Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Other Forwards At The Quarter Pole

Moving on now to the forwards. Finally up are the other forwards without whim, the Habs record might look a whole lot different.


The legend again:

G, A, Pts - you know already
PM - Plus/minus
Ch +/- - Differential in scoring chances at even strength (these chances combined by Olivier are basically shots, misses and blocked shots that happen from danger areas)
Fenwick - Shots and missed shots for minus those against at ES
Corsi - Shots, missed shots and blocked shots for minus those against at ES
Dome - Dome for that game = 1


Jeff Halpern

Grade:

A-

At 20 games, I think it's fair to say Halpern was a good signing. For minimum salary he provides a good third line option, a penalty killing deputy for Plekanec and, so far at least, some surprising offense.

That said, he has had his low points. Off games where he seems to lose the assets he brings in other games. He'd have full marks if not for these.


Dustin Boyd

Grade:

C

Through a combination of missing a golden opportunity to take a top line spot and then being benched for missing that opportunity, Boyd was rendered pretty well useless. It's a hard read to know if he could recover from this point. I tend to think he might deserve a chance

Still, one can't give marks for aspirations. Over his limited playing time, Boyd made little to no impression. Some fans think he is called Justin. He was pretty consistently negative in all categories and unable to score except in game one. Still, he sat tight, did what he was asked and played in a few wins. He gets a boost for that.


Travis Moen

Grade:

B+

Moen tries. my goodness he tries. And I admire that. I just wish it wouldn't be reason to keep giving him scoring line duty. The guy for all his effort has stuffed many a scoring play already because he either never expected a pass (not used to playing with people who deliver) or can't handle it if it comes (not used to having to deal with passes).

Moen still gets a good grade as a role player on this Habs team.His ideal role resides on the fourth line, doing what he is told for 10 minutes an outing.I didn't hold Gomez's salary against him, so i won;t here. But it's worth considering if Moen brings an extra million to the table on a cap-strapped team.


Maxim Lapierre

Grade:

C

This is Dustin Boyd's profile pro-rated to 20 games. There's little to get excited about. It is more reminiscent of the Lapierre that went about 40 games without making a contribution last regular season than the one who scored clutch goals in the playoffs.
I am happy to say that Lapierre is already on his way to upgrading though, as Game #21 was an inspired effort from the guy who would seem set to make me look a fool with my grading.


Mathieu Darche

Grade:

B

Four excellent games get Mathieu a B. In those four games, he was truly among the outstanding Habs. He helped Halpern look better and helped Pouliot finally score a goal.
Still, not every NHL GM of the last decade missed out on something here. Mathieu is what he is. What I think that might be is a guy with some talent, but not enough to push through tight checking. He's an excellent option for third line duty, however, and a reason the Habs have the record they do. I'd like to see my fellow Redmen back in the lineup.


Lars Eller

Grade:

A-

You know, it takes a lot for a rookie to play 20 games under Jacques Martin with only a single benching. Even more in an environment where goals are scarce and he's not providing any. That is the testament to Lars Eller's start. Though he hasn't made the impression of a Jeff Skinner on the NHL web page, his play has been good all around apart from that inconvenient truth.

If you think an A grade is high, I'd only justify it by saying that taking the minutes he's given without complaining or skating a single sulky shift, together with the way he thoroughly has outchanced, outshot and out-attempted his opposition is enough.


Tom Pyatt

Grade:

B-

Blah. It's entirely possible that an AHLer might be worse than Pyatt, that he might bleed shots and chances against. but at this point, this fan is willing to find out. Pyatt is Mr. Responsible at times, but he cheats on D like MAB would cheat on O. His tendency to turn back before pressing forward belies his statistics that do him a favour.

At the end of the day, I suppose one can't be excited about every player on a 19-man outfit. I suppose every team needs a quietly effective and mostly dull option to send out for 10 minutes. Pyatt does this well, and doesn't seem to complain or seek out more. Maybe I'm too hard on him. I still think I might like to see Palushaj, though.

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