Jump to content
The Official Site of the Montréal Canadiens
Canadiens de Montreal

End Of Season Evaluation


fourtrax

Recommended Posts

This thread is an extension of JL's Mid-Season Report. With the 07-08 campaign now in the books and two days until our postseason begins, I figured it'd be interesting for us to evaluate the team now and compare with our mid-season player evaluations from the start of the calendar year.

I compiled my player ratings based (more or less) on three criteria:

  1. Did the player meet, fail to meet, or surpass expectations in his assigned role?
  2. Was the player’s performance in his assigned role commensurate with his salary?
  3. Was the standard for assessing the player’s performance in his assigned role a fair standard, given factors such as salary, age, and NHL experience?
===================

GOALTENDERS

Jaroslav Halak

  • Age: 22
  • Current Salary: $495,000
  • Role: Backup
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Has performed very well in a reserve capacity, handling himself like a professional despite limited ice time. Gives the team great depth at the goalie position. (Grade: A-)
Carey Price
  • Age: 20
  • Current Salary: $850,000
  • Role: Starting goalie
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Has met expectations as a rookie goalie playing for the most difficult fans in the NHL. Has displayed the ability to win consistently over an extended stretch, but has also struggled with technique recently. Has proven effective when playing once per week in a backup role. (Grade: B+)
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Battled through a difficult start in January, improving his technique in Hamilton before being recalled. Performed well enough in nets to allow Huet to be traded without any dropoff in performance, and has been stellar in nets since the trade. Has improved his positioning, technique, and rebound control. Still a little overconfident at times when playing the puck outside the net. (Grade: A)
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: A-
CENTERS

Mikhail Grabovski

  • Age: 23
  • Current Salary: $725,000
  • Role: Third-line offensive centre, injury fill-in
  • Evaluation: Has shown bursts of offensive potential but overall team health has limited his opportunities. Appears more confident in the offensive zone and is a surprisingly consistent backchecker. Must dramatically improve his faceoff skills if he wants to play more minutes on a regular basis.
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: B
Saku Koivu
  • Age: 33
  • Current Salary: $4.75 million
  • Role: Second-line centre, captain
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Stat-wise is having a solid year, sitting third in total points for the team, but has not always displayed the fire and intensity expected of a team captain. Hampered by the youth and inexperience of his wingers but still gamely playing through a difficult time. (Grade: A-)
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Was quietly putting up PPG numbers prior to his foot injury despite a revolving door of linemates. Still a clutch player when needed, and has taken to playing a simpler offensive game, which creates chances for his linemates down low. (Grade: A-)
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: A-
Maxim Lapierre
  • Age: 22
  • Current Salary: $563,000
  • Role: Energy centre, agitator, PK specialist
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Effective on the forecheck and becoming more adept at forcing turnovers in the offensive zone. Plays with an edge and adds speed down the middle. Is not nearly as physical as his role warrants and must learn to play the body with more consistency. (Grade: B-)
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Improved physical play, faceoff percentage, and commitment to winning puck battles have made him much more effective down the stretch. Seems to relish his agitating role and is gaining a better sense of when and how to provoke opposing teams without landing in the penalty box. (Grade: A-)
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: B+
Tomas Plekanec
  • Age: 24
  • Current Salary: $1.4 million
  • Role: First-line centre
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Is averaging almost PPG in his third full season with the club, essentially functioning as the top centre for the team’s most productive line. Developing exceptional vision on the rush and the ability to feather passes to his wingers through traffic. Defensively responsible and hard-working. Versatile enough to be used in any game situation. (Grade: A+)
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Has continued to put up a steady stream of points in even-strength and power-play situations, but hasn’t been the same player since returning from a virus. Struggles in the faceoff circle and makes the occasional poor decision in the offensive zone. (Grade: A-)
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: A
Bryan Smolinski
  • Age: 35
  • Current Salary: $2 million
  • Role: Two-way centre, defensive specialist
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Was brought in to bring defensive stability but currently sports the second-worst plus-minus on the team (-7). Has played effectively in bursts but hasn’t shown the kind of consistency expected of a veteran. Often looks lackadaisacal on the ice. Has been outperformed by younger players earning half his salary. (Grade: D+)
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Experienced an execrable six weeks to start the calendar year, showing little determination or effort on the ice and occasionally losing his starting spot to younger players, but picked up his game towards the end of February, and has since been a steady, effective defensive presence, chipping with timely goals. Has easily been the best faceoff man on the team in recent weeks. (Grade: B+)
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: C+
WINGERS

