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It was a rough week for the Bulldogs who lost
three of four, seriously hurting their playoff aspirations in the process. 
For the Habs, getting shots and scoring chances was a big problem before the
break, who are the best players at getting the puck on the net?  With the
Olympics now done, my Final Thought looks at why this was a successful
tournament for Montreal, even if most of their players didn’t have big roles for
their countries.

the Numbers

With the Habs set to soon return to action, we may find ourselves once again
witnessing offensive struggles.  When referring to shooting and
percentages, we often look at a players’ individual shooting percentage and can
infer that if a player has a high shooting percentage, he ought to shoot more
often and maybe that can help get the offence going. 

Montreal not only finds themselves towards the bottom in goals per game but
also in terms of shots per game.  So I started thinking, who is the best at
simply getting the puck on net?  You can’t score if the puck isn’t getting
through to the net and with the Habs only being a couple of shots per game ahead
of the worst teams in the league in that category, improvement is needed. 
Even if they’re not the best of snipers, there’s always rebound opportunities so
it might be worth focusing on getting the puck to those who are best at getting
it through to the net.  Who are those players though?

SOG – Shots on Goal
MS – Missed shots (attempts that missed the net)
SB – Shots blocked (attempts blocked by opponents)
On Net % – Percentage of shot attempts that hit the net (SOG/[SOG+MS+SB])

Note: Players must have played in at least 10 games with Montreal to be


Player SOG MS SB On Net %
Francis Bouillon 26 9 23 44.83%
Andrei Markov 93 45 73 44.08%
P.K. Subban 152 66 127 44.06%
Alexei Emelin 30 21 25 39.47%
Douglas Murray 18 9 19 39.13%
Josh Gorges 33 29 31 35.48%
Nathan Beaulieu 14 8 19 34.15%

I’m not surprised to see Markov at the top here but I am a bit with Subban. 
Clearly he has a ton of shots go wide or get blocked but to his credit, he does
get a lot of them through as well, better than almost everyone else on the
blueline.  For the amount of weak wristers he takes, I’m a bit surprised
that Gorges barely gets one-in-three shots to the net.  No one was
advocating for him to shoot more before though and they won’t be any time soon.


Player SOG MS SB On Net %
George Parros 3 1 0 75.00%
Brandon Prust 42 6 11 71.19%
Ryan White 39 7 15 63.93%
Michael Bournival 70 21 21 62.50%
Daniel Briere 75 22 24 61.98%
David Desharnais 70 20 27 59.83%
Max Pacioretty 181 71 61 57.83%
Alex Galchenyuk 79 27 35 56.03%
Tomas Plekanec 164 71 61 55.41%
Brendan Gallagher 156 52 77 54.74%
Lars Eller 114 40 58 53.77%
Brian Gionta 128 64 47 53.56%
Rene Bourque 92 44 44 51.11%
Travis Moen 42 27 14 50.60%

Stats courtesy of

Extra Skater

We can more or less discount the fourth liners as their shot attempt numbers
are low given their reduced ice time.  Once you go past them (I slot
Bournival there too as he has spent a lot of time on the bottom line), Briere
sits atop the list.  I’ve been bemoaning the fact that he hasn’t had too
much of a chance to play in a scoring role, his ability to get the puck on net
just adds to the argument.  Desharnais typically has a high shooting
percentage so it’s not surprising he’s near the top here as well.  Just
imagine his percentage if he didn’t pass up so many prime opportunities. 
Towards the bottom, Gionta’s lower rating surprises me.  Considering that
he takes a lot of wristers well inside the zone, I’d have thought a few more
would have hit the net.

While there’s no guarantee that having the more accurate shooters shoot a bit
more and the lesser ones shooting fewer times will lead to more offensive
success, it certainly couldn’t hurt the
cause.  This team needs to pick up the pace scoring wise, getting more
shots on goal seems to me like it would be a good place to start.

The Dog

This past week, though it ended on a high note,
was a disaster for Hamilton.  A trio of losses dropped them into a tie for
dead last in the Western Conference prior to their victory on Sunday afternoon.

