- PODCAST: Hanzal Watch!
- The Recap: Game 62 – Habs vs Leafs
- The Recency Bias: Game 61 – Habs Lose 3-0 to Islanders
- The Recap: Game 60 – Habs vs Rangers
- The Recency Bias: Game 60 – Habs Beat Rangers 3-2 in SO
- The Recap: Game 59 – Jets vs Habs
- The Recency Bias: Game 59 – Habs Lose 3-1 to Jets
- Test Flight: Julien Runs First Habs Practice
- Michael McCarron Recalled from St. John’s
- The Recency Bias – Good-bye Michel, Hello Claude!
Habs Mid Season Awards
- Updated: January 13, 2017
The Habs played game 41 of their schedule against the Washington Capitals on Monday night, marking the halfway point of the season. What Habs’ storylines deserve a spot in the trophy case? It is time to hand out some awards.
Wayne Gretzky award for best trade acquisition
This award goes to Marc Bergevin, who shocked the hockey world and dealt fan favorite PK Subban for veteran defenseman Shea Weber. There are a couple of ways one can evaluate the 6 month old trade. Looking at the standings, Montreal is first in the Atlantic division whereas Nashville is currently out of a playoff spot. If the playoffs started tomorrow, Subban would be golfing and Weber would still be playing hockey. From an individual perspective, Weber has been more productive than Subban. Through 40 games Weber has 26 points and is +17 (meaning he has been on for more Habs goals than goals against). Subban is currently injured but in the 29 games he played Subban has 17 points, including 7 goals and is -11. In the short term, the Habs appear to have won the off-season trade.
Ron Hextall award for defending the crease
Carey Price takes this award for pummelling Kyle Palmieri after the Devils forward accidentally/on purpose slid into the embattled Habs’ starter. There is no question that Price has a big target on his back every night, as teams know he’s an integral part of the Habs’ chances to win. At the same time, Price is aware that he is vulnerable to injury on those kinds of plays. Price missed time in the 2014 playoffs after Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers slid into him in the first game of the 2014 Eastern Conference Final (Price got revenge October 15, 2015 body-checking Kreider). Price also missed the bulk of last season with a torn MCL. If the league is not going to crack down on crease crashers perhaps the Habs should consider hiring Ron Hextall to teach Price how to fight back.
Patrick Roy award for most goals allowed without being pulled
November 4th was a nightmare for Al Montoya. He allowed 10 (yes you read that right) goals in a beat down by the Columbus Blue Jackets. To his credit, Montoya didn’t pull a Patrick Roy and quit after the game. If I were Montoya, after the second period I would have taken my equipment off, handed it to Michel Therrien and said “here, your turn to go in net.” In fairness to Montoya, Montreal was due for a loss. Montoya’s next start against the Chicago Blackhawks went a little better. While he still lost, he stopped 32 shots and only allowed 3 goals. Had Price been in net, you might have seen him wearing a ball cap instead of a helmet in the 2nd period.
John Tortorella award for best winning streak
Montreal matched its best start to a season going 9-0-1 in its first ten games. Much credit for the hot start has to go to a healthy Price. Also, the off-season acquisitions of Weber and Alexander Radulov paid off early and often. Through the first ten games, Radulov had 8 points, including a 3 point night vs. the Philadelphia Flyers. Weber had 10 points and was effective on Montreal’s power play while also shutting down the opposition’s best players. Michel Therrien has also not been afraid to change up the lines when the lines weren’t clicking on a given night. Like all good things, the winning streak came to a crashing halt against Torterella’s Blue Jackets. Let’s hope the next big win streak commences in April and ends with the Stanley Cup.
Gary Bettman award for best fans
This award goes out to every Habs fan and reader of this blog. Night in and night out, home and away, Habs fans come out in force to cheer on arguably the best Canadian based team in hockey. Often times away games feel like home games as Habs fans pack the arena. Habs fans thank you so much for your continued support of this amazing team and the best Habs blog.
What say you, Habs fans? What are some of the awards you would like to see handed out? What happens in the last half of the season?