Steve Bégin

  • Age: 29
  • Current Salary: $1.225 million
  • Role: Grinder, energy winger, agitator
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Has played decently on the whole but appears to have lost a step. Is being outperformed by Tom Kostopoulos and is overpaid for what he brings to the table. (Grade: C)
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Has returned from injury reinvigorated, regaining the physicality and work ethic that made him an unsung hero in previous years. Seems to have found a niche playing on the fourth line with Kostopoulos and Smolinski. (Grade: A-)
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: B
Mathieu Dandenault
  • Age: 31
  • Current Salary: $1.75 million
  • Role: Fourth-line energy forward, fill-in defenceman
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Seems revitalized by his conversion to forward. Is tenacious on the puck in the offensive zone. Is overpaid for what he brings and sits dead last on the team in plus-minus (-9), disturbing for a defensive forward. (Grade: B-)
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Saw long stretches of inactivity down the stretch but made the most of his limited ice time, scoring key goals, skating hard, and creating chances for his line. (Grade: B+)
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: B
Christopher Higgins
  • Age: 24
  • Current Salary: $1.5 million
  • Role: Second-line LW
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Displays a tremendous work ethic and never stops battling for the puck. Is becoming an exceptional puck-carrier and stickhandler along the boards, which create more scoring chances for his linemates. Still has to finish plays with more consistency. Must also develop a harder and more accurate wrist shot. (Grade: A-)
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Is only just now recovering from an extended slump in which he seemed both unable to finish plays and uninterested in battling for the puck. Has perhaps the strongest two-way game of any scoring forward on the team, but must work hard along the boards to create chances. Is still prone to believing he’s a finesse player. (Grade: A-)
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: A-
Andrei Kostitsyn
  • Age: 22
  • Current Salary: $612,000
  • Role: First-line LW
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Had a tough time on the bench early in the season but has exploded into form over the past 15 games. Is playing with confidence and unleashing his deadly shot from every angle with increasing success. Is handling the pressure of top-line duty very well in his first full NHL season. (Grade: A)
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Finished the season strong with 53 points, exceeding all expectations. More importantly, has shown consistency and a willingness to score dirty goals from close range in spite of a phenomenal skill set that surpasses almost every other scoring forward on the team. (Grade: A)
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: A
Sergei Kostitsyn
  • Age: 20
  • Current Salary: $560,000
  • Role: Rookie scoring winger
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Has played solid hockey since his callup, looking comfortable despite his youth and lack of seasoning. Astounding vision for such a young player. Needs to bulk up and play with a more physical edge to elevate his game to the next level. (Grade: A-)
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Displays an uncanny ability to find his linemates with seeing-eye passes. Plays an intensely physical game and doesn’t back down from anyone. Has a bad habit of taking unnecessary offensive-zone penalties. (Grade: A-)
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: A-
Tom Kostopoulos
  • Age: 28
  • Current Salary: $900,000
  • Role: Grinder, energy winger, penalty-killer
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Hard worker who delivers decent value for the price tag. Is willing to stand up for his teammates when needed. (Grade: B )
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Provides the same steady, hard-working fourth-line presence he has delivered all season long. Not much of a fighter but has no hesitation taking one for the team nonetheless. Compensates for his overall lack of skill with sheer hard work and determination. (Grade: B )
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: B
Alex Kovalev
  • Age: 35
  • Current Salary: $4.5 million
  • Role: First-line RW, mentor, marquee forward
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Has rebounded from a poor 06-07 season to lead the team to its current position in the conference. Comes to play night in and night out; is possibly the most consistent player on the team! Has simplified his game which is translating into the team lead in points and goals (almost PPG). Is mentoring the younger players and helping them elevate their game. Seems to be able to will his way to goals at crucial times during games. (Grade: A+)
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Finished an 82-game season at the same high level at which he started it, generating points, setting up his linemates, elevating his play at crucial moments to swing momentum to his team, and leading by example game in and game out. Won’t win the Hart Trophy, but is definitely his team’s MVP. (Grade: A+)
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: A+
Guillaume Latendresse
  • Age: 20
  • Current Salary: $850,000
  • Role: Triggerman, net-crasher, future power forward
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Had a disappointing start to the season but has recently gained confidence and started to play with more aggression and authority around the net. Is willing to score garbage goals and is showing more maturity in dealing with limited ice time. Must still improve his skating and his ability to use his linemates. Should be more consistently strong on the puck for a player his size. Owns an underrated wrist shot from close range. (Grade: B+)
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Has started to assert himself more physically down the stretch, using his big frame to create turnovers and scoring chances for his line. Must still improve his conditioning and skating in the offseason. (Grade: B+)
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: B+
Michael Ryder
  • Age: 27
  • Current Salary: $2.95 million
  • Role: Triggerman
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Has struggled tremendously to score throughout most of the season. Has gotten away from his skills and strengths but recent performance suggests he may actually be a better fit as a third or second-line winger. Must have a strong second half to command good money on the UFA market. (Grade: C-)
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Has fought his way out of a prolonged slump to regain some of his scoring touch. Is starting to shoot the puck with more confidence but must still shoot more often instead of stickhandling his opportunities away. Has recently displayed a physical dimension to his game that could be valuable in the postseason. (Grade: B+)
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: B-
DEFENCEMEN