News and

– The Bulldogs got one defenceman back from the
IR in Morgan Ellis.  Unfortunately for Hamilton, one game after he returned
to the lineup, rookie Darren Dietz went down.

– At the end of January, Hamilton didn’t have a
single player in double digits in goals.  They now have six (and there’s
another one that’s goal goal away from ten).

– Louis Leblanc has just one point (a goal)
since being sent down by the Habs in late January.  That’s his lone tally
in 17 games in 2014.

– Lines from the most recent game:


Andrighetto – Macenauer – Thomas
Holland – Dumont – Blunden
Tarnasky – St. Pierre – Fournier
Courtnall – Nattinen – Leblanc


Tinordi – Pateryn
Chouinard – Ellis
McIver – Schiestel


February 17:

San Antonio 4, Hamilton 1

February 21:

Binghamton 4, Hamilton 1

February 22:

Rochester 3, Hamilton 2

February 23:

Hamilton 3, San Antonio 1










2 Greg Pateryn 4 0 2 +1 10 0
5 Jarred Tinordi 3 0 1 +1 3 7
7 Darren Dietz 2 0 0 -2 1 2
8 Nathan Beaulieu 4 0 2 -4 6 2
9 Justin Courtnall 4 0 0 -1 6 4
11 Nathan McIver 2 0 0 E 3 0
12 Maxime Macenauer 4 0 0 -2 5 0
14 Michael Blunden 4 1 0 -1 11 4
20 Louis Leblanc 4 0 0 -3 9 14
22 Drew Schiestel 2 0 0 -1 4 0
23 Joonas Nattinen 4 0 0 -2 4 0
27 Sven Andrighetto 4 0 1 -1 10 0
37 Patrick Holland 4 1 1 -1 7 0
40 Gabriel Dumont 4 2 0 -2 8 2
44 Morgan Ellis 3 0 0 -1 6 0
47 Stefan Fournier 4 0 1 -1 1 0
59 Joel Chouinard 4 0 0 -4 4 0
74 Nick Tarnasky 4 1 1 -3 7 7
92 Christian Thomas 4 0 0 -1 12 2
93 Martin St. Pierre 4 2 1 +1 6 4






29 Robert Mayer 0-2-0 .893 3.05
34 Dustin Tokarski 1-1-0 .926 2.01


Goals: Gabriel Dumont (13)
Assists: Martin St. Pierre (27)
Points: Martin St. Pierre (37)
+/-: Morgan Ellis (+10)
PIMS: Nick Tarnasky (102)
Shots: Gabriel Dumont (127)


February 28:
Lake Erie vs Hamilton
March 1: Hamilton vs Toronto


The 2014 Olympics have come and gone and while
only a pair of Habs are returning with medals, it was a very successful
tournament from the Habs’ perspective.  Here are three reasons why:

1) No injuries – After seeing some top players
like John Tavares and Henrik Zetterberg go down, plus some quality secondary
guys like Alexander Barkov, Tomas Kopecky, and Mats Zuccarello, having everyone
come back to the team injury free will be nice.  (Having a couple of guys
coming off the IR as well means that the Habs will be about as healthy as
they’ve been all year to start the post-Olympic stretch.)

2) Big game success – One of the criticisms of
Carey Price is that he hasn’t had a ton of success in the postseason when the
pressure is at its highest.  Playing in three straight elimination games
and allowing just one goal combined was a near-perfect way to rise up to the
pressure, silencing a lot of critics in the process.  That can only bode
well for the Habs with the postseason approaching.

3) Rest – As disappointing as it was for many
to not see P.K. Subban play for Canada, the silver lining is that he’ll be fully
rested for the stretch run.  Max Pacioretty, Montreal’s top goal scorer,
also saw sparing minutes, while blueliners Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin both
played far below their respective season averages.  When the rosters were
named last month, many were concerned about too many key players getting
overworked.  Fortunately for the Canadiens, that didn’t happen.