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Habs after 40....
40 Games In...
The Habs have been without several key players for over a month...
And here are the numbers:

Montreal Canadiens stats after 40 games:

Points: 56 (3rd) ...... Leading the Atlantic Division.

Goals scored: 123 (4th)

Goals against: 92 (5th)

Shots per game: 31.1 (8th)

Shots against per game: 30.1 (13th)

PP %: 21.3 (11th)

PK %: 80.3 (21st)

Faceoff win %: 49.9 (14th)


Face Off %...
Considering the Habs #1 Center was not even playing center several weeks back....
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Other than the pk I'd say we're having a darn good year thus far
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If the boyzzzzz could address the PP and PK they'd definitely be in business.
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What happened to our PK?

I know Pleks having a bad year, but can he be dragging down the pk too?

Pleks, mitch, patches, byron, it not basically the same guys this year as previous years when we were near the top?
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(2017-01-08, 10:19 PM)Haba-daba-do Wrote: What happened to our PK?

I know Pleks having a bad year, but can he be dragging down the pk too?

Pleks, mitch, patches, byron, it not basically the same guys this year as previous years when we were near the top?

We seem to be more passive this year than previously. If you look at how other teams defend our powerplay they are very aggressive on our puck carriers and make it difficult to setup. In the past we used to do that too but this year we've gotten more lax about pressuring the puck carriers. I definitely wouldn't pin it on any individual player as it seems to be endemic to the entire team
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Is it just that the PK as gone south to Nashville???

No, in all seriousness, did it drop off the charts with the injuries?
I hadn't noticed the slip...
Seem to recall how well Danault and Lehkonen were doing in this role.
Interesting though.
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Our PK is awful on the road, only the Sabres, Coyotes and Stars are worse. It was has been that bad on the road all season, we just played a lot of home games early to mask it. Yet at home our PK is 7th. There isn't even a trend other than home road.

We are also taking way too many penalties.

Our PP is fine, being the second best in the league we would have 3-4 more goals this year.
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The Habs dropped the game to the Caps.
It was the 1st time in awhile that they seemed unfocused.

Byron returned to the line up....
Carr sat in favor of Farnham....

Will Galchenyuk be ready for the next game?
Might the Habs see the return of a trio of starters? Add Markov and Shaw to Galchenyuk's return.

The 3rd pairing on D is being exploited at times....
Barberio and Johnston cannot defend as a NHL unit.
The return of Markov would go such a long way in remedying that.

The Hab PP.....
Add Galchenyuk and Markov.
Maybe Shaw.

The Hab PK....
Missing Byron certainly had an affect.
But Markov and Shaw might also help solidify its effectiveness.

There is only so much water in the well....
And with the injuries, players have been called upon to fill roles, not only 5 on 5, not only stepping up in the line up, but, roles on the Special Teams.
The PP and PK have to suffer when you take key players out of the line up.

I'll be watching the wire the next couple of days...
In hopes of reading of the return of 1...2....maybe 3 Habs.
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WASH played such a tight checking, defensive game that MON had zero chance to win once WASH retook the lead 2-1, IMO.

Carr did not sit in favour of Farnham, though. He sat in favour of Byron. Farnham was already in the lineup before Byron's return.

BTW, clearly, Byron lacks the type of shot that Pacioretty or, even, Lehkonen, has to be an elite offensive threat on the ice.

Last night, on the PP, he often had the puck near the F/O circle and always looked to pass down low to the side of the net rather than shoot. A shot on net with the intention of creating a rebound for the guy near the side of the net might have worked better than the eventually telegraphed pass to him. There was almost no effort getting Byron into the pay zone with the puck but, he seemed unable or unwilling to exploit the opportunity. IMO, he's more of a breakaway or loose rebound type of offensive threat.

Even if Byron doesn't create a scoring opportunity, he buys his team time to regroup and increases puck possession every time he is on the ice.

Clearly, I agree that Barberio and Johnston are not a D pairing that can defend adequately at the NHL level. Getting rid of at least one of them would contribute to leaving the 3rd pairing less exposed. Personally, upon Markov's return ( he won't play as a 3rd pairing D, no matter what people think should happen ), the best possibility I see for the D is this, even if I actually prefer Barberio to Johnston:

Beaulieu - Weber
Markov - Petry
Emelin - Johnston

That leaves you a quicker D on every pairing and a physical D in Emelin to, at some point, pulverize the opponent's cycle game in our zone even though Johnston can't take a man to save his life.

Anybody else notice that Petry has been much less effective of late? He has loads of trouble clearing his own zone (plays soft on the puck and clearing attempt) and seems unable to find a shooting lane in the O-zone, often creating turnovers with shots deflecting off of opposing Ds. Reminds me of Ryder when he wasn't effective and shot without making sure he had a shooting lane on the PP (I know the positions are different, but the frustrating result as the same).

I wouldn't panic yet after losing to WASH, a team that executed its game plan to a tee.

Montreal fell into a trap that I hope it will get out of quickly (not playing against a G like Holtby every night will certainly help) -- It was just unable to capitalize on golden scoring opportunities. Zero finish around the net. Always the extra pass with nobody shooting...

Before the huge fall from grace last year, MON lost a bunch of close games because it lacked finish around the net. Hopefully, the return of Galchenyuk, Markov and Shaw, shortly, plus the addition of Radulov this year, will prevent the lack of finish from becoming chronic again.

Loved the description of Lars Eller's tenure in Montreal, last night, by Gauthier, an ex NHL D that comments on RDS (corrected for him because he said Swedish):

All Danish, no finish!
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Review on Sportsnet half way through the season. Don't agree with everything - seems to have overrated Barberio/Johnston IMO. I'm not even sure if the article is a good read but will post here anyway.
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