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It was a week of direct contrasts for the Habs, 2 good efforts, with 2 others that were lacking. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs, led by Carey Price, swept a pair of games in Manitoba and are contending for 2nd in the division. Stats Central takes a closer look at some of the lesser talked about prospects, while the Final Thought takes a look at the tough guy situation. This, plus the weekly grades, in the Recap.
8.5 - 10: Player has exceeded expectations for the week, very strong contributions.
6.5 - 8: Player has met expectations for the week, play has helped or at worse, not hurt the lineup.
5 - 6: Player has performed below expectations for the week, play has at best not hurt the team, but likely has had a negative affect.
Under 4.5: Player has had a week to forget, questions should soon be arising about his future with the organization.
#39 - Cristobal Huet: 7.0 He did have a shutout, but he also allowed 5 goals in a game not just once but twice. (Season Average: 7.72)
#8 - Mike Komisarek: 8.5
Was, to steal a popular phrase, a monster this week, hitting pretty much
anything that moved. (Season Average:
#32 - Mark Streit: 8.0 You have to love his versatility, playing 2 different positions in a span of 24 hours, while averaging over a point-per-game. (Season Average: 7.08)
#79 - Andrei Markov: 8.0 He finally has rediscovered his offensive game, picking up 5 points in 4 games while playing a quality defensive game. (Season Average: 7.47)
#26 - Josh Gorges: 7.0 I love how he's standing up for his teammates, very impressed with the way he kept things simple for the most part this week. (Season Average: 6.91)
#44 - Roman Hamrlik: 7.0 He may be no Souray offensively, but no points when the team scored 15 goals this week is unacceptable for a player of his type. (Season Average: 7.31)
#51 - Francis Bouillon: 7.0 Nice to see him pick up the physical play; as the season progresses, this will become more and more important. (Season Average: 6.94)
#71 - Patrice Brisebois: 5.0 Is he playing hurt? Yes, but even so, if you want to stay in the lineup, you can't cough up the puck like that without doing anything else. (Season Average: 6.81)
#74 - Sergei Kostitsyn: 9.0
I've been saying he needed to have a strong week to cement his roster spot - he
did that and then some. (Season Average:
#14 - Tomas Plekanec: 8.5 What's left to say? He's making plays 5-on-5, on the powerplay, and shorthanded; the breakout continues. (Season Average: 7.67)
#46 - Andrei Kostitsyn: 8.0 The numbers weren't quite there, but he was still a significant threat when he was on the ice. (Season Average: 7.31)
#27 - Alexei Kovalev: 8.0 I like his production for the week, but I'm concerned with how he disappeared after the elbow incident. (Season Average: 7.72)
#11 - Saku Koivu: 7.5 The drive in his game was back this week, if only his linemates could have potted some of his passes. (Season Average: 7.33)
#84 - Guillaume Latendresse: 7.5 Was clutch in Washington, but on the weekend, couldn't hit the net to save his life. (Season Average: 6.75)
#40 - Maxim Lapierre: 7.5 The energy was there at both ends, even if the numbers weren't, and he was even passing periodically. (Season Average: 6.83)
#25 - Mathieu Dandenault: 7.5 A goal in 2 games from a 4th liner is nothing to complain about. (Season Average: 7.12)
#20 - Bryan Smolinski: 7.0 The offence dried up this week, but he did the job at the defensive end, which is what he's here to do. (Season Average: 6.96)
#22 - Steve Begin: 7.0 I'll be honest, nothing really stood out for me one way or the other with Begin, not the greatest when you consider he's supposed to be an energy player. (Season Average: 7.25)
#6 - Tom Kostopoulos: 7.0 Like Begin, a quiet week, which isn't that good from your energy players. (Season Average: 6.75)
#21 - Chris Higgins: 6.5 Drew some penalties but little else; when Koivu's putting the passes there, gotta put them home. (Season Average: 7.64)
#73 - Michael Ryder: 6.0 He's getting the chance to produce, but just not taking advantage of it. (Season Average: 6.67)
The Dog Pound
The team still can't buy offence to save their life, but Carey Price stole a couple of wins for the Bulldogs this week.
Games 45-46 of the season.
3 Stars: 1) Schneider - MTB 2) Price - HAM 3) FitzGerald - MTB
3 Stars: 1) Price - HAM 2) MacIntyre - MTB 3) Milroy - HAM
Carey Price's numbers before his recall still aren't the greatest, but they were strong over the past weeks. In total, he wound up with a 6-4 record, 2.69 GAA, .896 SV%, 1 shutout, and 2 SO victories.
Goals: Locke (17)
Assists: Locke (21)
Points: Locke (38)
+/-: Milroy/ (+13)
PIMS: Stewart (90)
6: Lake Erie vs Hamilton
February 8: San Antonio vs Hamilton
February 9: Hamilton vs Toronto
In the Habs coverage we provide here at Habsworld.net, we tend to focus solely on the Habs and Bulldogs. This week, we take a look at the pro prospects that aren't with those teams, as we focus in on the ECHL affiliate, the Cincinnati Cyclones. (Includes all players that have either played with the Bulldogs this season, are on an AHL two-way deal, or were recently drafted by the Habs.)
In other news, former Bulldog and Habs prospect Michael Lambert signed on this week with the Alaska Aces, just in case anyone was wondering where he's playing now.
The events of Sunday afternoon make this an
interesting topic to discuss, and that is toughness and to be more precise, a
tough guy in particular. Personally speaking, and I appear to be in the
minority here, I don't think the team needs a pseudo-goon like a Jody Shelley
who was dealt this week, or to bring back a player like Aaron Downey, who is on
the fringe in Detroit. The problem with these types of players is that
they can't play 10-12 minutes a game, which is what even the lowest forward on
the totem pole gets in Guy Carbonneau's system. And, how many times do
these types of players get regular shifts in the playoffs? Looking at some
of the goons on playoff teams from last season, Brian McGrattan and Andrew
Peters never dressed for a single game, while George Parros, on the league's
"toughest" team, only saw 5 games en route to a Cup title. These players
may be nice to have, but quite frankly, I just don't see a fit.