Canadiens Playoff Report Card
I thought it'd be interesting to see poster's letter grade opinions on how well they thought each of our players played in the playoffs. No need to criticize them as they are personal opinions!
Koivu (A) - Since he came back from his energy he played great, by far our most consistent forward in the playoffs.
Kovalev (B-) - He was great a few games and provided some big goals, but wasn't the same player he was during the regular season
Higgins (B-) - Great effort but missed sooo many scoring chances.
S. Kostitsyn (A-) - Excellent first playoff for Sergei, was physical and created many scoring opportunities. Can't wait to see this kid in a couple years. He is the real deal.
A. Kostitsyn (C+) - Showed glimpses of brilliance but wasn't very physical compared to his brother and missed alot of scoring opportunities also, he needs to play the right wing, he looks so much more comfortable on that side.
Plekanec (B) - Wasn't great vs. Boston but as the series went on vs. Philly he looked a lot more comfortable and was one of our best players in our last few games.
Begin (C) - Was great in the first series and showed lots of heart vs. Philly, but makes you wonder what could have been if he didn't get the penalty in game 4 (not trying to bash him!!!)
Smolinski (C) - Like Begin was great vs. Boston but didn't have a great series against Philly.
Kostopolous (A-) - Guy was a beauty, typical playoff player was excellent and even chipped in the odd time offensively.
Streit (D-) - Terrible all around, very disappointed with him in the playoffs.
Lapierre (C-) - Very inconsistent playoff, was good some games then terrible the next, needs to be put on the wing next year as he looks a lot better there.
Latendresse (C-) - Wasn't given much of a chance but did not crash the net as much as he should have, was inches away from winning us game 5 :(
Dandenault (F) - He can F off, better not see him in Canadiens' sweater again.
Gorges (A-) - Kid looked like a veteran out there, impresses me more each game.
Markov (C) - Definitely looked injured, missed many offensive chances and wasn't the same Markov we saw all year.
Komisarek (C-) - Many bonehead decisions and lack of physical play, also looked like injuries affected his play.
Hamrlik (C) - Was great at the beginning of the playoffs but wore down as they went on, too much was expected of him after Markov and Komi weren't playing well.
Brisebois (B) - Was great offensively and even though he made some brutal plays in the playoffs he still impressed me compared to what I saw from him during the regular season.
Bouillon (B+) - Was a warrior out there, threw many hits and was on arguably our best defensive pair with Gorges.
O'Byrne (B-) - Played minimal but didn't look out of place from what I saw.
Price (C+) - Was inconsistent but the kid is 20, give him time. He looked like an all-star some games and expect to see more of that as he matures. Was very impressed how he was able to rebound in the third period tonight after a horrible second.
Halak (B) - Played well considering he hadn't started since March.
Team Grade: fail
we have however gained much experience and hopefully it will guide us
Based on performance; ignoring age, potential and expectations going in...
S. Kostitsyn (C+)
A. Kostitsyn (B)
a little generous to some imo but pretty good.
Pleks would be a C+, similar to akost.
Streit would be an F in my books. Just a disaster at both ends of the rink and the pp.
Brisebois i think a C+, good start but got progressively worse.
Coaching probably a D. Frankly, just sat back and essentially rolled lines which i think hurt the team. It made no sense to see him respond after goals with his 3rd and 4th line.
Koivu (A) -
Kovalev (B+) -
Higgins (B) -
S. Kostitsyn (A-) -
A. Kostitsyn (B) -
Plekanec (B+) -
Begin (C-) -
Smolinski (C) -
Kostopolous (A-) -
Dandenault (N/A) F is too generous
Price (B) -
How many times did Brisebois pinch and then get beat horribly leading to a goal? The guys is a disaster, if he stays it's only because of his friends at the top.
S. Kostitsyn (B)
A. Kostitsyn (B)
Price (D-) :shakehead - very disappointing
I'm not gonna do the whole team but the biggest disappointment by far was Streit. But then again that could lower his price tag in the summer.
Price - D
I'll write up a long list of rankings later on tonight.
Based on my expectations going in:
Begin (A-): Tons of heart, a hit machine, and shot blocker. A costly penalty in game 4, but if the talented players on this team had half his heart, we would have won.
Dandenault (D): Sigh
Higgins (B+): A bit inconsistent, but overall very good effort. Showed leadership on the ice and battled hard. If he only had some more natural talent ...
Koivu (A): The captain and the best player during the playoffs. This is what leadership is about.
A. Kostitsyn (B-): Bigger than his brother Serge and yet afraid of his own shadow during most games. I expect him to learn a lot from this and be better next playoffs.