Francis Bouillon

  • Age: 31
  • Current Salary: $1.875 million
  • Role: 5th defenceman
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Delivers solid hits but is too small to effectively control bigger forwards behind the net. Doesn’t generate the points to warrant his salary but isn’t strong enough defensively to compensate. (Grade: C-)
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Has experienced a definite resurgence in the second half of the season, playing a smart, heavy-hitting, and hard-working game on the backend. Provides veteran depth, experience, and leadership by example. (Grade: A-)
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: B-
Patrice Brisebois
  • Age: 36
  • Current Salary: $700,000
  • Role: Reserve defenceman
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Has played within his capabilities despite a long injury layoff and is still sharp at making crisp breakout passes from the defensive zone. Is effective in a reduced role and great dollar value for his skill set. Is no longer an every-game player but still makes a positive contribution to the team. (Grade: B )
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Reduced to a reserve role but quietly does his job without complaints. Is a competent and experienced fill-in, but age and injury limit his ability to be effective in more than a short-term capacity. (Grade: B )
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: B
Josh Gorges
  • Age: 22
  • Current Salary: $495,000
  • Role: 6th defenceman, substitute top-pairing defenceman
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Has dramatically improved his play in recent weeks but still tends to shy away from physical contact. Must make better use of his D partner in the defensive zone instead of trying to do everything himself. Still makes a few too many mistakes for a bubble player with no particular area of strength. (Grade: B )
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Has excelled above and beyond expectations in a third-pairing role. Plays both ends of the ice with increasing confidence and has done a fine job filling in for an injured Mike Komisarek. Isn't the biggest defenceman but no longer backs down from physical contact along the boards. (Grade: A )
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: A-
Roman Hamrlik
  • Age: 33
  • Current Salary: $5.75 million
  • Role: No. 2 defenceman
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Brings tremendous stability to the second pairing, along with the ability to move the puck. Rarely gets rattled in the defensive zone and makes intelligent plays to start the attack in transition. Is not afraid to take on anyone in the corners for the puck. Could generate more points, given his salary. (Grade: A-)
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: The odd pair of lacklustre games aside, has maintained the same high performance level in the second half, despite a number of different defense partners (O'Byrne, Streit, Brisebois) down the stretch. Could still stand to generate more points for his contract but has proven to be an invaluable steadying backend presence through 82 games. (Grade: A-)
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: A-
Mike Komisarek
  • Age: 25
  • Current Salary: $1.5 million
  • Role: Shutdown stay-at-home defenceman
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Displays tremendous grit, energy, and aggression in his play. Never shies away from putting his body on the line for the team and has learned when and how to deliver big hits without taking himself out of the play. Faces the league’s top players night after night but is still fourth on the team in overall plus-minus (+5). Is slowly developing as a puck-mover. (Grade: A)
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Energy levels have dipped somewhat, owing to the grinding, physical style he plays every night. Struggles occasionally when covering fast, skilled forwards. Still a towering physical presence on most nights. (Grade: A-)
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: A-
Andrei Markov
  • Age: 28
  • Current Salary: $5.75 million
  • Role: No. 1 defenceman, PP quarterback
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Has effectively erased any doubts about whether signing him over Sheldon Souray was the right move with a strong first half. Is jumping into the play with more confidence and seems to relish the offensive responsibility placed on his shoulders. One of the best positional defencemen in the league and an underrated stickhandler. (Grade: A)
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Point production has slowed in the second half, but well-compensated by quiet, steady defensive play, and an increasing confidence in his own ability to move the puck. Is arguably the best puck-handling defenseman in the league behind Lidstrom and Niedermayer. Finished the season with 58 points, showing everyone he was worth signing over Souray. (Grade: A)
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: A
Ryan O’Byrne
  • Age: 20
  • Current Salary: $590,000
  • Role: 4th defenceman
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Has struggled tremendously in his role due to his lack of experience at the NHL level. Is often out of position and hasn’t yet learned how to use his size effectively on the boards or in front of the net. Is prone to brain cramps in his own end. Needs more seasoning in Hamilton before he can contribute positive minutes on the second pairing. (B-)
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Still playing over his head on most nights, but has developed a more physical style in recent weeks as he learns when and how to deliver big hits without taking himself out of the play. Needs to be in position more often in his own zone, and must avoid making poor decisions with the puck when pressured. Is adjusting as well as can be expected, given his role and his inexperience. (Grade: B+)
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: B
Mark Streit
  • Age: 29
  • Current Salary: $600,000
  • Role: PP point man, 4th-line forward, fill-in defenceman
  • Jan. 7 Evaluation: Is a tremendously versatile player capable of filling in a multitude of role. Is quietly on pace for a 50-point season despite bouncing between defense and forward. Lacks a physical edge to his play which makes him a liability on defence at even strength. Struggles to hold the line on the power play and can be pressured into mistakes in the defensive zone. Provides tremendous dollar value for his versatility and point production. (Grade: A-)
  • Apr. 8 Evaluation: Growing confidence in his playmaking abilities has allowed him to become a dominant force on the power play, finishing the season tied for first on the team in assists. Is perhaps the most adept at carrying the puck into the offensive zone on the power play. Still better-suited to forward at even strength. (Grade: A+)
  • Final Regular-Season Grade: A
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest FREDDYBEACH HAB

I like your post Weep I believe it to be very accurate except for one, and that is Ryder. I'm not so sure he's come out of his slump yet, but I do appreciate the hard work and physical player that he has become. Eventually he will find a balance between the two and be an exceptional player. I would give him a grade of C+

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest habsfan321

It might be easier to copy paste this... Not everyone is going to write 8 pages, but props to weepingminotaur, it was an interesting read... Maybe a rating (B+) and one sentence to explain? (Just a suggestion!)

