It has been a rough ride in Habs land as of late; with injuries and losses starting to pile up it can be tough to see the positives. However, the HabsWorld readers managed to find some bright spots in December.
First Star: Max Domi
Domi snapped out of his slump in a big way – putting up 13 points, and scoring in six straight games along the way. He’s had some struggles defensively (along with most of the team), so he may not be the best long-term solution at centre, however, there is no doubt he should be a big part of the Habs’ future. He rarely takes a shift off and will be a natural leader for the influx of youth that’s on its way to Montreal. An RFA at season’s end, Domi needs to be locked up long-term.
Stats: 14 GP, 6 G, 7 A, 13 PTS, +1 rating
Second Star: Phillip Danault
Danault does it all for the Canadiens and has blossomed into one of the best two-way/defensive centres in the NHL. Not only does he put up decent points alongside Gallagher and Tatar, but he’s also great in the faceoff circle and his game is simply beyond reproach. Danault is a darkhorse Selke Trophy candidate again this season, and one has to figure that this will become the norm moving forward.
Stats: 14 GP, 4 G, 7 A, 11 PTS, +4 rating
Third Star: Tomas Tatar
The third star last month as well, Tatar just keeps putting up the points, with another 11 during the month of December. He leads the club in scoring and is a key cog on one of the most effective lines in hockey. Tatar is under contract for one more season before becoming a UFA, but if the Habs decide to sell off some assets, he would command a big return.
Stats: 14 GP, 7 G, 4 A, 11 PTS, even rating
Honourable Mention: Nick Suzuki
Suzuki has been one of the few consistent bright spots in what has become a tough campaign for the Canadiens. He plays a mature, responsible game and has gained the trust of Claude Julien, so he sees the ice in just about every situation. Suzuki brings tremendous vision and creativity, filling an important need in the Habs’ lineup. He’s been getting some Calder buzz, but will be hard-pressed to pass the likes of Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes – but just imagine him feeding Cole Caufield in a couple of years.
Stats: 14 GP, 1 G, 9 A, 1 PTS, -1 rating