Montreal Canadiens ups and downs: Week 17

Francois Lacasse

Your weekly Habs trends, accounting for the third week of January

After a brief hiatus, we're back with an incredibly depressing edition of ups and downs. As you can expect, there's a lot of red on the page.

Week 17 Habs Trends
Goalies Trend Notes
Carey Price Down_medium
Price trended down this week, however those who watched the games know that he did all he could to keep the pucks out of his net. A complete defensive meltdown led to Price getting shelled, despite putting up a barrage of highlight reel saves. Pray for Carey. (0-3-0, 6.25 GAA, .822 save percentage in his last 3 GP.)
Peter Budaj Up_medium Budaj was given no starts, but played well in relief of Price sporting a .944 save percentage in both games he was called upon. It's worth noting that he came close to obliterating Fleury in a goalie fight, which sadly was the highlight of the night in the game versus Pittsburgh.
Defensemen

P.K. Subban Down_medium Subban has 3 points in his last 10 games, which is not good production from the elite blue-liner. After being saddled with Murray for a few games Subban produced his worst even strength numbers all year.
Andrei Markov Down_medium
Markov is not only lacking points production, his even strength numbers have fallen off a cliff. He's trending downwards in an alarming fashion. He has been included in a few highlight reels this week, but not in a good way.
Josh Gorges Down_medium
Gorges has also succumbed to the downward spiral most Habs players hit this week. His -3 performance versus Washington was a perfect example of how Montreal's defensive swarm system can put d-men way out of position, and lead to easy goals for the opposition.
Alexei Emelin Down_medium
Emelin was a healthy scratch versus Pittsburgh after an abysmal performance versus Toronto, but the rest did not help him one bit. He's picked up his hitting a little bit, though as it stands the Emelin extension is looking like another blunder by Bergevin.
Raphael Diaz Dash_medium Despite being the defenseman that allows the least amounts of scoring chances against whilst on the ice, Diaz was a healthy scratch for 4 straight games. Because: Therrien.
Francis Bouillon Dash_medium
Francis Bouillon has been a healthy scratch for the last two games, although it's worth saying that he played reasonably well versus Toronto.
Douglas Murray Down_medium
For some reason Michel Therrien thought it would be a good idea to play Murray with Subban, and face top end competition. It was a bloodbath. Murray stands at 4 GF and 23 GA this season when on the ice for even strength play. Not to mention how many times he's screened Price, which has led to an easy goal for the opposition. End the nightmare already.
Davis Drewiske Injured_medium
Drewiske has been skating with the injured players, and seems to be poised to make a return to play in the upcoming weeks.
Nathan Beaulieu Up_medium
Since his call-up Beaulieu has done all he could to prove he should be a regular in the NHL. Not only is his mobility a nice change of pace on the blue-line, but his offensive creativity helps alleviate the load on the aging Markov, and the constantly scrutinized Subban. It's clear that Beaulieu is playing better than Emelin, Murray and Bouillon, however it's expected that he'll have to fight for his ice time regardless.
Forwards
Tomas Plekanec Down_medium
Plekanec had his worst week of the season, going pointless and accumulating a -3 rating since the game vs Ottawa. It seems like even steady Pleky is showing chinks in his armor.
Brian Gionta Down_medium
As Plekanec goes, Gionta goes. After scoring a goal versus Toronto, Gionta has been shutout in three straight games. He and Plekanec are still facing the opposition's top players, but it has definitely been a struggle in recent games.
Daniel Briere Down_medium
As per usual Briere was bounced around the lineup. He managed to put up one assist versus the Penguins, although his performance against Washington and Detroit left a lot to be desired.
Lars Eller Down_medium
There's no other way of putting it: Eller is in an absolute tailspin. He's been held pointless over the last 10 games and is a -7 in his last four games played. He's being bounced around from LW to Centre, as Therrien continues to search for answers.
Alex Galchenyuk Injured_medium Galchenyuk is practicing, doing mostly skating drills, as it seems his wrist isn't strong enough yet to be doing any puck work. He's expected to return mid-February.
Brandon Prust Down_medium
He won a fight versus Capitals rookie Tom Wilson, but it seems quite apparent that Prust's lingering shoulder injury is affecting his play. Prust has 1 assist in his last 12 games.
David Desharnais Down_medium
The diminutive centre has 2 points in 4 games, yet in the grand scheme of things, like the rest of the team he has struggled defensively and offensively (when it counted).
Max Pacioretty Down_medium
Pacioretty had 3 points in 3 games leading to this week, yet he followed it up with a lackluster performance versus Pittsburgh, Detroit and Washington. His defensive coverage was particularly terrible during the last few games.
Brendan Gallagher Dash_medium
Gallagher managed to put up 3 points in the last 5 games. He's been one of the only Habs forwards to show any signs of life. It may not be enough to earn him an upward trend, but considering where the rest of the forwards are trending this feels like a small victory for Brendan.
Ryan White Injured_medium Ryan White continues to rehab his shoulder, and is expected to miss at least another week or two.
Travis Moen Dash_medium
Often praised for his strong, yet underrated play this year, Moen had a decent week by Montreal standards. Forced to play sporadically on the Top 6 due to his defensive ability, he only accumulated one minus during the last few games.
Michael Bournival Dash_medium
Bournival has been slotted mostly on the fourth line, and despite bringing his usual combination of speed and energy, failed to produce any points in his last six games played. The good news is he hasn't a liability by any means.
Rene Bourque Down_medium
The oft-maligned Bourque was a healthy scratch versus Toronto. He came back in form and completely dominat....Just kidding, he was his usual inconsistent self. He did manage to score versus Pittsburgh, none the less his endless turnovers have led GM Marc Bergevin to openly shop the struggling winger.
George Parros Down_medium
Parros managed to be on the ice for a goal against in his 4 shifts. For some absolutely idiotic reason Therrien thought it would be a good idea to slot Parros onto a line with Desharnais and Gallagher for a shift versus Phil Kessel's line. As you can expect, Toronto scored, immediately.
Louis Leblanc Up_medium
In his three games since the call up Leblanc has played quite well. Slotted on the fourth line, he's creating scoring chances at a very refreshing rate, considering how anemic the Canadiens offense is at the moment. He's once again proving that he should be a regular on the team.

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