I didn't include D'Agostini, Stewart, and Chipchura because they weren't regulars this year, just callups. If you want to add them in go ahead.

PS: I'll post my ratings later... (I was going to do them now, but I have to go all of a sudden...)

Forwards

22 Steve Bégin :

54 Mikhail Grabovski :

21 Christopher Higgins :

11 Saku Koivu :

46 Andrei Kostitsyn :

74 Sergei Kostitsyn :

6 Tom Kostopoulos :

27 Alex Kovalev :

40 Maxim Lapierre :

84 Guillaume Latendresse :

14 Tomas Plekanec :

73 Michael Ryder :

20 Bryan Smolinski :

Defenceman

51 Francis Bouillon :

71 Patrice Brisebois :

25 Mathieu Dandenault :

26 Josh Gorges :

44 Roman Hamrlik :

8 Mike Komisarek :

79 Andrei Markov :

3 Ryan O'Byrne :

32 Mark Streit :

Goalies

41 Jaroslav Halak :

31 Carey Price :

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like your post Weep I believe it to be very accurate except for one, and that is Ryder. I'm not so sure he's come out of his slump yet, but I do appreciate the hard work and physical player that he has become. Eventually he will find a balance between the two and be an exceptional player. I would give him a grade of C+

Hmm, you could be right. Maybe I am being optimistic in Ryder's case. But it seems to me that on the whole, he is no longer in the torpor of the first half. He is skating, working, and making things happen, either for himself or for his linemates.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Innis_Mor

All I can say is WOW!!, WM. Super, super job. I cannot really find any assessment that is in any way much different than what I would opine. Just great work on your part; you sure know our Habs!! The average grades across all the players lean towards a "Grand Class of 2008", but you know, they deserve it!

Thanks for this, Weep.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Rygar
Hmm, you could be right. Maybe I am being optimistic in Ryder's case. But it seems to me that on the whole, he is no longer in the torpor of the first half. He is skating, working, and making things happen, either for himself or for his linemates.

I'll agree with this assessment. His end of season play has been far beyond his play from Sept - Dec, easily. It's good to see the whole team working hard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest FREDDYBEACH HAB
Hmm, you could be right. Maybe I am being optimistic in Ryder's case. But it seems to me that on the whole, he is no longer in the torpor of the first half. He is skating, working, and making things happen, either for himself or for his linemates.

He certainly seemed of late to be coming around and evolving into a more complete player. I was very disappointed when he was injured, I fear it may set him back again. I believed he was on his way to peaking during the playoffs. I hope this hasn't set him back and he'll pick up right where he left off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Rygar
He certainly seemed of late to be coming around and evolving into a more complete player. I was very disappointed when he was injured, I fear it may set him back again. I believed he was on his way to peaking during the playoffs. I hope this hasn't set him back and he'll pick up right where he left off.

I second that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest LarryRobinson

Wow Weeping, nicely done, down here you'd be the top guy at ESPN.

Here's my abridged version

22 Steve Bégin : intangible toughness, gritty, played his part all season when healthy B+

54 Mikhail Grabovski : immaturity showed on the west coast trip, still needs a full season, showing signs that he belongs but has not done enough to deserve much more than a B-

21 Christopher Higgins : appears to challenge himself every night to perform better, stats show it, leadership role emerging as a young but experienced NHLer B+

11 Saku Koivu : Would be an A for anyone else, but he was off on several nights earlier in the season when Kovy's line dominated. Still bring the heart and intangibles, plus he was getting his points in the second half B

46 Andrei Kostitsyn : showing all the signs of a top flight winger A

74 Sergei Kostitsyn : Impressed, needs to fine tune his play A-

6 Tom Kostopoulos : Was more or less just a body on the checking line, had some shorthanded glory moments, did we expect anything more? probably not B

27 Alex Kovalev :A+ obviously

40 Maxim Lapierre : really liked how he stepped into the skilled agitator role, plays with a spark on a nightly basis, A-

84 Guillaume Latendresse : like Koivu would be non-existent at times, while I like his shooting ability I look at our youth and think he's the most expendable, if I think that I cant be that pleased with his play B-

14 Tomas Plekanec : A how much of this was Kovy, not that much, the kid can play.

73 Michael Ryder : C- sure he showed signs here and there, but lest we forget what we expect of him, he had a below average season.

