Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Your Canadiens for February 7, 2012

I haven't recapped general Habs news in a while, so a few bits and notes as the Canadiens prepare to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins this evening.

-Yesterday, the Canadiens sent forwards Aaron Palushaj and Ryan White down to the Hamilton Bulldogs. For White, this is just a conditioning stint, representing a final step in his long-awaited return to the line-up from a groin injury and sports hernia. The Bulldogs have a game tomorrow morning at 10 AM, which should be White's first match of the season assuming he has received sufficient clearance. Palushaj being sent down is a little surprising since he played a strong game on Sunday, even recording his first NHL point. More surprising is that after the move, there remain only 10 healthy forwards (plus swingman Yannick Weber) in Montreal. Is there another move on the horizon? Will we see a surprising return from Mike Blunden, Petteri Nokelainen, or Travis Moen? Moen and/or Blunden could be back in the line-up within the week, though I'd be surprised if any of the three dressed against Pittsburgh.

- If you missed it: Sunday also marked the one year anniversary of Scott Gomez's last regular or post-season goal. He did score 3 during this year's pre-season (and I'm sure he has scored some in practice), but it didn't stop fans on Sunday from singing him a chorus of Happy Birthday at various points of the game.

- Nathan Beaulieu was the hottest Canadiens' prospect this past weekend, putting up back to back 2 assist performances. With 34 points in 39 games, he is back on pace to eclipse the 45 points he produced in each of the last two seasons.

Just as productive was Patrick Holland, the prospect acquired from Calgary in the Mike Cammalleri trade. The 6'00, 175 lbs 20-year old has shattered his previous season's product by scoring 71 points through 51 games (62 pts in 71 games last year). He currently ranks 8th in WHL scoring, but is no bluechipper. It will be interesting to see how he adapts to the quicker game at the next level next season.

Hab prospect and London Knights captain Jarred Tinordi is a +31 this season while logging huge minutes for the CHL's top club. His +/- rating is tied for best in the Ontario Hockey League.

- The play of Habs' prospect defenseman Morgan Ellis since being traded to the Shawinigan Cataractes earned him the Prospect of the Month title from website Hockey's Future. Read about that here: http://www.hockeysfuture.com/articles/13732/hockeys_future_prospect_of_the_month_january2012/

- This bit comes from last week, but if you missed it, there was talk of the Habs possible relocating their AHL affiliate from Hamilton to Laval. The news got out there as Laval announced plans to build a new state-of-the-art arena. The update to this story is that, like what happened with Quebec City, the federal government refused to fund the project. A week ago Saturday, Quebec Premier Jean Charest said he would press Ottawa on the issue, but the availability of federal funding for the project remains unlikely.

No comments: