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With the season now over, it’s a good time to take a look back at the past month and see who our readers selected as Montreal’s top players in March.

1st Star: Nick Suzuki

While this wasn’t a case of Suzuki saving his best full month for last (he was more productive in February), the captain was still Montreal’s most productive forward in March, landing him a little over 75% of first-place votes in the process.  Basically, he continued what he did for pretty much the entire year.  While I have some doubts about the sustainability of his goal total (buoyed by an unsustainable 27.3% shooting percentage last month), that should be counter-balanced by continued improvement from his wingers; the goal total might go down but the assists should come up, giving him a shot at a point-per-game season next year.

Stats: 13 GP, 6 goals, 4 assists, 10 points, even rating, 10 PIMS, 22 shots, 51.1% faceoffs, 21:33 ATOI

2nd Star: Juraj Slafkovsky

Speaking of continued improvement from Suzuki’s wingers, here’s one of them.  He led the Canadiens in assists in March and tied the captain for the lead in points, a nice showing in the final full month of the season.  While plenty of attention has rightfully been paid to his increase in production, I want to also point out his improved physical play.  Along the boards, lots of improvement.  On the forecheck, lots of improvement.  And even when it comes to throwing hits, lots of improvement there too.  That has helped make him the right piece to complete the top line (compared to someone like Josh Anderson who got plenty of opportunities based on his complementary skill set) which bodes well for him and the Habs moving forward.

Stats: 13 GP, 2 goals, 8 assists, 10 points, -6 rating, 6 PIMS, 24 shots, 26 hits, 19:13 ATOI

3rd Star: Cayden Primeau

No one benefitted more from the Jake Allen trade than Primeau who now, for the first time, could lay claim to a full-time spot in a goaltending tandem.  How did he respond?  With the best month of his young career.  Yes, he had some easier opponents and only played in a handful of games but the performance was enough to provide some optimism heading into next season.  One thing I observed is that he was much less frantic and looked much more poised compared to the start of the year.  Playing comfortably helped him in Laval and if he’s getting to that now with the Habs, that can only be good heading into next season.

Stats: 5 GP, 3-1-1 record, 1.97 GAA, .939 SV%, 1 SO

Honourable Mention: Joel Armia

Statistically speaking, Armia wasn’t among Montreal’s most productive players last month.  However, he does bring more to the table than just his offence as his defensive play is generally among Montreal’s best when it comes to forwards.  What I think helped tip the scales for him here, however, is the game-to-game consistency.  For years, the knock on Armia was that he was consistently inconsistent.  We’d see one great game, then a few bad ones, a good one, a few more bad ones, etc.  Armia didn’t have great games all month but were there any poor performances?  If there were, there weren’t many.  That’s a big step for him, one that has boosted his stock compared to just a few months ago.

Stats: 13 GP, 3 goals, 1 assist, 4 points, +3 rating, 4 PIMS, 30 shots, 11 blocks, 16:35 ATOI