1/4 Season Report Cards for the Canadiens Roster

Photo: TheHockeyAgency.com

Photo: TheHockeyAgency.com

The greatest time of the school year! Report cards! For some reason I always loved getting these things despite always being disappointed at my marks. Weird phenomenon.

Now that we’re give or take a quarter into the 2013-2014 season (something that already brings a tear to my eye), I thought it would be a good time to give every Canadiens player their midterm report card for the 1st semester. What you will notice, is that some players are MUCH higher than one would initially think. The reason being, is that I’m taking into account of their role on the team. I can’t give a “goon” a fail just because he hasn’t scored. Whatever they’re meant to do on the team, I’m rating them on that. You’ll also notice I didn’t grade everyone who’s played this year, just the ones who have played a considerable amount of time. Anyway, On Your Marks. Get Set…..(to get mad at me). Go!

Forwards:

Bournival:

A-: Coming out of the bleu, and landing in the bleu, blanc et rouge. For a player that was essentially not supposed to be here, he is doing an outstanding job. He has 10 points in 19 games with a +5, but beyond his stats, is his feel for NHL hockey. You would never guess that this was his first stint of NHL action. He fits so comfortably amongst the lineup, bringing energy to everyone and anyone he plays with. The new cliché of him being this year’s Gallagher is actually quite truthful. He’s projected to get around 40 points with 25-ish goals. Not too shabby for a “random” rookie.

Galchenyuk:

A-: Sophomore Slump my a………never mind. Leading all forwards in points with 5 goals and 11 assists, Galchenyuk is beginning to confirm all reports that he can only get better…and better…and better. He’s shown great chemistry with his on and off line of Gallagher and Eller, who have helped him stay composed and play more maturely.

Gallagher:

A-: Gallagher is tied for 2nd in points amongst forwards along with Plekanec. He has 8 goals and 6 assists with a +5.  Like Galchenyuk, he’s showing that the Sophomore Slump does not apply to a player that truly shows all their energy every time they’re on the ice. Regardless of what line he plays on, he creates chemistry. He’s the super glue that can gel two negatively charged ions. (If you got that joke, you’re a science nerd….and awesome).

Plekanec:

B+: Plekanec is tied with Gallagher for 2nd in points among forwards, but the reason why he has a lower score than Gallagher, is because he’s the 1st line centre veteran. He should be setting a bigger example for the rest of the team by notching a tad more points. That being said, (and hence his B+), he isn’t doing poorly. Quite good actually. He has 6 goals and 8 assists in his 22 games played with a +4. For a two way forward, I do find his +/- (like that stat or hate it), should be better than Gallagher’s who has a +5. But there’s more important things than that stat, so all good.

Eller:

B+: Eller has 13 points in his 22 games played which is decent, but certainly not great considering most of his points came at the beginning of the season. If he didn’t have that great start, he’d be lower than a B, but I can’t ignore that part of the season. He seems to be in a small drought right now, but knowing Eller, he’ll definitely snap out of it soon. On the plus side, he leads the Habs in hits with 42. 12 more than Gorges in 2nd place and in face-off percentage with 52.8%.

Prust:

B: “WHAT? How can a 4th line enforcer be a B?!” Well hey, he’s doing his job pretty damn good. Prust only has 2 goals and 2 assists in his 11 games, but no one expects him to be a point scorer by any means. He was brought in to be tough, and he’s doing just that plus more. He’s killing penalties, getting penalties (with 26 penalty minutes) and playing quite well defensively on the penalty kill. He’s a +2, but beyond that, he’s been a great leader and mentor. You frequently see him bonding with the 2 Gallys, which in turn helps them feel more comfortable and stay competitive.

Pacioretty:

B-: “BUT HE GOT A HAT-TRICK!”….yes, but before that he was absent. Like Eller, I cannot ignore his hat-trick as being part of his season. He has 5 goals (3 of which were in that one game) and 2 assists in 13 games. Pretty good when you look at it from that perspective. If not for that 3 goal game, he would certainly be lower than a B-. For what it’s worth he’s a -3. Prior to his hat-trick game, I wrote on Twitter that he will pick it up “very soon” and will score “goal after goal after goal”…..2 hours later he scores a hat-trick. Since clearly I’m a hockey prophet, trust me when I say he’ll continue to get more points this season.

