Habs at the Christmas Break 2014 – Will Desharnais & Beaulieu End up in Edmonton? By Jamie Gilcig

jg2CFN – It’s Christmas break for Habs fans and I thought it’d be a great time to review the squad and think about what les boys should get for Christmas.

Max Pacioretty.   Max is leading the team in goals and points, but intriguingly in Plus/Minus with a +17 rating.   It looks like he’s got his holiday gift in Alex Galchenyuk becoming his centre.

Alex Galchenyuk  gets to play his natural position with over half the season to get comfy in the role.  Having Patches and Gallagher as his wingers isn’t too shabby either although I’m not sure Gallagher is the right fit.

PK Subban is putting together a very solid season.  After a sluggish first quarter points wise the numbers are starting to come.  He’s showing leadership and will be garnering some Norris votes.

Tomas Plekanec has cooled down a bit, but is on pace for one of his best offensive seasons.  With Manny Malhotra eating up some of his defensive role it’s allowing Plecky to focus more on offense.  He needs his wingers to step it up as his xmas gift.

David Desharnais really isn’t that bad a player.  Switching to wing should be temporary before the Habs trade him to Edmonton.  He’s won 50 more face offs than he’s lost.

Andrei Markov has had a great start to his season and is really leading in many ways I’m not sure I’ve seen before.  I think he’s really benefited from having Sergei Gonchar join the squad.   The big question is what will he have for the Habs play off run.

Brendan Gallagher hasn’t had a stellar year so far, but he’s getting shots on net and is second on the squad.  His Christmas gift is to look less like Brian Gionta stat wise and more like what the fans expect.

PA Parenteau needs to light up the score board more in the second half of the season.

Jiri Sekac reminds me of Lars Eller in that they both can be magical, but at the end of the day the numbers aren’t there.   Sekac though is in his real first NHL season so there is potential for a strong upside.  It should be interesting to see how he reacts in the play offs.

Lars Eller.  He skates, he wins face offs.  He’s a solid #3 Centre although he’s not really hitting the bodies this season.  Can the improve on him?   Yes.  Is Desharnais that improvement?  No.

Dale Weise has been a great pick up.  Between him and Brandon Prust the team has some solid grit in its bottom six.  Has added enough offense to be a bonus and can be plugged into almost any situation.

Alexei Emelin needs stability for Xmas.  Maybe he hasn’t found the right fit or maybe his days are numbered with the Habs?

Brandon Prust has had a great season so far.  He’s even had to fight out of his weight class filling the role when necessary and being a fierce fore checker in the process.

Sergei Gonchar may be 40, but he isn’t out of place as the #4 D man and has stabilized the Habs back end and is eating a lot of minutes.    Wouldn’t be surprised to see him sign for another year in Montreal, especially if the Habs have a long run in the play offs.

Tom Gilbert has been disappointing to many fans, but he’s been +5, blocked 71 shots, and is starting to gel.   He needs to gear up for the play offs.

Mike Weaver may be showing his age for the type of game he plays, but he was a big play off performer last year and Montreal’s depth should have him ready for Spring.  He’s become the new Frankie Boullion!

Sven Andrighetto is making the most out of the limited action he’s had recently.  3 points in 6 games in limited minutes is not chopped liver for the rookie.

Nathan Beaulieu to me is destined to be packaged with David Desharnais to Edmonton.   He’s a perfect fit there, but for a team that is eyeing a deep season needs to find that higher game which he hasn’t displayed yet, but probably will.

Bryan Allen is a great depth pick up for those games when you need a bit more physicality.   Used right he can be a great fit for the Spring run.  You can never be deep enough on D.

Manny Malhotra needs to put some points up; but of course that’s not why he’s playing.  He’s won 364 out of 583 face offs which has been money in the bank for the Habs.  Expect a big play off from Manny.

Dustin Tokarski has been an able back up.   2.44 GAA and .914 sv% are not too shabby.

Carey Price, who this writer has never been a huge fan of, has put up strong numbers this season and is earning his salary.    He’s 19-9 and while he only has 2 shut outs his 2.23 GAA and .926 % are pretty darn good.

He’s 8th in GAA and 7th in SV%.    Only Pekka Rinne, Craig Anderson, and Marc Fleury are having better seasons numbers wise.

Michel Therrien is doing what NHL coaches are supposed to do, win with the team they’ve been given.    His critics can come up with issues, but the bottom line is how the squad performs.

GM Marc Bergevin is looking good.  Picking up Gonchar and Allen for Moen and Bourque while clearing up cap space for next season have been great moves.    Now the question is whether he can pull the trigger and pick up a Tomas Vanek type rental as he did like last season or put together a Desharnais/Boileau package for Eberle and Matt Hendricks.

Local Hab fan Rob Cave got me to take a bet on the Habs season.    He bet that the Habs would improve on last season’s Play off run and frankly this is one bet I hope I lose!

What do you think Hab fans?  You can post your comments below.

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  1. You truly have not been watching many games over the past few seasons. Desharnais has been the top scoring centre for the Habs and top playmaker. He and Parenteau will light it up in the second half of the season. Plekanec always starts strong and fades the rest of the season. It is time to trade Eller and perhaps Sekac or Andrigetto to Edmonton for Perron and Yakupov. Maybe even deal for Lecavalier. Charlie Hudon and Swedish Elite D Magnus Nygren are the real gems in Hamilton. Jared Tinordi is also showing he is nothing more than just brute size.

    You cannot give up on Desharnais yet as he is following in the footsteps of late bloomer Martin St Louis……

  2. I forgive Admin / Jamie when he writes articles about the Montreal hockey team, the Canadiens. I realize he is a Habs fan and thus must forgive him. It could be worse, he could have been a Leafs fan.

    I’m a Sens fan, so what do I know, eh?

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