Montreal’s California trip didn’t go quite as bad as usual as the Habs managed a win while dropping a pair of close contests as well. In St. John’s, they didn’t play particularly well in all but one of their four games but managed to pick up a pair of wins thanks to a different goalie stepping up.
Phillip Danault: Perhaps I’ve missed it but what exactly did Danault do to bottom out on the depth chart? After getting moved back to the wing, Michel Therrien has proceeded to use him less and less; he’s getting less ice time now than he was at the beginning of the season. It’s clear that Therrien doesn’t have much trust in him which is another reason why it’s unlikely that David Desharnais gets traded any time soon.
Brian Flynn: It’s hard to explain but he seems to be more of a key cog on Montreal’s fourth line than a lot of people, myself included, imagined. Usually the players who are passable in a few areas but aren’t particularly strong in any don’t thrive in a fourth line role but Flynn seems to be an exception. I didn’t think they’d miss him much when he got hurt but evidently, he’s more important to the Habs than I thought.
Shea Weber: It was only a matter of time before he was going to have a bit of an off-week. He has been overused in the early going this year and teams out West know how to play him better than those in the East, simply based on his time with Nashville. It would be nice if they could scale back his ice time a bit (more towards the 24-25 minute range) but for that to happen, they’ll need more from Jeff Petry, who has been quiet as of late. Teams are also really trying to cut off his shot on the power play. It’s up to Kirk Muller and the coaching staff now to make some adjustments that can free up that one-timer.
Shootout – Skaters:
Shootout – Goalies:
Goals: Alex Galchenyuk (9)
Assists: Markov/Radulov (16)
Points: Alex Galchenyuk (23)
+/-: Shea Weber (+17)
PIMS: Andrew Shaw (58)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (69)
It was a tough week at the office for Charlie Lindgren as he had his worst two outings of the season. Fortunately for St. John’s, Yann Danis had his best two outings, allowing the IceCaps to split the week.
News and Notes:
– Michael McCarron (hand) left Wednesday’s game with a hand injury and missed the final two games of the week. He’s questionable for their next game on Friday. Nikita Scherbak left Saturday’s game with an undisclosed injury and is expected to miss the next 1-2 weeks.
– Stefan Matteau was suspended for one game for a spearing incident on Tuesday and served that suspension on Wednesday.
– The IceCaps now lead the league in penalty minutes with 440, largely thanks to Tuesday’s game where three players received at least one misconduct penalty.
– Lines from last game:
Terry – Audette – Andrighetto
Matteau – de la Rose – Friberg
Veilleux – Eisenschmid – Farnham
Broll – MacMillan – Gregoire
Hanley – Brouillette
Racine – Lernout
Samuelsson – Johnston
November 29: Syracuse 6, St. John’s 2
November 30: St. John’s 3, Syracuse 2 (SO)
December 3: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 6, St. John’s 2
December 4: St. John’s 3, Wilkes-Barre Scranton 2 (OT)
|20||Jacob de la Rose||4||0||1||-4||7||2|
Shootout – Skaters:
Shootout – Goalies:
Goals: Hudon/Scherbak (9)
Assists: Sven Andrighetto (13)
Points: Sven Andrighetto (20)
+/-: Eisenschmid/Lernout (+5)
PIMS: Stefan Matteau (55)
Shots: Sven Andrighetto (57)
December 9: Springfield vs St. John’s
December 10: Springfield vs St. John’s
While Montreal’s two biggest areas of need (a top four defenceman and a second line centre upgrade if Tomas Plekanec can’t turn it around – the latter could be exacerbated with Alex Galchenyuk’s injury) are getting a lot of attention, the 13th forward spot on the roster isn’t exactly being utilized the best way possible either. I’ve long felt that if a waiver exempt player is up with the big club, they should be playing on a regular basis. Right now Daniel Carr is that 13th forward and the Habs aren’t playing him often (and aren’t playing him in a spot to succeed when they do). Why keep him around if that’s the case? It’s not as if he can’t still improve in the minors and as a young player, it’s better to play top line minutes in the minors than see spot duty and limited practice time in the NHL.
If I’m Marc Bergevin, I’m looking around for a veteran to stick in that spot, one that can cover a fourth line role while adding some grit to what isn’t exactly the most physical of bottom six groups. It’s not the most exciting of pickups but it would put Carr in a better spot for his development (regular top line playing time over sporadic fourth line duty) while filling a small need at the same time. And given the lack of a market for top four defencemen and top six centres at the moment, it’s a much more realistic upgrade to look for at the moment as well.