The NHL season has hit the one-quarter mark; and the Montreal Canadiens stand atop the Northeast division with a record of `13-7-1 through 21 games played. Backed by exceptional goaltending, efficient special teams and goal scoring contributions from some unexpected players; the Habs have been one of the best teams in the Eastern Coneference and have shown that they can compete with any team on any given day. It is at this point in the season that coaches and general managers evaluate all of their players in an attempt to determine their team strengths and weaknesses, and identify areas that could use upgrades via trade.
Below is what some of Jacques Martin’s and Pierre Gauthier’s player evaluations look like.
Player: Carey Price
The Positive: Has kept the Habs in almost every single game this year
The Negative: The only thing that came up negative for Carey Price is a handful of pregnancy tests.
Player: Brian Gionta
The Positive: Works hard every night, contributes even when he’s not scoring.
The Negative: Can’t read French, although neither could Jacques Demers.
Player: Lars Eller
The Positive: Jacques Martin refuses to play him so that no one can see how badly the Habs got screwed in the Halak trade.
The Negative: Will soon be nicknamed AH-Eller
Player: PK Subban
The Positive: Montreal’s best D prospect since Andrei Markov
The Negative: Mike Richards said PK doesn’t respect other players. When David Booth awakens from his coma, we’ll be sure to ask him who is more respectful between the 2.
Player: Jeff Halpern
The Positive: With 13 points in 21 games, he is the Canadiens’ most pleasant surprise right now and best bang for the buck.
The Negative: Halpern, a Jew, will be uncomfortable when the time comes for him to be matched up against Leafs’ top prospect Nazem Kadri, whose nickname is “Nazi” (that’s actually his nickname).
Player: Andrei Kostitsyn
The Positive: When he has been good, he’s shown that he can be an effective top 6 forward
The Negative: With 1 goal in his last 12 games, his game is receding faster than his hairline.
Player: Maxim Lapierre
The Positive: Is on pace to hit career highs in goals, shots and penalty minutes.
The Negative: If those benchmarks are like opposing players, he will only hit them when there is a referee very close by.
Player: Hal Gill
The Positive: Montreal has a phenomenal PK this year, in large part due to Hal Gill and his infamous long stick.
The Negative: What do Hal Gill and the weather in Montreal have in common? Being -4 in November is considered progress.
Player: Scott Gomez
The Positive: Is very close to recording the “Scott Gomez Hat Trick”; which is 3 goals in 2 months.
The Negative: To quote the movie Jaws – “we’re gonna need a bigger blog.”
About the Author
Written by Corey Krakower
I am the Director of NHL Content & Habs writer for ProSportsBlogging.com; I have spent 8 seasons behind the bench as a minor hockey coach; and I am the future GM of the Montreal Canadiens (according to my mom). I spend my days managing the Harrow Sports brand in my hometown of Montreal and I moonlight as a Hockey Advisor for Pi Athlete Management. Most importantly, I'll throw anyone under the bus for a laugh.