Last week wasn’t a good one for either the Habs or St. John’s. Montreal came out flat after their bye week with a poor effort against Winnipeg while St. John’s failed to take advantage of their deep lineup, losing three of four divisional games.
Alexei Emelin: It’s looking like it’s time to end the experiment with him as a top pairing player alongside Shea Weber. While he was keeping up early on, he’s struggling more and more with the pressure in recent weeks and it’s not much coincidence that Weber is also scuffling at the moment. The problem is that neither of Nathan Beaulieu and Andrei Markov are ideal options either for that spot. While a top six forward is often discussed as a huge need, so too is finding a better fit to play with Weber.
Brian Flynn: I’m curious to see how he gets used in the coming weeks. Michel Therrien had a lot of faith in him and while he was producing more early on, he hasn’t lately. However, the Bruins went after Flynn before the Habs got him a couple of years ago and that obviously was with Claude Julien behind the bench. Was Julien pushing for him or was management? If Montreal’s new bench boss was, he probably will stay in the lineup. If not, he may find himself on the outside looking in before too long.
Artturi Lehkonen: He appears to be hitting the rookie wall after being held pointless for the last 11 games. To his credit, he’s still quite aggressive with his shot and is responsible in his own end so he’s doing enough to earn a long leash to play his way out of his struggles. Not all rookies do that so it’s nice to see that Lehkonen isn’t letting his point drought affect other areas of his game.
Goals: Max Pacioretty (28)
Assists: Alexander Radulov (28)
Points: Max Pacioretty (50)
+/-: Shea Weber (+12)
PIMS: Andrew Shaw (95)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (183)
Armed with their best lineup of the season on home ice, the IceCaps failed to take advantage, winning just one of four games and saw their lead on the final North Division playoff spot drop.
News and Notes:
– Daniel Carr missed both games over the weekend with an undisclosed injury. Daniel Audette was a late scratch on Sunday afternoon due to the flu.
– After being a frequent healthy scratch in recent weeks, the IceCaps have assigned defenceman Josiah Didier to Brampton of the AHL.
– With a seven point week, Chris Terry moved into a tie for second overall in AHL scoring. He also became just the eighth player to hit the 20-goal mark this season.
– Stefan Matteau’s goal against Binghamton was his first tally in over two months.
– Lines from last game:
Hudon – Terry – Scherbak
Matteau – de la Rose – Friberg
Veilleux – Farnham – Camara
Broll – Gregoire – Ranger
Hanley – Redmond
Brouillette – Johnston
Parisi – Lernout
|20||Jacob de la Rose||4||2||1||+1||12||0|
Goals: Chris Terry (20)
Assists: Chris Terry (28)
Points: Chris Terry (48)
+/-: Bobby Farnham (+6)
PIMS: Bobby Farnham (110)
Shots: Chris Terry (114)
February 24: Albany vs St. John’s
February 25: Albany vs St. John’s
While many are hoping that GM Marc Bergevin has a trade or two on the immediate horizon, last week’s coaching change may wind up delaying that a bit. While it’s likely that Julien has a bit of read on most of the players having been in the division with Boston for so long, there’s a difference being knowing a bit from the outside looking in compared to coaching them daily. He’s going to want to get a better feel for a lot of the players before making any recommendations on who he’d like to keep around or possibly move. It’s possible that Bergevin could act anyways without getting input from his new head coach but considering how long they’ve committed to him, that doesn’t seem too likely. More changes may be coming but they may fall closer to the deadline instead of the upcoming week.