0 goals, 1 assist, +2 rating, 2 PIMS, 5 SOG,
3 hits, 3

Other N/A grades (did not play): Raphael Diaz, Tomas Kaberle,
Yannick Weber