The final month of 2021 was one to largely try to forget about if you’re a fan of the Habs but a few players did well enough to earn the votes from our readers to make them one of the three stars of the month.
1st Star: Alexander Romanov – In a month where a lot of players on the Habs stood out by making mistakes or playing with a general malaise, Romanov was one of the few who stood out for positive reasons, albeit not for his offensive numbers. After playing more sheltered to start the season, he played more freely and aggressively, traits that work well for someone like him. With 2021-22 going the way it has, he’s someone that should be worked into a larger role and a showing like last month will help his cause.
Stats: 9 GP, 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 points, -3 rating, 11 shots, 11 PIMS, 20:24 TOI, 35 hits, 23 blocks
2nd Star: Jake Allen – He tied with Romanov for the most first place votes at just under 28%. As has been the case all season with him, the numbers don’t really tell the tale. He gets next to no goal support and the defensive effort in front of him has been spotty at the best of times. In other words, of course the numbers are ugly. Most nights, he kept Montreal in the game longer than they deserved to be which is enough to earn him another nod in our monthly three stars although his run of first place finishes comes to an end.
Stats: 6 GP, 0-5-1 record, 3.49 GAA, .893 SV%
3rd Star: David Savard – He has taken a lot of heat for how his season started and deservedly so. However, I don’t think he has gotten enough credit for stabilizing things and these votes suggest I’m not the only one who feels that way. Is he really a top-four player? No. But he’s getting more comfortable in Montreal’s system and while that may not improve his trade value to the point where he could be on the move between now and March 21st, it’s still a positive if he can build off of this. His first goal as a Hab was also a pretty nifty move for a stay-at-home defender.
Stats: 9 GP, 1 goal, 3 assists, 4 points, -2 rating, 12 shots, 6 PIMS, 22:34 TOI, 25 hits, 30 blocks
Honourable Mention: Laurent Dauphin – All of the injuries and positive COVID tests finally gave Dauphin an opportunity and he didn’t look out of place. In fact, he was one of Montreal’s better players in some of his games, earning him the highest percentage of second-place votes (he just didn’t have many others to move him up higher in this listing) despite barely playing in half of their contests. At 26, it’s certainly fair to suggest that he’s not going to be a long-term piece for the Canadiens but he has played his way into a longer look. For him, that’s a big win.
Stats: 5 GP, 1 goal, 2 assists, 3 points, even rating, 7 shots, 0 PIMS, 15:58 TOI, 45% faceoffs