The Montreal Canadiens emerged from the first half of the regular season with a record of 25-10-6, good enough for 56 points and a commanding lead in the Atlantic Division. In fact, the Canadiens have hovered near the top of the NHL standings all season, despite facing numerous injuries, to key players. As a result, there has been significant turnover in the lineup, yet the results remained generally positive, especially on a recent seven-game road trip that saw the team go 4-1-2.
Max Pacioretty leads the team in goals (19) and points (34), while Alexander Radulov has lived up to his off-season hype by leading the team in assists, with 21. Newcomer Shea Weber started the season off explosively, leading the boom with eight power-play goals, while sage veteran Andrei Markov tapped the fountain of youth prior to being sidelined with a groin injury. Brendan Gallagher has seemed a step off for most of the season, while Paul Byron emerged as a scoring threat to take up the slack on the right side.
The first half of the season was filled with memorable moments such as a hot start with only one regulation loss in the first 15 games, Weber’s acceptance by the Bell Centre crowd, Mikhail Sergachev’s NHL debut, and Pacioretty’s four-goal night. There was the 10-0 loss to Columbus that got everyone worried about a repeat of last season, and then there was the 10-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche to get everyone’s expectations raised again.
All that being said, 32 different players suited up for the Canadiens in the first half of the season, and we are asking the community to grade the performance of those who have played five games or more. This means that Sergachev, Bobby Farnham, Nikita Scherbak, and Charles Hudon have been omitted from the survey, but the rest are up for voting. Results will be posted in a few days.
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