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Entries with the tag: montreal
On February 25 2007, the Montreal Canadiens veteran defenseman Craig Rivet and a 5th round selection in 2008 to the San Jose Sharks for young defenseman Josh Gorges and a 1st round selection in 2007 (Max Pacioretty).
Now a member of the Buffalo Sabres, Rivet helped the Sharks go deep in the playoffs the past two seasons even tough they weren’t able to make it to the finals. In 91 games with the Sharks, Rivet scored six goals and 37 assists for 43 points.
He was later traded this summer along with San Jose’s 7th round selection in 2010 to the Buffalo Sabres for a 2nd round choice in 2009 and a 2nd round choice in 2010.
Meanwhile, Josh Gorges blossomed into a very reliable defenseman over his two years in Montreal. At first, things were not quite easy for Gorges as he was a frequent healthy scratch for most of the 2007 season.
However, last season he finally made it as a regular rearguard and played 62 games, notching nine assists besides his partner Francis Bouillon.
Gorges, 24, has seen an increase of ice-time this season being used in every situation (even on the powerplay) and his statistics have improved accordingly. Gorges already has one goal and seven assists for eight points in 40 games. He has a team-best +18 plus/minus differential good for the tenth rank league-wide.
But the key element of that trade is Max Pacioretty who finally made it to the NHL this season thanks to numerous injuries to key Habs players.
After a great season with Michigan University last season where he registered 15 goals and 24 assists for 39 points in 37 games, Pacioretty signed his first NHL contract, a three-year entry-level pact, this summer with the Canadiens.
Recalled from Hamilton on January 1st, 2009, Pacioretty scored his first NHL-goal on his first shot in a 4-1 loss against New Jersey. Now playing on a line with veterans Alex Kovalev and Tomas Plekanec, Max Pax has tallied two goals and 1 assist for three points after only four games.
Pacioretty is a good power forward with above average skills. A good skater with quick feet. He handles the puck very well, and he has a good wrist shot with quick release. His size and tenacity allow him to drive to the net consistently.
Max Pacioretty will likely be this year’s Sergei Kostitsyn even when Koivu, Higgins and Tanguay come back from their injuries.
Coming out a phenomenal 2006-2007 hockey season, during which the Anahim Lake, B.C., native won the gold at the IIHF World Junior (U20) Ice Hockey Championship in Sweden (he was named the Tournament MVP) and the Calder Cup with the Hamilton Bulldogs (he was named playoffs MVP), expectations were very high at the beginning of last season in Montreal.
The 6-3, 212 lbs, butterfly goaltender made the team out of training camp. He shared duties with French goaltender Cristobal Huet for the first few months, before being sent down to the AHL in January 2008 to regain his form after a lackluster start. After a one-month stint with the Bulldogs, the Canadiens called him up and gave him plenty of action before trading Huet to the Capitals at the trade deadline. Price responded very well, leading the Canadiens to a strong finish atop the Eastern Conference. Price finished the 2007-2008 season with a 24-12-3 record, a 2.56 GAA and a sparkling .920 save percentage.
After playing 20 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL, during which he recorded 14 goals and 11 assists for 25 points, forward Matt D’Agostini was recalled by the Montreal Canadiens on November 28th.
After watching his first game from the press box in Washington, a 3-0 loss, D’Agostini was inserted in the line-up the next day at home against the Buffalo Sabres. D’Agostini, 22, played 13:52 that night, finishing with a +1 differential.
Paired with captain Saku Koivu and Andrei Kostitsyn, the Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. native has shown flashes of brilliance since he was promoted to the Habs’ first line. In five games with the Canadiens this season, D’Agostini now has 4 goals, 1 assist and a +4 differential. He is currently on a 4-game scoring streak.
The 6-0, 200 lb, right wing is only one of two right-handed forwards with the Habs this season (Robert Lang is the other) which gives the Canadiens another weapon on the power play. He uses his speed to find open areas on the ice and create scoring opportunities. He really likes to drive the net where he scores most of his goals.
D’Agostini might be the last year’s Sergei Kostitsyn who was recalled in early December 2007. Kostitsyn sparked the Habs offense with his skills and speed, notching 27 points in 52 games after beginning the season with the Hamilton Bulldogs.
D’Agostini’s fortune is Guillaume Latendresse’s nightmare, the latter being a healthy scratch for the Habs last 4 games. After a quick start (6 points in 5 games), Latendresse slumped to a point where Guy Carbonneau had no choice, but the put him in the press box.
With the latest injury to Christopher Higgins (likely a separated shoulder), Latendresse is supposed to draw back into the lineup against the Lightning on Thursday. If the Habs were to lose Higgins for an extended period of time, look for GM Bob Gainey to tell Matt D’Agostini to get an apartment in Montreal to finish the season with the Habs.
D’Agostini was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the 6th round, 190th overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. From: http://www.nhl-northeast.com
I guess a lot of fans in Montreal now miss Mark Streit after his departure via free agency to Long Island.
Montreal had last year’s number one power play in the NHL, but they are now sitting 26th with a poor 14.6% success rate, while the Islanders power play has improved slightly from 29th to 25th overall. Streit has 12 points (he would be the Habs’ 5th scorer) in 18 games, with only six of them coming with the man advantage.
Many thought Streit would struggle as a full-time defenseman, but he’s only minus-2 on a very ordinary islanders team. Streit has logged the ninth most ice time in the NHL with an average of 25:53 each game, including over six minutes on the power play.
Meanwhile, Ryan O’Byrne and Patrice Brisebois, who play with Roman Hamrlik, Streit’s former partner on defense, have a combined 1 goal and 4 assists in 27 games this season…
Streit was the shooter on a very effective 1st unit last season along with Markov, Kovalev, Plekanec and A. Kostitsyn. This season, newly-acquired Alex Tanguay is also manning the point with Andrei Markov.
The latter was asked to be the shooter without great success, Markov being more of a passer than a shooter, as shown by his 1 goal and 13 assists in 17 games this season. As a result, the Habs have became very predictable on the power play, and the defensive team is putting much more pressure on Koivu (0 goal on the PP) and Kovalev (1 goal on the PP).
Guy Carbonneau has yet to adjust his strategy and the problem is more and more evident recently as the Canadiens have lost 4 of their last 5 games.
Will Carbonneau change his strategy or will Bob Gainey pull the trigger and acquire a power play specialist with a hard shot (Philippe Boucher anyone)? From: http://www.nhl-northeast.com