S. Kostitsyn (B+): Exceeded my expectations. Tenacious, gritty and creative - much more so than his more talented brother.
Kostopolous (A-): Warrior. I salute this man. One of the only guys who would consistently go to the net. Quick release too, and on target - too bad he can't pick corners. What can you do.
Kovalev (B): This guy gets way too much criticism for not being an elite superstar game after game - something he's never been. That said, I expected more from him considering his regular season and the fact that he saves some of his best stuff for the post-season. Disappointing.
Lapierre (C-): Inconsistent and invisible most of the time. I thought this guy was supposed to be somewhat of a superpest? Lack of grit, lack of desire. Take some lessons from Lucic.
Latendresse (C-): Not used a lot, but then again, there was a reason. This man needs to get a fire under his butt. Go to the net and use your size, Gui. We're not asking you to be Cam Neely and beat guys up and score 50, but come on, you gotta get a little dirtier.
Plekanec (C+): He said he played like a girl, and he's not wrong. He was pushed around both in the faceoff circle, in open ice, and in front of the net for long, long stretches. Not the same Pleky we saw in the regular season.
Ryder (n/a): Fairly invisible for the little he played.
Smolinski (B): Great against Boston, and not as good against Philly.
Streit (D+): Not built for the playoffs. Mentally and physically weak.
Bouillon (B+): Sadly for the team, he was probably one of the best blue liners. Good stuff, Franky.
Brisebois (C+): Better than the regular season, but such a riverboat gambler for someone who isn't even that creative offensively. Terrible coverage in his own zone too.
Gorges (B+): Really impressed me. Demonstrated a lot of poise and leadership on the ice. I hated to see Rivet go. This softens the blow. Well done, Josh. Just hit the damn net.
Hamrlik (C): Terrible. Outmuscled and outsmarted time and again.
Komisarek (B-): Probably still hurting because he played like it.
Markov (C+): Subpar performance. Lots of mental lapses and not nearly as strong as he normally is.
O'Byrne (C+): Not ready for prime time and not really that intimidating. He's young.
Price (C+): The pressure on this poor guy was ridiculous. That said, he is said to thrive on it, and yet he demonstrated that he is quite human. Can't fault him for that, but certainly he played below expectations and was dismissal at times.
Halak (B+): Great job coming into a very tough situation.
I guess I am going to be a little harder than most. When your playoff record is a dismal 5 wins and 7 losses I fail to see how anyone could rate an A.
Koivu gets a B
Kovalev gets a C
Kostopoulous gets a C
Georgos gets a C
The following get a grade of D - Kosty brothers, Plekanic, Bouillon, Brisebois, Hamrlak, Price, Halak
The remainder not listed all get the grade of F
Anyone who ranks Kovalev above Price was not watching the same games that I was. But then, I take into account that Kovy's game winner was only necessary because of his bonehead penalty.
I don't see how Saku gets a grade under "A". His clutch scoring along with his face-off winning was the only reason alot of these games were competitive.
Don't see how Hamrlik got a bad grade. He didn't have any break. He was alone playing a defensive game, trying to repair Brisebois's mistakes. Markov and Komisarek were not doing their job. The guy couldn't take it all for himself.
And I fail to see why is Kovalev a disappointment. He still is the best offensive player of our team in the playoffs. He scored a lot of important goals, and was there every time it counted (1G 1A again tonight).
Honestly... the team had such an identity going into the playoffs. I watched every game of yours during the playoffs and after every game it started to look like a bunch of great hockey players on different pages. I wouldn't say blame the coach but you did have some youth at some really important positions.
That habs identity just wasn't there at ALL during the Flyers series. It was unbelievably inconsistent.
S. Kostitsyn (B)
A. Kostitsyn (B-)
Just incredible. He finished the playoffs with 9 PTS over 7 GP and posted nearly 57% rating in the faceoff circle. He finished with a plus-one rating.
Without the stats, he worked his ass off to get us back in the this series.. and kept us on our toes in the Boston series.
This showed why SAKU KOIVU IS THE BEST PLAYER ON THE MONTREAL CANADIENS.
Somehow, Kovalev can manage to post post regardless if he is playing well or not. He finished with 11 PTS over 12 GP.. but had a horrendous minus-four rating.
Some games you could see the Kovalev from the Regular season, but for the most part.. nothing. He really seemed to lack any real drive and made some boneheaded plays that may have cost us a game or two.
