The week didn’t start off well for the Habs but it ended on their highest note of the season with a shellacking of Colorado. As for St. John’s, they split the final two games of their home stand but remain outside of a playoff spot as they embark on a four week road trip.
Artturi Lehkonen: It’s nice to see that he has picked up right where he left off when he came back from his injury. His shot is deceptively quick and the lineup just feels a bit deeper overall when he’s in. I like him more in a bottom six role at this point when everyone is healthy but right now, he’s fitting in nicely on the new-look second line (which features a trio of players who are probably better suited to be in a bottom six spot no less). The Habs will need more secondary production with their injuries and Lehkonen is someone who should be able to help in that area.
Max Pacioretty: The news of him playing through a microfracture in his foot really changed the narrative in a hurry and helps put things into context a bit more. I worry that his very strong performance these last few games will set the bar unrealistically high again though. He’s a streaky player at the best of times, healthy or not. In the short term, he can help sustain the offence in Alex Galchenyuk’s absence but it’s unlikely he’ll be able to do so until late January/early February; there will be another lull in there. (Though I wouldn’t mind if I was proven wrong on this one…)
Greg Pateryn: There’s never really a good time to break an ankle but the timing of this injury couldn’t have come at much of a worse time. He was just starting to play a bit more after losing the trust of the coaching staff but now with Zach Redmond healthy (and Mark Barberio as well, who played ahead of him at times last season), Pateryn could conceivably find himself eighth on the depth chart by the time he comes back in February. This could set him back once again, hardly the situation he wanted to be in after being given the chance to become an everyday player earlier this season.
Goals: Max Pacioretty (12)
Assists: Andrei Markov (18)
Points: Max Pacioretty (24)
+/-: Shea Weber (+18)
PIMS: Andrew Shaw (58)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (86)
St. John’s played their final two home games of 2016 this past week, a pair of games against Springfield. They maintained their recent pattern of splitting their two-in-two series and remain on the outside looking in the standings as they embark on a season-long ten game road trip.
News and Notes:
– Chris Terry took over the team lead in scoring from Sven Andrighetto and is currently on a five game point streak.
– Despite a poor outing on Friday, Yann Danis has won his last four starts. In comparison, Charlie Lindgren has lost five of his last six games.
– Lines from last game:
Hudon – Audette – Terry
Matteau – de la Rose – Friberg
Farnham – Eisenschmid – Gregoire
Broll – MacMillan – Veilleux
Hanley – Brouillette
Parisi – Lernout
Racine – Johnston
December 9: St. John’s 6, Springfield 2
December 10: Springfield 2, St. John’s 1
|20||Jacob de la Rose||2||1||1||+1||5||2|
Goals: Charles Hudon (10)
Assists: Barberio/Terry (14)
Points: Chris Terry (23)
+/-: Markus Eisenschmid (+5)
PIMS: Stefan Matteau (55)
Shots: Sven Andrighetto (57)
December 14: St. John’s vs Binghamton
December 16: St. John’s vs Utica
December 17: St. John’s vs Rochester
Considering the way Montreal played in Columbus when they were slaughtered 10-0, they responded quite well considering they went on a four game winning streak. Now that the shoe is on the other foot and that they’re coming off a blowout victory, they need to make sure that they don’t lull themselves into a false sense of security. Although there aren’t many easy games on the schedule in the next couple of weeks, they play four of the next five at home before they go on a lengthy road trip. Considering they play much better at home (14-1-1) compared to the road (5-5-2), this is their chance to get some of the cushion in the standings back that they lost in November. It would also go a long way towards making it easier for Marc Bergevin to be patient while waiting for Galchenyuk to get back (and that’s the path I think he’ll want to take). They’re off to a fine start without Galchenyuk in the lineup but these next two weeks should really tell the tale as to whether or not they can get by without him over these next 6-8 weeks.