The Canadiens winning percentage has dropped slightly to .636 since The Canadiens Report Part 1.
After the Canadiens lost Alex Kovalev due to knee surgery they had a small slide dropping games to the Penguins, Devils and Capitals. Without Kovalev the Canadiens have a .500 record with 2 wins and 2 losses.
The Canadiens are having a hard time putting together a 60 minute effort game to game. They have managed to win 14 games, many by 1 goal and all without a playing a full game. If the Canadiens can figure themselves out we can compete with any team in the league.
The injury bug has started to infest the Canadiens. Zednik, Theodore, Souray, Bulis, Bouillon, Kovalev..they have all been less than 100%. Health is essential for any teams success and keeping healthy can make all the difference in a season.
Saku Koivu – Koivu is the leader on this team for a reason.He’s still leading the team in scoring averaging over a point a game. He’s one of the few Canadiens you can count on showing up every single game. Captain for a reason.
- Steve Begin – Begin has been solid since the beginning of the year. A little slower in the points department than last month, but his role playing is very strong. No one expected him to be scoring like he has, and we can’t consider him to be the new Kovalev. If he can chip in with points, all the better for the Habs. He’s on pace for a career season.
- Andrei Markov – Still hands down the #1 D-Man on the Canadiens. His speed and agility along with his vision of the ice keeps him leading the Canadiens in ice time. In addition, his offensive contribution is increasing as the season lengthens.
- Francis Bouillon – The smallest guy on the team is usually the hardest working. Bouillon is proof, he plays on the edge each game and surprises a lot of people with his strength.
- Michael Ryder – Sometimes it seems the only guy who is gonna score for the Canadiens is Michael Ryder. He has a knack for finding the back of the net, game in game out he has been the go to guy for goals. Hopefully he can solve the shoot out as he has 2 shootout misses on his 2 chances.
- Richard Zednik – After Ryder, the goal scoring falls into Zednik’s hands. Coming back after a groin injury, he has improved each game and looks confident. If someone steps up to replace Kovalev on that line then his game will improve even more.
- Alexander Perezhogin – He came out flying but has since seen very little ice time. When Kovalev went down I expected him to be racking up more time each game, but Julien has been conservative so far. Like most rookies, he’s type of player that needs to play often to develop.
Pierre Dagenais – Dagenais has seen little ice time after his start this year. Perhaps thats the best thing for him, he played less than 2 minutes vs the Thrashers this week and then scored in the shoot out. He did his job and doesn’t whine about sitting on the bench. That goal gave him some confidence which might translate into some more offensive success
- Jose Theodore – Theo has been the most criticized player all year. The Canadiens goalie usually gets that honor. His play has been inconsistent and he has apparently been hiding an injury for some time. The good news, he completely stole last game vs the Thrashers inlcuding 3 shoot out stops against lethal shooters.
- Mike Ribeiro – Ribeiro has still been very average this year. He has to be better and more consistent to really make a name for himself.
- Mathieu Dandenault – Why do we have this guy? He came in with such high praise and so many expectations but has delivered very little on the defensive and offensive side. 5 points in 22 games? For a “versatile 2 way player who can play forward and defense.” ? Brisebois would have been a better player up to this point. Dandenault’s got to figure out what his job is, Julien should make a choice and stick to it. Give him a chance and time to play one position. How many other guys do you know in the NHL that play forward and defense? How many do it succesfully? I can’t think of a single one.
- Sheldon Souray – Another dissapointment. Was his play last year a fluke? Is it personal problems or a gimpy groin that is bothering him? No one knows but him. Either way it’s not good enough, Souray has to be a #1 guy on D for the Canadiens to be succesful.