20 Bryan Smolinski : like Kostopoulos, did we really expect anything more? I think he fit his role well B

51 Francis Bouillon : underrated in my book A-

71 Patrice Brisebois : eh he didnt do anything to grab my attention, this is a good thing B.

25 Mathieu Dandenault : Solid per the norm, showed veteran flexibility when he was riding the pine, I give him high marks for intangible maturity to make room on the bench for the kids A-

26 Josh Gorges : Very impressive first full year with us, was given a lot of responsibility and played up to the role A-

44 Roman Hamrlik : great signing, a rock on the blue line, the quiet D-man that anytime would covet, A

8 Mike Komisarek : I'll forget the occasional errant pass out of the zone, the kids a rock A

79 Andrei Markov : Love his vision and poise A

3 Ryan O'Byrne : See Gorges comments B+

32 Mark Streit : was my fantasy team's secret weapon, and for that alone A-

41 Jaroslav Halak : performed admirably when called upon A

31 Carey Price : keeps on impressing and looks to be gaining in confidence and poise, has a team who lost their #1 mid-season believing in him after only 20 games, shades of Cam Ward anybody....A

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest habsfan321

Forwards

22 Steve Bégin : B+ : He obviously isn't the most talented player, but the energy he brings to the team, his love for the CH factor into the rating.

54 Mikhail Grabovski : C+ : The kid has loads of potential but he's not playing his game. Also, I didn't like the "ditch the team" Phoenix incident.

21 Christopher Higgins : A- : Some say he's inconsistent, but people seem to forget he still has 27 goals and 25 assists. Looking good at center, he still has potential.

11 Saku Koivu : B : Maybe not one of his best seasons, but I still think he brings alot to the team (leadership, ...)

46 Andrei Kostitsyn : A- What a breakout year for Andrei! He will become an NHL superstar in a couple years.

74 Sergei Kostitsyn : A- : His vision of the play is spectacular, but he has to shoot more.

6 Tom Kostopoulos : B : Not afraid to stand up for his team mates, plays his role well.

27 Alex Kovalev : A+ : He speaks for himself, what can I say? What a turn around since last year. I might be wrong, but I think I saw Ovechkin at Best Buy buying the new "Alex Kovalev, My Training Methods" DVD :lol:

40 Maxim Lapierre : B- : Good 3rd/4th line player, definately improved since last year, has potential, will improve with time.

84 Guillaume Latendresse : B- : Same as Lapierre...

14 Tomas Plekanec : A+ : Great center, huge improvement over last year, definately his breakout year.

73 Michael Ryder : D+ : I never liked this guy even when he was scoring 30 goals. He never passed the puck and is way too one dimentional. Almost sure he won't resign next year.

20 Bryan Smolinski : C+ : He's good on faceoffs, but not in any other department. Have to say though in the last 5-6 games, he has improved alot.

Defenceman

51 Francis Bouillon : B+ : He has the heart like Steve Begin, and isn't afraid to get physical even though he is kinda small.

71 Patrice Brisebois : C :Aside from veteran experience, he's not really such a good defenceman. With the whole "youth movement" he won't be back next year.

25 Mathieu Dandenault : B : I like his attitude; He doesn't complain if he's benched. Plus he's a versitile forward/defenceman. Good veteran experience for the playoffs.

26 Josh Gorges : B+ : What a steal from San Jose last season. He just gets better and better the more he plays.

44 Roman Hamrlik : A+ : Rarely makes mistakes, great for developing youngsters. Great offseason aquisition by Bob Gainey.

8 Mike Komisarek : A : Solid, physical defenceman goes great with Markov

79 Andrei Markov : A : Smart, reliable defenceman goes great with Komi and an asset on the powerplay.

3 Ryan O'Byrne : B- : He's still developing but he makes a lot of mistakes. He is improving though...

32 Mark Streit : A- : Great powerplay asset, versatile forward/defenceman.

Goalies

41 Jaroslav Halak : A- : One of the best backup goalies in the NHL, hasn't complained about ice time...

31 Carey Price : A : Makes goaltending look easy. Amazing confidence and fears nothing. Superstar in the making.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest GreekHockeyCoach

My thoughts:

GOALTENDERS

Jaroslav Halak

Here's another young goalie with tremendous talent that in a few years can be a number 1 goalie for some NHL team.

B

Carey Price

What more can be said about the kid. NHL first star of the week, he has really stepped up his game since Cristo was traded. He silenced all the doubters and made believers out of many of us. For that, and his stellar play down the stretch when it really mattered, he gets an A+ from me.

CENTERS

Mikhail Grabovski

I really want this kid to do well. He's brillant at times but average the majority of the time. He hasn't made the type of impact on this team that I expected when he was recalled. I'm hoping with experience he can be better next year. Overall I have to give him a C+

Saku Koivu

This is where I'm a little biased because I've always admired and praised Saku. Even though he's shared the leadership role with Kovy, I still believe that Saku is the heart and soul of this team. He's not as fast or as young as he once was but I still feel he's one of the hardest workers on the team. What he lacks in size he makes up with his heart. Saku is still an A+ in my book.