Gionta:

C: For our top line right wing and captain, Gionta should be producing a lot more. Gionta has played more games than Bournival, but has the same number of points as Bournival. With only 4 goals and 6 assists in 22 games, he really needs to show his leadership and get more points. But hey!….Only a -2! 😉

Briere:

C: You’d think Briere was doing horrible, but he actually has 3 goals and 3 assists in 11 games. That’s not that bad! He’s also a +2 so that means he’s great! (Just kidding). If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll see I’m sporting a “Briere” necklace, so because of that I’ll be super biased and say that he’s playing at a skill level next to Mike Bossy……Okay no but really he needs to produce more points.

Parros:

C: “BUT THE MOUSTACHE”…..okay ya you’re right. A+ it is for the moustache, which is now GONE! (For charity so I’ll cut him slack). Sure his 0 points makes him look horrible, sure his -5 is horrible for a player playing 4 minutes a game, BUT he’s not meant for any of that. He’s meant to fight and only fight. With 32 penalty minutes in 5 games, you can say he’s actually doing pretty “well”.

Bourque:

C-: While everyone bashes on Briere, Bourque has the same number of points in nearly double the number of games. He only has 5 goals (which is nothing more than mediocre) and 1 assist in 21 games. Not good at all. He really needs to pick it up. I’ve seen him play well, and he certainly can play well. He just needs to find a way to be that every night.

Moen:

C-: Moen only has 3 assists in his 17 games (with no goals), but again like Parros, he’s not really meant to score. Reason why he’s so low, is that he is MIA nearly every night. I don’t see him playing super defensively nor do I seem him being an “agitator”. What else is a 3rd-4th liner meant for?

Desharnais:

D: Although I have a heart, I can’t seem to express it when rating his season thus far. 20 games in, our once top line centre has 0 goals and only 3 assists over 20 games, 2 of which were in Pacioretty’s hat-trick game. For a player that plays on average 15 minutes a game, he absolutely needs to be better. He has skill, but he doesn’t seem to use it nearly as much as he should. D it is.

Defence: 

Subban:

A+: The reigning Norris Trophy winner is our leader in points scored. HE’S A DEFENSEMAN and he’s leading the team in points! He has 3 goals and 16 assists in 22 games with a +7. Everything he does on the ice is just perfect, whether it’s scoring a goal, setting up a beautiful pass, laying a thunderous hit or simply just showing a lot of energy. He is a perfect defenseman. It’s true. He is one of the few players that gives it his all every game, and the funny part is that he hasn’t been allowed to show his full potential under Therrien…..yet anyway. There’s even more to come….and it may be labelled again on the Norris Trophy again. (Wishful Thinking).

Markov:

A-: Markov’s 12 points in 22 games would be viewed as very good if he weren’t being overshadowed by Subban. He has a +9 on a team which generally has trouble scoring. I hate to say it, but I do believe a lot of what he brings is due to Subban being his linemate. Either way, he’s doing very well. To boot, he has 52 blocked shots, 3rd for defensemen on the team.

Gorges:

A-: The Habs are the #1 team in the league in Blocked Shots, and who’s amongst the best on that team? Josh Gorges…again….for like the 50th time with 40 billion blocked shots. (57 to be exact: 3rd in the entire league).

Diaz:

B+: Everyone tends to rip on Diaz, but quite frankly I don’t understand why. He’s always making very nice plays and stays composed. Sure he does the odd slip, but so does the A+ Subban. He has 7 assists which is certainly not bad for a defenseman. Everyone views Gorges as THE shot blocker, but Diaz only has 4 less blocked shots than Gorges with 53. That makes him 6th in the entire league in blocked shots. I don’t see what there’s not to like.

Murray:

C-: Murray was brought in to be defensive and lay the body. He kind of does that. He averages 3 bodychecks a game, which technically is his role. Is he playing like Kasparaitis? Not exactly.

Bouillon:

C-: Bouillon has 26 hits: 3rd on the team, but he simply does not appear to be in the same form as last year. For a team that hovers slight over or slightly less than 0 in +/-, Bouillon has the worst on the team with -10. That is not very good at all. His 2 assists and zero goals in 22 games also doesn’t make himself look super, although I do understand that it’s not his job to score.

Goalies:

Price:

A+: Last year Price was a B at best. He managed to accumulate many “haters” and drive the fanbase haywire considering the team was doing well. Well, he’s certainly re-earning his place as a league’s best goalie. Whether it is because of his new goalie coach Stephane Waite or not, he is playing absolutely great. If the team in front of him could step it up, with Price playing the way he is, the Canadiens can be a serious contender. He has a .935% save percentage and 2.05 Goals Against Average. Both of which are super. Vezina worthy?

