It turned out nicely after all, at least on the ice. The week’s schedule featured three games in less than four days (67 hours). It started with that home game against Edmonton Wednesday in which the Canadiens blew a 3-0 lead, losing 4-3 in overtime. The Canadiens came back the next night with a 5-1 win over the injury plagued and struggling Devils in New Jersey before returning home to grind out a 3-1 win over San Jose Saturday afternoon. In the end, the Canadiens took five of a possible six points and remained first in the Northeast Division and third in the Eastern Conference.
Off the ice, the Canadiens saved the announcement of the expected bad news about Andrei Markov until after closing time Friday. He’ll undergo reconstructive surgery on his right knee Wednesday in Alabama and we won’t see him in a Canadiens uniform again this season or, considering his pending free agency, perhaps ever again.
P.K. Subban became a healthy scratch for the first time after a rookie-style implosion against Edmonton on Wednesday. Yannick Weber replaced him in the lineup, played well and logged assists in each of his two games.
On Wednesday Carey Price was named the NHL’s second star for the month of November behind Sidney Crosby. During his week, Price gave up six goals in three games stopping 81 of 87 shots. He started the week with a 1.95 goals against average and a .935 save%. At the end of the week the save percentage was the same and his goals against average is 1.96.
Roman Hamrlik was the week’s top scorer with a goal and four assists. The forward line of the week was Eller/Pouliot/Darche. They scored four of the teams eleven goals notching eleven scoring points. Darche had two goals and two assists; Eller one goal and two assists and Pouliot with a goal and an assist. Scott Gomez was the only other member of the club with two goals during the week. However, during the game Saturday afternoon he found himself centering a fourth line with Tom Pyatt and Maxim Lapierre.
Coming Up – The Canadiens will play Ottawa Tuesday night and then we’ll find out just what kind of fibre the team is made of. Nine of the next eleven games will be on the road starting with Friday in Detroit and Saturday in Toronto.
Down on the Farm – The Hamilton farm team played lost three of four games, all by one goal. Linemates David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty continued in lock-step; each with five points. Pacioretty scored 4 goals and an assist while Desharnais had one goal and four assists. Together they accounted for five of the Bulldogs six goals during the week. Pacioretty was named the AHL’s November player of the month on Wednesday. He enters this week with ten goals and four assists his last nine games. His fourteen goals for the season is one behind the league leader. Desharnais and Pacioretty are tied in points with 28 only two points behind the league leader in that category.
Some odds and ends
Trying to fathom the NHL’s Salary cap rules on players who go on long term injury can fry your brain. However, Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier tells me that the placement of Andrei Markov on the on the long-term injury list is backdated to the date of the injury, November 13th. Markov is earning $30,985 per day on his 5.75 million dollar contract. On November 13th there were 146 days remaining in the season. That’s $4.513 million dollars in cap relief Gauthier can seek, if his inclination runs toward the trade market. Right now that’s a big “if”.
Speaking of deals, we can always rely on the rumour mill for entertaining and sometimes hilarious fodder.
This from Bruce Garioch of the Ottawa Sun today
“The Montreal Canadiens would like to get bigger up front, and move Scott Gomez but his $7.34 cap hit makes it almost impossible (I still can’t believe Glen Sather was able to move him). Could the Habs be interested in Alex Kovalev?
Kovalev? Really? Imagine that! All seven goals and seven assists.
And this gem from the ‘always wrong’ Eklund at Hockey Buzz concerning the possiblility of Florida trading goaltender Tomas Vokoun, who is in the final year of a 5.7 million dollar annual contract.
“Interesting talk I just had today…. I have said this previously, but I would not be shocked if Montreal makes a play for Vokoun towards the deadline. My source “There is too much right now riding on Price and a fear the Habs could get held up for Vokoun if they wait too long.”
Need we even comment on that one?