Montreal Canadiens ups and downs: Week 9

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Your weekly Habs trends, accounting for the last week of November.

In case you missed it, check out last week's ups and downs to see where players are coming from.

Habs Trends through week 9
Goalies Trend Notes
Carey Price Dash_medium
Price won both his starts this week and put up a .951 save percentage, which oddly enough was the same save percentage he's had for the last several games. What that means is that even with an insanely high save percentage in a week that saw him go from 3rd among starters in save percentage to 1st, he's not trending up, he's just staying level. What does that say about Carey Price's level of play? Unreal.
Peter Budaj Dash_medium
Budaj lost his only start of the week, but to be fair, he also faced the toughest team that Montreal played this week. He has maintained an above .920 save percentage over the last few weeks though, which is lower than his season average but still spectacular.
Defensemen

P.K. Subban Up_medium
3 points in 3 games again this week for P.K. sees him all the way up at 23 points in 27 games, and lately it has been him and Markov doing the tough defensive work while Gorges and Emelin haven't been so hot. He also broke a 12 game goalless drought Saturday night with a sweet little wrister.
Andrei Markov Up_medium
Markov also managed 3 points in 3 games to match Subban, but he did it all in one game, with a hand in on every goal against Buffalo. The offensive prowess is expected from Markov at this point though, where he's really impressed is his defensive play. Markov has used his hockey sense to find holes all season, and playing Subban makes them both better.
Josh Gorges Down_medium
Gorges has been struggling mightily with Emelin, and it doesn't look like it's getting much better right now. Unlike last week, he doesn't have a couple nice assists to cloud that either. The trend is clearly down. After his excellent start, Gorges is now below 50% Fenwick. It's probably time to put him back with Diaz.
Alexei Emelin Down_medium
Oh boy is Emelin struggling. You can see things are beginning to come together a little bit, but he's been making bad pinches constantly, and bleeding scoring chances against. He was the major goat against the Capitals, and although he had a good game against Toronto, he was also bad against the Sabres. Hopefully the Toronto game was a sign of what's to come.
Raphael Diaz Dash_medium
Diaz continues to thrive in easy minutes, but he hasn't taken a step forward in any way, and without much powerplay time to speak of, he hasn't been able to produce much offensively either. The Habs are in a tough situation with neither Diaz or Emelin looking great with Gorges in tougher minutes, but at least the third pair isn't a black hole anymore.
Francis Bouillon Down_medium
Back when Bouillon was first scratched, we were told that it was only because he was old and needed days off on back-to-backs. Since then he's been scratched two of three games, and one of those was not on a back-to-back set. Hard to believe that Bouillon could be on the outside looking in with Therrien in charge, but it could happen.
Douglas Murray Up_medium
Murray was brutal against the Sabres, even though he got a ton of praise for getting punched by a goon. Where he gets positive reviews though is his game against the Leafs. I don't really care if it's luck or his teammates, Murray had a 72.7% Fenwick. That's getting him an up arrow because it's never, ever happening again.
Davis Drewiske Injured_medium
Nothing to report on Drewiske, he's still out for most of the season. He might be back in time for the playoffs but I can't see him playing.
Forwards
Tomas Plekanec Up_medium
2 goals and 1 assist in three games for Pleky, and some excellent work on the defensive side of the puck. Last week he shut down Crosby but couldn't quite do the job on Ovechkin, so given another chance, he did just that, and did it while starting only 17.6% of his shifts in the offensive zone. We had Pacioretty Week, we may have to have Plekanec Week.
Brian Gionta Up_medium
Gionta is having a crazy bad luck streak with scoring goals, but he still managed to rip three points in three games this week. The continually underappreciated captain took even tougher zone starts than Plekanec last week, and continues to do all the little things well.
Danny Briere Up_medium
6 points in 9 games since returning from a concussion and 2 points in 3 games last week in limited minutes is more than most people expected from Briere. If you thought Briere could handle tough minutes and not be a gigantic liability coming into the season, I probably would have called you mental. He may not be able to keep it up, but he's doing it for now. Briere has one fewer goal than last year's total in 21 fewer games.
Lars Eller Up_medium
Eller has been having a tough time since Gallagher was taken off his wing, but he's finally on an upward trend with 2 points in 3 games and positive Corsi for the first time in 6 games against the Leafs. There's still a long way to go upwards for Eller to be at his best, but he's doing the tough slogging in the defensive zone, and he's not the one really struggling on his line in my opinion.
Alex Galchenyuk Down_medium
Galchenyuk did manage to steal Markov's goal against Buffalo by deflecting it with his body, but he's struggling in a big, big way. Seven straight games with negative possession numbers in spite of getting a decent zone push in 4 of them, and it's hard to be impressed by his performance. He'll get over the hump though, remember he's just 19.
Brandon Prust Up_medium
Prust has been pretty awful since he came back from his shoulder injury, but it seems like he's beginning to drag himself out of it. It probably helped that he was taken off the tough minutes second line and put on the fourth line against Toronto.
David Desharnais Up_medium
Another point per game week from Desharnais brings him up to 6 points in his last 6 games, and along with his production has been a much stronger effort on the defensive side of the puck. Desharnais ended the week with his strongest performance of the year, an excellent 200 foot game against Toronto.
Max Pacioretty Up_medium
Pacioretty only put up 2 goals and 1 assist this week after 5 goals last week, but he seems to be taking it to another level every couple games. Against Washington he was a defensive wizard, and against Toronto he had 4 shots before the game was a minute old, finishing with 10 shots on 13 attempts, in under 14 minutes of ice time.
Brendan Gallagher Dash_medium
Gallagher broke a 5 game goalless drought with the insurance goal in Buffalo, but 1 point in 3 games is still below what we expect from Gallagher, and I'm sure he knows he can do more. It's tough to trend up when you're so consistently excellent though, and Gallagher could use a little puck luck.
Ryan White Up_medium
In two games last week Ryan White had a 60.6% Corsi, and he did it while starting just 25% of his shifts in the offensive zone. White didn't put up any points, but it's tough to imagine getting more than that from a fourth liner. It's absolutely bizarre that Therrien decided to scratch him against Toronto.
Travis Moen Up_medium
Moen has the highest even strength Fenwick percentage on the Montreal Canadiens. Moen! It's hard to believe that this is the same player we watched go through the motions last season, but it seems like the rumour that he was out of shape following the lockout has a lot of credence to it. I'm also guessing that the symptoms of his serious concussion in 2011-12 may have hindered him last season.
Michael Bournival Dash_medium
Bournival is the driving force of the fourth line and a capable top-9 forward, though he didn't produce any points in two games last week. Like White, it's absolutely absurd that Therrien chose to scratch him on Saturday night.
Rene Bourque Up_medium
After nursing a groin injury, Bourque's return was met with being a healthy scratch for a few games. When he finally got into the lineup, he took advantage of being on Eller's wing and fired 5 shots on goal, but couldn't get a goal. Still though, solid start.
George Parros Up_medium
Parros only played 3.4 minutes in his first game in weeks, but he wasn't on the ice for a shot against, which means he wasn't a giant liability! Progress.

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