Maxim Lapierre

Call me crazy but I still think that this kid is a clone of Dale Hunter. A prolific aggitator with a scoring touch and good sense for the game. He has really stepped up his game down the stretch and has been impressive in key games when we needed a spark. There were times when his line was playing like the number 1 line and that is due to the energy that Maxim brings every game. He gets an A from me.

Tomas Plekanec

I agree with Weep that he's struggled down the stretch offensively but has been a vital part on our new found success on the penalty kill. I still feel that someone with this type of explosive speed and scoring touch will be an important part of our success in the playoffs. A consistent hard worker regardless of the situation, Tomas gets an A from me.

Bryan Smolinski

Weep, I quoted you because I couldn't have said it better myself.

Experienced an execrable six weeks to start the calendar year, showing little determination or effort on the ice and occasionally losing his starting spot to younger players, but picked up his game towards the end of February, and has since been a steady, effective defensive presence, chipping with timely goals. Has easily been the best faceoff man on the team in recent weeks. (Grade: B+)

WINGERS

Steve Bégin

Trully one of the unsung heroes on this team. A total team player and IMO one of the best agitators in the game today. Steve will be a huge factor in the series against Boston. I give him an A for his effort and hard work everytime he's in the lineup.

Mathieu Dandenault

I feel that Mathieu has been a total disappointment this year and I feel alot has to do with his diminished role on this team. However, as a veteran and as a true professional with 3 stanley cup rings, one would expect him to have performed better and re-earn his spot on this team. C- from me.

Christopher Higgins

As was mentionned, Chris is one of the best two way players in the league. I also feel that he's been led to believe that he's a scorer and finesse player because we put him in that situation. He played on the top and most productive line all of last year and it's hard not to let that go to your head. Regardless, he's a leader, a very hard worker and loyal to our cause. He gets an A from me.

Andrei Kostitsyn

A+ from me. One of the brightest spots on this young Habs team that has us saying that the future is bright. A perfect fit with Kovy and Pleks and I can't wait to see this kid in a Hab's uniform in 2-3 years from now. In my opinion he'll be an 80-100 point guy for the majority of his career.

Sergei Kostitsyn

Reminds me of a young Saku Koivu, excellent playmaking abilities and speed and not afraid to hit or be hit. At only twenty he's one impressive young player. I can't wait to see him grow up in a Habs jersey. He gets an A

Tom Kostopoulos

Total team player and like Begin is an agitator and always ready to take one for the team. I would love to see Tom excel and I hope Gainey keeps him around for a while as he's perfect for the role that he's been assigned. A, from me.

Alex Kovalev

Team MVP. We wouldn't be here without him. Enough said. A+++++++++++++

Guillaume Latendresse

Gui took alot of heat this season from alot of fans on this forum and I could never see a valid argument for all the negative comments. He's a big assertive player that will get better with experience. I agree that his conditionning needs to be better and he needs to get faster but he has by no means hurt this team. We'll be seeing alot more of Lats in the future so get used to it people. He gets a B+ from me.

Michael Ryder

Mike had a rough year. He was asked to become a two way player and it's hurt his scoring. He seems to have found his balance as of late and is contributing heavily to the Habs success. He's an impact player that will surprise many in the playoffs. Keep your head high Mike, you've handled yourself with class and dignity all year while everyone was trashing you. B+

DEFENCEMEN

Francis Bouillon

A tough rugged defenseman that I've always respected. Hits hard and hits often and is not afraid to drop the gloves. He gets a B+ from me.

Patrice Brisebois

I'm happy that Breezer was brought back to Montreal to finish up his career. A top defenseman in his prime and even with his limited playing time this year you have to congratulate him on his positive attitude and for his attitude towards the younger players. B+

Josh Gorges

For me, Josh has been on the biggest surprises this year. Even though he's small, as of late he's becoming the total package. He can hit, get hit and moves the puck really well. A

Roman Hamrlik

As solid as they come. Great signing in the offseason, my hat's off to Gainey for this one. Hammer has proven that he's a blue chip d-man in the NHL and has been an integral part of our success this year. A+ for Hammer.

Mike Komisarek

Bone crushing hits, sacrifices his body to block shots, plays fearless hockey and is exciting to watch. Komi is a fine example of homegrown talent that has evolved beautifully into one of the game's fiercest competitors. A+

Andrei Markov

I'll get heat for this but in my opinion, Andrei is the best d-man in the game today. I know about the Lindstrom argument but I see Markov as the best. A+++

Ryan O’Byrne

Can't wait for this kid to bulk up and get another season of experience behind him. He's be a force to reckon with in an few years. What's good is that he's gaining valuable experience without hurting us one bit, on some nights he actually looks like one of the best D out there. Keep it up Ryan. A-

Mark Streit

A+ for Mark. An integral part of our powerplay, I consider Mark to be the most versatile player in the league. Just like Weep, I like him better on forward for the 5 on 5 and back on D for the PP. What a career year he's had, too bad we'll lose him to free agency because we won't be willing to pay him the same money that some other teams will throw at him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest old-time Habs fan

very fair assessment, Weep,

none too low and none too steep;

while one might argue on a point,

you've very well summed up the joint!