Unlike Kovalev, Higgins had an effort (though I would of liked to see him crash the net more).. but the points weren't getting on the scoreboard. Over the 12 game stretch Higgins posted just 5 PTS while adding a plus-one rating.
In my opinion, the young Kostitsyn was our second best forward through the playoffs which speaks volume. He was sensational during the regular season and proved the best is yet to come during the playoffs.
During 12 playoff games, Kostitsyn posted 8 PTS and a plus-five (+5) rating.
His biggest downfall was penalties though posting 7 minor penalties over the course of the playoffs. Disappointing.. But still he played great.
Disappointing for the most part.
Scored 8 PTS over the 12 playoff games, while posting a minus-four rating.
He showed signs of greatness, but most of the time .. he just didn't look like himself. Maybe the first series took too much out of him.
Posted 9 PTS over 12 GP while posting a minus-one rating.
During the Boston series, I was shocked to see Plekanec ... no where. But as the playoffs wore on, Plekanec worked his respectable game back into our hearts.
His 55% in the faceoff circle was awesome.
He was solid, if unspectacular.
We can blame Begin all we want, but the fact was he was chipping in offensively (3 PTS) and was a plus-player (+1). He took a stupid penalty for the second year in a row, yeah.. but without Begin in the first round.. we may have not even been in a second round matchup.
He wasn't very good against Philly though.
Also, Begin lead ALL PLAYERS in the playoffs with 57 hits.
He was effective against Boston, but died down against Philadelphia. Made a horrible giveaway in a game against Philly which lead to a goal happening.
He was solid.
However, the biggest letdown was the fact that his faceoff percentage dropped huge.
In my opinion, the second best forward we had all playoffs. He scored some huge goals and made some great plays. He worked hard, created scoring chances, and kept his line on the offensive for a lot of the time. I loved him through the playoffs and have no problem locking up a fourth line spot for him next year. GO KOSTO!
There is no defending the game that Streit provided us in the playoffs. However, I am upset that people give Markov leeway due to injury, when it was quite clear that Streit wasn't even close to 100%. With a hip injury & a foot injury (that I doubt was completely healed).. Streit wasn't himself.
Again it's not an excuse, I'm just not going to be giving Markov or Komisarek leeway from injuries, if Streit isn't getting it.
You never knew what you were going to get shift from shift. I loved his game one shift and was left in question at later time. However, that may of had something to do with his linemates not performing.
He was rugged, dug, hit, and loved to do his thing though. I'm not disappointed with his effort at all.
See Lapierre, minus maybe the second last sentence, which he needed to do more of.
Far and away the worst player in the playoffs.. and maybe not only on the Montreal Canadiens.
Carbo's decision to play him so long (9 games!!) while posting a minus-three rating and zero offense.. was ridiculous.
Michael Ryder would of been a much better choice. Hell, JP Cote at forward would of been a better choice.
GRADE: F (If we can give a Z.. I'll give him that).
Didn't play enough to get a solid grade.. but I honestly thought he was playing well. He needed to shoot more. He posted a plus-one (+1) rating in his four games. Good effort.
Was our second best defenseman during the first series and easily our best defenseman during the second series. I really, really loved his game overall. He even chipped in with three points.
I say overall, he was our second best player.
For sure looked injured, but again if Streit is going to get judged without his injury factoring into things, Markov will be the same.
Posting just four points over 12 games and an even-rating, how satisfied can we be? He logged more ice-time than any player, and that may of been a huge mistake as teams were really taking too him as the playoffs rode on.
He made some great plays, but that was expected because he is just so smart with the puck. However, his game overall, was nothing short of horrible.
His physical game really picked up about Game #6 of the first round and he blocked a **** load of shots. He posted 3 points and a plus-three rating over 12 playoff games.
He was solid, if unspectacular like the regular season. Overall, it was good experience for him.. and of course, he wasn't 100%. I was happy, not thrilled.
Incredible, incredible first series aside from maybe one game.
The Flyers' series was different, but he was still probably a Top-3 defenseman on our team (not that that's saying much.
Three points and a minus-three over 12 games is not impressive for the Hammer.
Posted 6 PTS through 10 GP while adding a minus-three rating.
He was, by far, our most offensive defenseman but he still made some bonehead plays in his own zone.
Aside from a couple horrible games though, he was very, very good (considering expectations).
A true warrior and somehow, chipped in 3 PTS in 7 GP. It's funny how Bouillon and Brisebois had our best PTS per MIN ratio for defenseman.
I liked his game a lot during the last half of the year and the playoffs.. I'm confident with him in a Top-6 role next year.
Minimal playing time.
