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Habs musings: Desharnais' powerplay struggles, Beaulieu's consistency, and Plekanec's solid production

Desharnais' struggles on the power play? Plekanec is quietly producing, and more

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
David Desharnais needs to be removed from the first power play wave

Desharnais has 1.9 points per 60 minutes this year on the power play. It's by far the worst production from any Habs player that has received regular man-advantage ice time.

In fact, among all players in the NHL that have received over 100 minutes of ice time on the power play this season, Desharnais ranks 184th out of 189. He's simply doesn't produce enough to be utilized on the first wave of the power play, as evidenced by the fact that he hasn't produced a 5 on 4 point since late November.

If the Habs ever hope to ice a solid power play, it starts with removing Desharnais from the first wave. I would go as far as to say he should be used on the wing from here on end. It's not that Desharnais is a bad player, far from it, but rather that he's not being used efficiently right now.

The Nathan Beaulieu situation

Beaulieu was a healthy scratch two games in a row, two games in which the Habs actually managed to take home two points. Granted, Beaulieu looked bad on a few plays in recent games, and you'd be hard pressed to argue that he doesn't make any errors.

However we should keep in mind that he's currently holding a positive Corsi For % of 52.60%. When it comes to goals for, he's third on the team behind Markov and Subban.

The fact of the matter is that despite his errors, when you take a look at his overall body of work this season he's been quite good.

There will be more errors moving forward, but it's not time to relegate Beaulieu to the press box, unless the goal is to wreck yet another first-round pick. Patience is key.

Tomas Plekanec is quietly having a decent season

With his four points versus the Oilers, Plekanec now ranks second among Habs forwards in terms of even-strength points per 60, with 1.9. That's the same number as Alex Ovechkin, and is better than Evgeni Malkin. Of course, that's not to say that Plekanec is the better player, but the rumours of his demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Recent wins

With the two wins last weekend, the Habs have now climbed to a 17% chance of making the playoffs, and their hopes of drafting among the top 5 have dropped to about 4%. They're effectively in no man's land.

That being said, it was a good reminder that despite the last two months, the Habs aren't remotely as bad as their record indicates.