The team, of course, deserves an A,

in summary of its stellar play;

because ALL players did their part,

we have a team that's just ALL HEART!

GO HABS...FOR THE CUP!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest jeff33

whew ok heres my stab at it.

FORWARDS

Plekanec: A: i knew he would break out this year, we knew he was a hard worker with good 2 way ability, this year he showed us what he could do with his skill. too bad he got that virus, hes had a hard time coming back otherwise i might have given him the plus, but an A for sure.

A. Kostitsyn: A+: we all seem to agree about this kid, very very exciting young player. fantastic year, not only does he have the skills AND the work ethic and focus to use them productively, he backchecks and forechecks very hard, and isnt afraid to go get in front of the net and has several dirty goals this year.

Kovalev[/b]: A+++ : we all wondered what could happen if kovalev could get focused and play hard determined well rounded hockey with all that skill. now we know. deserves all the praise he has gotten this year, deserves to be wearing that C in koivu's absence.

Koivu: B+ : just falls short of the A for me, i was hoping he would have another big year, although he didnt have ryder getting 30 for him he still looked off on many nights so i cant quite give him the A. that being said he is still a great captain and contributed his share offensively despite not having his best year, full credit to him.

Higgins: B+ : didn't have the offensive explosion many thought he would, but i wasn't one of those many so i would have been satisfied with his hard working two way game plus some offense, which chris provided very nicely for most of the year. he had a stretch of ineffectiveness for a few weeks and for that i cant give the A, but has finished very strong with exactly the kind of performance we hope for from him.

Ryder: C : up until the last few weeks of the year i would have given him a D at best and i think thats generous at that. ryder looked dreadful until at least halfway through the season, no other way to put it. got away from his strengths was not only invisible for it but was actually a lock to make a bad pass or turn the puck over trying to stickhandle too much. on the plus side, he did manage to finish the year much better than he started, getting a few goals, throwing hits and getting back to his strengths, finding dead ice to post up in and looking to put pucks on net. i admire his effort, but still dont think hes top 6 on this teams forwards even with his resurgance. hopefully continues to work hard and be a contributor in the playoffs.

S. Kostitsyn: A+ : im giving sergei the plus here because for him to just step in at his age and look as good as he has is to me incredible. he still has fine tuning to do, great raw skill to develop at this level, and still takes some dumb penalties, but he has made himself impossible to send down since being called up and adds a great dimension to our forward corps. great passer and stickhandler, great vision, great shot which he will learn to use more, great defensively, and tough. we are blessed to have these brothers, they are for real. cant wait to see how SK does next year.

Grabovski: B : didnt get to see too much of misha this year because we stayed so healthy. shows flashes of brilliance, and flashes of shortcomings. really good speed, stickhandling and passing, could turn out to be a good player, time will tell. small guy though, and not great in the circle. i thought he did a pretty good job in the games he has played, solid B effort.

Dandenault: B : Dandy had a great start to the year, started to level off and was pushed down the depth chart. has stepped in lately and been very useful the last few games. good veteran guy to have on the team, for his age has had a pretty decent year IMO. gets a B for usefulness, we will be happy to have his experience in the playoffs, especially if we run into injury. couple of timely goals this year as well.

Latendresse: B+ : thought he started the year as a pylon, i was one of the ones clamouring for him to be in hamilton, but he has built on a bad start and shown some good signs of progress as the year has gone on. using his body better, creating some offense, becoming more defensively responsible. has been a positive contributor for a while now IMO

Lapierre: A : yes im giving max an A, since he was recalled has looked noticeably better than last year, showing he has been working hard to be in the NHL. he is like a mini begin out there. great agitator, fast skater, he just works and works. very happy with max, plays his role very well, i think he will be an important guy in our playoff run.

Begin: B: tough year, injured often so cant give full marks, but an A for the way he has finished the year. really hope he stays healthy, steve is a guy you do not want to play against. he moves his butt, smashes anyone that he can, blocks shots fearlessly and is great on PK.

Smolinski[/b]: B : earned a B with his play down the stretch to the end, he was a bum for the first half of the year and did nothing but make me cry over losing bonk. has been great in the circle lately though, and a very useful player and veteran presence, good defensively and even chipping in with some big goals. another guy we will definetly appreciate having in the playoffs.

Kostopolous: A : Tom gets an A from me, ive never seen him take a game off, and for what hes supposed to do he does it with all his heart. skates hard, throws as many hits as he can, and sticks up for his teammates besides not beinga true enforcer. has taken a beating for the CH, and is looking really good on that 4th line with begin and smokes. full marks from me

DEFENCE

Markov: A+ : Andrei has stamped it this year, he is one of the elite defneceman in the entire world. great all around player, not one complaint from me. deserves an A, hope he keeps it when koivu comes back.

