The Habs weren’t at their best for big chunks over the past week but still managed to pick up two of three wins in Western Canada. In St. John’s, the IceCaps also had some ups and downs but were also able to take two of their three games.
Brendan Gallagher: There is very little strength to his shot but even without that element, he showed he could still be a very effective player. His energy level doesn’t waver too often and with the team looking listless more than they should lately, they really need him. That said, it would be nice if they could find a way to sit him now and then in the hopes of helping his hand/wrist heal up a bit. He’s a useful player at less than 100% but he’s a lot more of a threat when he has a half-decent shot.
Dwight King: I thought he’d have the biggest impact of the three acquisitions up front but so far he has brought very little to the table aside from some indifferent play. He’s not a big hitter but he made his mark with the Kings by getting to the front of the net. So far with the Habs, King generally hasn’t been anywhere near the dirty areas. Maybe it’s just adjusting to a new team/system for the first time but Montreal needs more from him.
Jeff Petry: He didn’t look too great with Nathan Beaulieu as his partner a little while back and he hasn’t fared particularly well with Alexei Emelin either. As a player with a $5.5 million cap hit, he can’t really be just a complementary player most nights. Petry has it in him to be a major factor – we saw it earlier this season – but lately, he has played more like a depth blueliner than the one they’re paying him to be.
Goals: Max Pacioretty (33)
Assists: Alexander Radulov (31)
Points: Max Pacioretty (60)
+/-: Byron/Weber (+14)
PIMS: Andrew Shaw (101)
Shots: Max Pacioretty (232)
The IceCaps didn’t start off the week particularly well but finished on a strong note with a pair of wins to get them a bit closer to getting back into that final playoff spot.
News and Notes:
– It took the AHL seven days to post the transaction but the Habs did in fact ‘paper’ Michael McCarron to St. John’s to retain his playing eligibility for the remainder of the season. (It will be interesting to see if he’s sent down once everyone else is healthy.)
– St. John’s released winger Alexandre Ranger from his tryout agreement. They also handed winger Anthony Camara a second PTO deal which will cover him through the remainder of the regular season. The IceCaps also signed winger Guillaume Asselin to a two-way AHL/ECHL deal and assigned him to Brampton of the ECHL.
– An already weak back end was even weaker as Zach Redmond missed all three games with an undisclosed injury.
– Lines from last game:
Hudon – Terry – Scherbak
Matteau – de la Rose – Farnham
Friberg – Audette – Carr
Veilleux – MacMillan – Gregoire
Hanley – Lernout
Lowe – Parisi
Brouillette – Didier
March 8: Syracuse 4, St. John’s 2
March 10: St. John’s 3, Rochester 2
March 11: St. John’s 3, Syracuse 2 (OT)
|20||Jacob de la Rose||3||2||1||+5||3||0|
Goals: Chris Terry (23)
Assists: Chris Terry (30)
Points: Chris Terry (53)
+/-: Joel Hanley (+12)
PIMS: Bobby Farnham (120)
Shots: Chris Terry (143)
March 17: Rochester vs St. John’s
March 18: Rochester vs St. John’s
There are times when stats can mean a whole lot and others where they’re quite deceiving. When it comes to Montreal and the power play, the latter applies. The Habs are sitting with a success rate of 20.3% which isn’t too shabby overall. Based on that, one might think things were going well when in fact, it’s the exact opposite. Not only are they not scoring, they’re barely even getting the puck into the offensive zone some nights. You can say what you want about the team-wide lack of goal scoring but I’d suggest a lot of the problem stems from their ineptitude here. When the Canadiens are at their best, they’re drawing penalties (something else that has gone by the wayside) and making their chances count. Over this final month, it really needs to be a priority if they’re going to hit the postseason at their best.