The Final Product: The Canadiens After the Deadline


Monday, was a very busy day for Montreal Canadiens General Manager, Marc Bergevin. He acquired 3 players, to help with the team’s playoff run.

A week after acquiring Devante Smith-Pelly from the Anaheim Ducks, in exchange for Jiri Sekac. Marc Bergevin made the first trade of the day on Monday, acquiring defense man Jeff Petry, from the Edmonton Oilers for a second and conditional 5th round pick. The pick can go as low as a 3rd rounder if the Habs win two playoff rounds, a 4th rounder if they win just one playoff round.

Jan 9, 2015; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; The Edmonton Oilers players celebrate a second period goal by defensemen Jeff Petry (2) against the Chicago Blackhawks at Rexall Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Petry is an unrestricted free agaent at the end of the season.  He was the number one defenseman in Edmonton, a responsibility that Petry wasn’t able to take on. While, he may not be a top pairing defenseman, he still can help the Canadiens on the second pairing with Gilbert or Beaulieu.  He has a terrible -25 rating, but coming from the last place team in the West to the Eaastern Conference leaders should hopefully improve between now and the end of the season.

He currently has an even rating through his first 3 games as a Hab. He has 4 goals and 15 points so far this season. Petry should be able to stabilize the Habs’ defensive core for the playoffs, and if he does his jon well enough, it may earn hiom an extension with the Habs. During his first week playing for the Habs, Petry still trying to get used to the system. He has spent his time on the second pairing with Tom Gilbert, averaging just under 22 minutes a game. He has yet to register his first point with the Canadiens, however he came close Thursday night against the Kings. That shows his apatation the system is coming along.

Nov 29, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Buffalo Sabres right wing Brian Flynn (65) scores the winning goal against Montreal Canadiens goalie Dustin Tokarski (35) during a shootout at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

The second acquisition Marc Bergevin made was acquiring depth forward Brian Flynn from the Buffalo Sabres for a 5th round pick in 2016. Flynn will add speed, skill and can offer an upgrade to the 4th line centre which was previously occupied by face off specialist, Manny Malholtra which is all he can do. He currently has 5 goals and 17 points in 56 games. He will become a restricted free agent at the end of the season. He could very well return as a depth guy next season for the Habs. His role here is much different than it was in Buffalo, where he was previously played upwards of sixteen minutes a night, which has been reduced to approximately ten minute a night.  He has played two games for the Habs, because unlike Petry, he was unable to make it to San Jose for Monday night’s game. He has quietly been doing his job on the 4th line, not being noticed very much.  The fact he is a right handed centre

Nov 28, 2014; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Torrey Mitchell (17) and Montreal Canadiens left wing Jiri Sekac (26) fight for position during the second period at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The last acquisition Marc Bergevin made, was another depth forward from Buffalo. This time he gave up a 7th and Jack Nevins for hometown boy, Torrey Mitchell. Like Petry, Mitchell’s contract ends after the season. He has been a great 3rd liner for the Sabres, potting 6 goals and 13 points in 53 games. Mitchell is a versatile forward who plays all 3 forward positions. He will provide the Habs with some extra depth, and play wherever he is needed in the bottom 6. The Greenfield Park native was very excited to come play for his childhood team. He has played 2 games so far. He has helped the 4th line develop scoring chances alongside newcomer, and ex-Sabres teammate Brian Flynn and Brandon Prust.

With the 2 depth forwards added in, the 4th line is a much better line than it was, with Bournival and Malholtra in those spots.

Overall, Marc Bergevin was able to address, the team’s needs by giving up no roster players, a few picks (none of which is a first round pick), and a prospect, that will never play in the NHL. He got his much needed top 4 defenseman in Petry, and some depth guys in Mitchell and Flynn. However, he was unable to get that top 6 scoring winger that the Habs need. Bergevin said that their weren’t any available on the market.

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The Habs are a defensive team. Michel Therrien says he likes to see his team win close 2-1 games.  This team is built  for a defensive style of play. Even more so now with the add of defensive depth forwards, and a top 4 defenseman, that were added this week.

Although they have a good enough defensive core to make a run, they need another player besides Pacioretty, to step up and score, if this team wants to win the Stanley Cup. They have the elite goalie in Carey Price, elite defensive pairing in Andrei Markov and PK Subban, and the elite scorer in Max Pacioretty. However, they need another scorer and an elite center to go all the way. David Desharnais is too small to be a top line centre during the Playoffs, we have seen this in previous playoff runs. Maybe Alex Galchenyuk can step up and be the solution for the playoffs right off the bat.

This team looks like they can possibly come out of the east, by winning close games. Will that be enough to win?  Time will tell as we “the fans” can only watch, wait and see if the Montreal Canadiens have enough to go all the way.

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