Komisarek: A+ : komi is not going to be an unknown for much longer, even though he is still underrated. first in blocked shots AND hits!?! are you kidding me?! give him the masterton please. huge part of our success this year

Hamrlik A+ : 3 defenseman earning an A+ with their play = 1st in the conference. i was so scared hammer might havbe been niinima part 2. (well maybe not THAT useless but...) never got to see him polay in calgary, but wow has he been solid. just great, all year long, barely any bad games. terrific signing

Gorges A+ : yep him too. same thing as SK though, not that he had as big a year as komi and markie, not that he was as solid all year as hammer since he was on the bench a lot, but for his performance down the stretch...first earning a regular shift with solid play by working hard and staying positive, then stepping in HUGELY when we really needed someone to step up, gorges deserves all the praise in the world. wish he got a goal in the last few games as he was jumping into the play and looking smooth doing it. cant wait to see how he does in teh playoffs and next year

Bouillon B+ : slow start for soupy, but built on it throughout the year, worked hard and finished the year very strong. cube plays like he is 6'4 back there, great guy to have on your 3rd pairing when hes on his game, and hes been on it for the last while. cant wait til he gets back

O'Byrne B+ : was putting in a solid B effort since being called up, not trying to do too much, although he was looking like a rookie a few times a game at the start....has been coming along nicely though and showing more confidence in his ability, throwing bigger hits and getting involved in the offense while still playing a pretty good conservative responsible game. looks like nowhere but up for rhino

Streit A : not DOMINANT at fwd or d, so cant give the plus, but wow what a versatile useful guy to have on the team. quietly put up 60 points, how the heck did that happen?! great year streit

Brisebois: B : many thought the breeze would be horrible but he filled holes admirably when called upon. not a bad year at all for patrice, even i mocked the signing but he did just fine i think, especially for what we paid.

GOALIES

Price: A+ : didnt think he was ready, and really didnt like the move to trade huet. wow has he just played phenomenal since that happened. calder finalist for sure, full marks, kid is for real.

Halak: A : barely got to play, but sure made it count when he did!!! hahaha i like halak, very good young goalie himself, on any other team would have been playing much more.

the first place habitants!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Forwards

22 Steve Bégin : B(looks to be returning to his old form when he plays, but injured too much)

54 Mikhail Grabovski : C (shows some promise, but still hasn't done much)

21 Christopher Higgins : B+ (good defensively, proving his is a top six player, but inconstant)

11 Saku Koivu : A- (overall decent season, but a little low statistically)

46 Andrei Kostitsyn : A- (really breaking out into a great offensive forward, but still has a ways to go)

74 Sergei Kostitsyn : B+ (amazing for his age/experience, should be an "A" next season)

6 Tom Kostopoulos : B (good fourth line player)

27 Alex Kovalev : A+ (no explanation needed)

40 Maxim Lapierre : B+ (exceeded my excpectations this year - solid third/fourth liner)

84 Guillaume Latendresse : C+ (finally starting to make some improvements, but still developing slowly and only useful offensively beside Koivu)

14 Tomas Plekanec : A- (really exceeding all expectations)

73 Michael Ryder : B- (not a great season, but still wasn't as bad as some people said either, somewhat more well rounded now)

20 Bryan Smolinski :C+ (brutal season with a strong finish)

Defenceman

51 Francis Bouillon : B (good third pairing dman, got back to two seasons ago, but overpaid)

71 Patrice Brisebois : C+ (decent reserve dman, showed some promise, but his career looks to be almost over

25 Mathieu Dandenault : C (decent reserve player, but did nothing really special)

26 Josh Gorges : B+ (great pre-season, slow start, but lately has been excellent)

44 Roman Hamrlik : A- (didn't make the headlines, but very important part of our D - most well rounded dman on the team)

8 Mike Komisarek : A- (huge hitter, shot blocker, and probably our best defensive defenseman)

79 Andrei Markov : A (best offensive dman, solid defensively, lacks the physical edge, but otherwise continues to amaze)

3 Ryan O'Byrne : B- (shows lots of promise and starting playing better by the end of the season)

32 Mark Streit : B+ (great on the PP, still no better than 4th line player / reserve dman even strength)

Goalies

41 Jaroslav Halak : B+ (played well when called upon fo the most part, but didn't inspire confidence the way Price di)

31 Carey Price : A (average as a backup, played amazing as a starter - but this wasn't for a whole season, so I'm leaving off the "+"

Other

Carbo + Coaching Staff (I can't do individually): A: Questionable start, but great second half with this young team

Gainey + Timmins + Scouts + Other Management : A: This season largely due to young players they brought in / kept.

Gillette + Boivin A: Allowing Gainey to rebuild and spend close to the cap was very important for us

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest King-Carey-31

Carey Price: Seems to show alot of confidence when given the ball, and his play mirrors his confidence. His one weakness seems to be his inability to miss time, showing inconsistent play when played inconsistently, this can be seen at the beginning of the season when he played strongly during huets injury, but struggled after huet returned to the team, as well as when halak recorded a shutout and got back to back starts, his first game back he appeared shaky at times. All in all, he has lived up to the endless hype and has earned himself an A- in my books.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...