The stretch run has arrived for the Hamilton Bulldogs who find themselves in the hunt for a playoff spot with a pair of rookie forwards leading the way. How have the other attackers fared as of late? Our third quarter grades end with a look at the forwards.
Players must have played in at least 5/19 games to receive a grade.
Gabriel Dumont: A+: In five years with the Bulldogs, Dumont has never displayed the ability to be a consistent scoring threat. Until now, that is. He missed a few games for the birth of his child and for the next several weeks, he was pretty much unstoppable (aside from being held pointless in a brief stint with the Habs).
Stats: 14 GP, 8 goals, 9 assists, 17 points, +4 rating, 15 PIMS, 45 shots
Daniel Carr: A: Earlier in the season, he was picking up some assists but was having a hard time potting goals. Now, it’s the exact opposite as over the last six weeks or so, Carr has been one of the hottest goal scorers not only on the Bulldogs but in the AHL. He wasn’t on the radar for a lot of people before. It’s safe to say he is now.
Stats: 19 GP, 13 goals, 2 assists, 15 points, +13 rating, 2 PIMS, 59 shots
Jacob de la Rose: A: His time at the World Juniors did wonders for his confidence as de la Rose came back to the Bulldogs as a much more confident and aggressive player. As a result, his offensive game improved and it wasn’t long before he earned what looks to be a full-time recall to the big club.
Stats: 7 GP, 2 goals, 3 assists, 5 points, +7 rating, 2 PIMS, 9 shots
Eric Tangradi: A-: Before he got injured, Tangradi was in a bit of a funk but since returning, he has been on fire. He and Hensick have found some chemistry and Tangradi’s size should help insulate some of Hensick’s weaknesses. I’m not sure he’s playing himself back onto the recall radar with Montreal but he certainly is playing himself into a lot more ice time with Hamilton.
Stats: 11 GP, 6 goals, 5 assists, 11 points, +11 rating, 4 PIMS, 27 shots
Charles Hudon: A-: His goal scoring has dried right up but with others on his line helping to pick up the slack, it hasn’t been too much of an issue lately. Defensively, he continues to play well as Hudon has quickly become Hamilton’s top two-way forward. As the games get tougher and more important, it will really be interesting to see how he fares.
Stats: 19 GP, 1 goal, 13 assists, 14 points, +9 rating, 20 PIMS, 44 shots
T.J. Hensick: B+: Hensick continues to put up the points as he continues to anchor a surprisingly-productive second line which has helped Hamilton’s attack become closer to league average. Unfortunately, he still is suspect in his own end which limits his overall effectiveness.
Stats: 19 GP, 6 goals, 8 assists, 14 points, -8 rating, 4 PIMS, 50 shots
Sven Andrighetto: B: He no longer is the focal point of the attack on a line and that seems to have helped Andrighetto climb out of the funk he was in upon being sent back down by Montreal. He’s a big wildcard for the Bulldogs heading into the stretch run; if he can rediscover his scoring touch, that will be a huge boost for this team.
Stats: 19 GP, 4 goals, 8 assists, 12 points, +1 rating, 18 PIMS, 41 shots
Drayson Bowman: B: ‘Decent enough’ would be the best way to describe Bowman on most nights. He isn’t playing poorly by any stretch but for someone with as much NHL time as he has, the team likely has been hoping and expecting that he could be more of an impact player. Still, he has been a quality top six forward and has settled in well on the ‘veteran’ line.
Stats: 18 GP, 5 goals, 5 assists, 10 points, -4 rating, 6 PIMS, 46 shots
Nick Sorkin: C+: With the top two lines more or less being settled upon, Sorkin seems to be destined for a full-time bottom six role and he spent the better part of the last couple of months on the fourth line, moving up to the third unit when injuries/recalls arose. Getting that type of production in limited minutes is pretty good.
Stats: 16 GP, 5 goals, 1 assist, 6 points, +3 rating, 2 PIMS, 26 shots
Jake Dowell: C: With the Bulldogs winning some games as of late, there have been more opportunities for Dowell to prove his worth as a shutdown forward in late game or penalty kill situations. He has taken full advantage of that and has proven to be too valuable to take out of the lineup even with Hamilton carrying too many veterans (more on that shortly).
Stats: 19 GP, 1 goal, 4 assists, 5 points, +4 rating, 7 PIMS, 21 shots
Sahir Gill: C+: It’s not often that players on tryout deals wind up becoming regulars but Gill pulled that off over the last six weeks. He’s not the most skilled of players but his energy makes him effective, even in limited minutes. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him sign for the rest of the year when his PTO expires in the coming days.
Stats: 17 GP, 2 goals, 1 assist, 3 points, even rating, 6 PIMS, 16 shots
Maxime Macenauer: C: With the Bulldogs carrying too many veteran players, Macenauer has found himself the odd man out most nights when everyone is healthy. He plays a steady game when he’s in there but as a veteran, you really have to be really good at your role (see Dowell) or make a lot more of an impact in the game. If he wants to get back into the lineup regularly, he will need to step it up.
Stats: 13 GP, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, -1 rating, 16 PIMS, 10 shots
Stefan Fournier: D+: Now finally healthy, it was hoped that Fournier would take some steps forward in his second pro season. Nope. He remains at best a somewhat-serviceable fourth liner that doesn’t crack the lineup when everyone is available. He’s better off playing regularly in Wheeling at this point.
Stats: 8 GP, 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point, even rating, 7 PIMS, 5 shots
Connor Crisp: D: This year has quickly turned into a write-off for Crisp. Now that he’s healthy, he still can’t crack the lineup with any sort of regularity and when he does play, he’s not very effective. As college/junior players can sign PTO’s or ATO’s late in the season, it’s going to be even harder for him to have much of a role for the rest of the season.
Stats: 8 GP, 0 goals, 1 assist, 1 point, -1 rating, 9 PIMS, 3 shots
N/A: Shane Bakker (released), Jack Nevins (traded), Christian Thomas (not enough GP)