He made mistakes, but those were expected. He really needs to work on NOT icing the puck. He played well enough for a first timer.
Way too inconsistent. The team never knew what goalie they were getting in the Boston series.. and in the Philadelphia series, he was horrendous.
Posting a 2.78 GAA and a .901 SV% in the playoffs just isn't going to get it done. I don't even WANT to know the numbers were against Philly.
However, he's just 20-years old and this was a great experience for him. He's going to be incredible. The Price may not have been right this year, but it definitely will be in the near future.
With nearly a month off, I thought he played a very good game. He obviously had some cobwebs, but he made some huge saves to keep us in the game or give us a chance to do win.
I really hope that Halak gets a chance to steal the job from Price during training camp, because he really is that good. Maybe he will never be as good as Price.. but he definitely is a good one.
TEAM GRADE: B-
The day after the season's end
I'll add my season grades as well
Koivu (C-) (A) - Bad season, great playoffs
Kovalev (A) (B-) - Did score a few big goals, but a bit of a disappointment when compared his regular season
Higgins (D+) (D+) - This guy is a worse finisher than Bulis, its starting to look really pathetic. One of the guys who I wouldn't mind getting dealt this summer
S. Kostitsyn (C) (B) - Stepped up alot during the playoffs, nice to see
A. Kostitsyn (B) (C-) - Pretty much the opposite of his brother
Plekanec (B+) (F) - Great season, didn't show up in the playoffs, props to him for admitting it tho
Begin (D) (F) - Buy him out please. How many more season is this guy going to cost us with his stupid penalties in critical games ?
Smolinski (F) (C-) - Better in the playoffs, I still want him gone
Kostopolous (D+) (B-) - Nice job stepping up in the playoffs
Streit (B) (F) - Great season, but thats pretty much as far as it went. I would still re-sign him tho
Lapierre (D) (D-) - I don't really see what he's doing on a competitive NHL frankly
Latendresse (D) (D) - Consistent in his mediocrity, I still don't see why he had to be rushed to the NHL 2 years after his entry, and I'm starting to think we might have turned a potential 1st liner into a role player by doing it
Dandenault (C-) (F) - We should have bought him out last summer
Gorges (B-) (B) - Great season, great playoffs
Markov (B) (F) - I'd like to see where and how he got injured.
Komisarek (B-) (D+) -If Markov is playing badly, what chance does Komi have ?
Hamrlik (B) (D) - Apparently not a playoff performer
Brisebois (F) (B) - The player who stepped up the most for the entire playoffs. Should have been promoted on the 1st PP unit in Striet's place. I'm not sure if I want him back next year tho, even as 7th D
Bouillon (C) (C) - Good bounce back season all-around.
O'Byrne (D) (F) - Not ready for NHL playoff action
Price (C+) (F) - Pretty much given the starting job on a silver platter from day one of training camp. Eventually (and predictably enough) fell apart under pressure.
Halak (?) - Rookie gets called up in the middle of a brutal slide out of the playoffs, brings his team back from virtual elimination to within one point of the playoffs, then gets benched for the last game. Doesn't get a chance to make the team out of camp the year after because Gainey had already given the job to Price. Spends 3 months in the AHL, gets called up, sits on the bench for 11 games, gets sent back down. Gets called back up at the trade deadline, has amazing numbers during the few games he gets to play. Gets thrown into an away game with his team down 2-1, losses despite vastly outplaying Price, gets benched, and watches his team lose an elimination game they should have won due to awful goaltending for a 2nd year in a row. I honestly don't know how to grade that. He reminds me of the guy who gets called to an interview just because the company wants to make it look like there was an opening in the first place, he can try all he wants, its obvious the Canadiens organization has their candidate already.
Ryder (D-) (D-) Good luck with your new team, Mike, thanks for all the goals over the years
Gainey (B) Good management, I still stand behind him on the Huet trade, and I am glad he didn't overpay to get Hossa. I am a bit dissapointed he never gave Halak a chance to prove himself after what he did the season before
Carbo (C) (F) I've never seen a coach get so badly owned ever before the Boston series.
Plus/Minus Ratings Habs 2008 Playoffs
Did anybody else notice that Sergei was a +5 during the playoffs..the highest among all Canadiens players?? This is even more impressive considering only 7 Habs were "+" players during the playoffs.
S. Kost +5
Ryder +1 (ya even i was surprised)
+5, but had tons of bad penality tho... However i like the rest of his game during the playoff, he really played with passion, a bit like koivu.
I just love his passion...but as mentionned, he needs to contain it sometimes so that he takes less penalties. I'm sure he will take a lot less next year.
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