Budaj:

A: I would give Budaj an A+ since his numbers are technically better than Price’s, however, he’s only played 4 games. 14 few than Price. That said, the 4 games he’s played, he’s been fantastic. He has a save percentage of .945% and a Goals Against Average of 1.48. Again, for a backup goalie, those number are simply unreal. If he can play like this all season, he surely can be a #1 goalie! (At least for the Edmonton Oilers….OUCH!). Price and Budaj have shown to be one of, if not the best, 1-2 goalie punch in the NHL.

 

So there you have it! Agree? Disagree? Let me know. What would you change on my list?

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10 Responses to 1/4 Season Report Cards for the Canadiens Roster

  1. I think giving a C to Gionta for his performance so far is ridiculously inaccurate.

    Michael Gomez November 20, 2013 at 4:22 pm Reply
    • Out of curiosity, what would you give him?. I’d say any lower is if a more solid player like Bobby Ryan or Paccioretty (Ect.) were getting the same numbers as Gionta. That to me would be lower than a C or C-. Any higher would be if he’s on par with how he should be playing (i.e. projected to get 30 goals). As of right now, he’s nowhere near what he could and should be providing.

      Micah Winston November 20, 2013 at 4:25 pm Reply
      • Deserves at least B-. Creates chances consistently off the rush with his pace. He is also great defensively which people don’t tend to notice. He is significantly underrated by fans.

        Michael Gomez November 20, 2013 at 4:38 pm Reply
        • I couldn’t put him any higher than MAYBE a c+. He needs to produce in points as well. That’s what a 5’7 top line right wing captain is for. He’s only 9th in takeaways, 9th in blocked shots (3rd for forwards), 14th for hits, and if he created that many scoring opportunities, it would have shown on the score sheet. He is 5th in shots, so he has that going for him, but then why not more goals? I’m not saying he’s a bad player by any means, but certainly not “good” as a B would stand for.

          Micah Winston November 20, 2013 at 4:50 pm Reply
          • I just don’t agree with your assessment of him. Plus only looking at those stats doesn’t show everything that he does. Yeah I would like if he produced more but he is still doing a good job while playing solid opposition every night.

            Michael Gomez November 20, 2013 at 4:54 pm
          • I hear what you’re saying, but let’s say he was doing mediocrely at offensive production. Not somewhat badly like he’s doing now. Would that boost him up to an A? I personally don’t think so. The issue with his defensive abilities, is that there’s no concrete way to justify it. There’s no numbers I can use to support it. Just “he’s doing well defensively….trust me he is”. Also, he’s hardly playing a minute per game on the penalty kill, so we can’t even justify his defensive abilities by that.

            Micah Winston November 20, 2013 at 5:01 pm
  2. I agree with the C on Gionta, maybe even should be a C-.. washed up way over paid (New Jersey was smart to let him go).. Much rather have Saku still here wearing the “C” on the jersey.. As for Eller, you over rated him huuge… One of the streakiest players there is, personally i dont like him and Habs got robbed taking him for Halak.. Eller should be a D or a C- if hes lucky and will never be rated higher…trade him instantly (if anyone will take him or gionta even..)

    Cam Young November 20, 2013 at 7:14 pm Reply
    • I’d rip into this comment that is so terribly inaccurate but I can’t stop laughing.

      Okay I am good now. Judging by your comment though, you must just be one of those Halak lovers that are still hanging around. Eller is strong offensively and defensively. I just can’t believe that you would say a D let alone a C-, this is a joke. Trade him if anyone will take him? Bet you most teams, if not the other 29 would all take Larry on their roster. You underrate him so much it is actually embarrassing and I am concerned. Do you watch him play? Do you even watch the Canadiens?

      Michael Gomez November 20, 2013 at 7:35 pm Reply
  3. You are very very generous with your grades. With 8 “A”s and 3 B+ scores, you’d think the Habs would have Chicago’s record. But wait! In fact, they are barely above a .500 winning percentage.

    Here’s what I would give: Price A-, Subban B+, Gallagher and Galchenyuk Bs. Everyone else in the C range, (as you would expect for a .500 team), except for Desharnais -F, Bourque D-, Bouillon D-.

    Eller went a month without scoring. This year. On offense, as a scoring threat, he’s the most overrated Habs player in two decades. He is holding Galchenyuk back. How many points do you think Galchenyuk would have if he was playing with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp? Or Patrick Marleau? Defensively, Eller’s good.

    Chet Pomeroy November 23, 2013 at 4:45 pm Reply
    • Eller holding Galchenyuk back? How the hell is he holding him back? Please enlighten me but make sure you actually have concrete evidence.

      Michael Gomez November 23, 2013 at 4:55 pm Reply

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