The Canadiens, because of their consistant middle-of-the-pack status, are one of those teams without benefit of high draft picks. So,year by year, in Montreal, despite the impatience of fans and media, the best legitimate hope is for an incremental improvement process.
After fifty games this year, the Canadiens have given just that – incremental improvement over last season. .
Overall, the Canadiens are nine points better in the standings. Last season at fifty games the Canadiens were a .500 team – 50 points in fifty games (23-23-4). Today they’re 27-18-5 and 59 points.
The areas of improvement are subtle. (See breakdown below) Special teams are running about the same. Individual peformance is, for the most part, about the same but the Canadiens home ice record is markedly better and they’ve allowed twelve fewer goals.
One glaring difference is man-games-lost to injury. Last season at this time the Canadiens had lost 111. This year- 67. That’s 44 times that Jacques Martin didn’t have to pencil in a minor leaguer to fill a hole in his starting lineup.
As a result of all of these things combined, the team is seventh in the Eastern Conference as compared with twelfth last year at this point in time.
Last Season This Season
Record 23-23-4 = 50pts. 27-18-5 = 59pts.
In The Standings 12th Eastern Conference 7th Eastern Conference
Home Record (11-11-3) (16-6-4)
Away Record (12-12-1) (11-12-1)
Goals For/Against 128/139 130/123
Power Play Ranked 2nd 24.5% (37/151) 11th 19.7% (35/178)
Penalty Killing 7th 84.2% (33/209) 5th 84.2% (32/203)
Man Games Injury– 111 (Markov 35-Gionta 21) 67 (Markov 42-Gorges 13)
Michael Cammalleri 50g 22-18=40 plus-9 44g 13-18=31 plus-6
Tomas Plekanec 50g 11-37=48 plus-4 49g 16-24=40 plus-10
Brian Gionta 29g 13-9 =22 plus-2 50g 16-9 =25 minus-3
Scott Gomez 46g 6-26=32 minus-1 48g 6-20=26 minus-9
Andrei Kostitsyn 40g 10-14=24 plus-3 49g 13-15=28 plus-12
Max Pacioretty 49g 3-11=14 minus-5 20g 6-5 =11 minus-6
Benoit Pouliot 25g 8-3 =11 even 47g 10-11=21 plus-4
Carey Price 32g (11-15-3) 2.68GAA .916% 45g (24-16-5) 2.36GAA .920%
Roster Changes – Gone from the roster of Jan.17, 2010 (Game #50) – (8) Ryan O’Byrne, Glen Metropolit; Georges Laraque; Paul Mara, Matt D’Agostini, Maxim Lapierre, Marc-Andre Bergeron, Jaroslav Halak. Not on Roster Jan. 17, 2010 – (10) Jeff Halpern, James Wiesniewski, Mathieu Darche, David Desharnais, Yannick Weber, P.K. Subban, Lars Eller, Tom Pyatt, Alexandre Picard, Alex Auld.