The St. John’s IceCaps competed in 12 games in February, earning half of the available points with five wins, five regulation losses, and two losses in overtime for a total of 12 points. They currently sit in the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division, being leapfrogged by the surging Toronto Marlies, but managing to stay ahead of the Utica Comets.
The standings in the North Division remain tight, with only 11 points separating first and fifth place. The IceCaps will have to continue to try and play better than 0.500 hockey if they hope to make it to the playoffs.
What else is there left to say about Charles Hudon? A point-per-game player, only four goals back from the league lead (despite missing almost a month of action), and continually being an offensive force for the IceCaps.
In February, the top line consisting of Hudon, Chris Terry, and Nikita Scherbak was absolutely dominant. Hudon scored nine goals and added seven assists, while being held pointless only twice in 12 games. Two of those goals were game-winning goals for the IceCaps.
Charles Hudon's 20th of the year is an absolute rocket of a shot. pic.twitter.com/8Pxqcsh5yC— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) February 26, 2017
Who else but Hudon? His 21st comes on a breakaway that tied the game 4-4. pic.twitter.com/N769xSERN6— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) February 26, 2017
It was a toss-up between Hudon and Terry for first star this month, as Terry also had an offensively dominant month, scoring nine goals (including one game-winner), and adding nine assists. Between the two of them, they scored 44% of all IceCaps goals in February.
Terry may have been slightly behind Hudon in terms of of overall play, hence he only got second star. It was an incredible month for both players. Terry currently sits second in league scoring, despite playing 13 fewer games than the leading scorer, Kenny Agostino of the Chicago Wolves.
Terry’s February performance also earned him AHL Player of Month honours.
Redmond spent his first full month back in St. John’s dominating the scoresheet, putting up 10 points in 12 games. He’s a familiar face with the St. John’s crowd because he played with the IceCaps for three seasons as part of the Winnipeg Jets organization.
In February he energized the offence with quick zone exits, precise passes to the forwards, and overall smart defensive play with top-pairing responsibilities.
Goal of the Month
- Scherbak finally found his early season form that earned him his first NHL call-up in January, putting up 11 points as part of that fearsome top line for the IceCaps. He demonstrates speed, creativity, and patience with the puck, and remains one of the few offensively gifted prospects in the Canadiens organization.
- Ryan Johnston continues to put it all together, having a strong month offensively with two goals and seven assists, while also providing solid defence.
- Julien Brouillette has been steady on the back end, making him a great mid-season addition for the IceCaps. It also shows that Canadiens scouts are paying attention to the LNAH, a third-tier minor-pro league based in Quebec where Brouillette started the season.
- Daniel Carr looked like a player possessed when he arrived in St. John’s, putting up six points in five games, before mysteriously being scratched for the rest of the month, leading us to...
- The Montreal Canadiens’ policy of not disclosing the nature of injuries for players in the AHL. It’s led to a lot of speculation regarding two players who have not played in quite some time: Carr and Markus Eisenschmid. In both cases there are rumours circulating, but the team will not confirm or deny any of them.
- It seems that Daniel Audette has hit a wall in terms of his play. After putting up 13 points in December, Audette only has three points in 22 games since, including just one assist in February.
- Home-ice disadvantage: The IceCaps continue to struggle at Mile One Centre, earning half or less of the available points for a third consecutive month, and not having swept a two-game series at home since November.
They also hold the worst penalty kill record in the league at home with a 72.9% efficiency rate. Combine that with the second-highest penalty minutes, and you have one answer for the team’s struggles.
For contrast, they have the sixth-best penalty kill in the league on the road, at 83.6%.
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