Montreal Canadiens 2019-20 Season Report Card Grades

MONTREAL, QC - DECEMBER 11: Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - DECEMBER 11: Montreal Canadiens (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /
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. . DALE WEISE. C. The Dutch Gretzky started the season in Laval, but ended the season in Montreal, playing in 23 NHL games this season. He started off his NHL pretty well, bringing a physical presence to the fourth line. However, his play was not consistently that of an NHL player, seeming rather invisible for a handful of games. He accumulated a goal and four assists in what may very well have been his final season in both Montreal and the NHL as a whole.

C+. Jordan Weal performed brilliantly after his arrival in Montreal at last season’s trade deadline, forming fans’ high expectations for the 2019-20 season. Unfortunately, after a very strong preseason performance, Weal reverted to the marginal NHL player he had been throughout his career. One big dip in his production came in the form of his faceoff win percentage, which dropped just below 50% this season after having been dependable last year. His usage on the power play, just like that of Nick Cousins, was rather perplexing, given that he would go from sitting out a handful of games to being inserted on the team’s top PP unit. While he definitely is a skilled player, he is not of the calibre fans would hope to see quarterbacking the man-advantage. Weal scored 8 goals and 15 points in the 49 games he played, which is rather average for someone playing 13:37 a night. Hopefully, he can come back stronger next season and regain that useful faceoff ability.. . . JORDAN WEAL

JOEL ARMIA. A. This may well be considered Joel Armia’s breakout season. The Pori, Finland native finally played the type of hockey that is to be expected from a former first-round pick. Armia became a much more physical presence on the ice, utilizing his imposing “gabarit” to both protect the puck and to take the puck away from the opposition. Armia laid an impressive 146 hits in his 58 games, making him the second most physical Hab this season with 2.52 hits/game. To go along with this, Armia excelled on the penalty kill with his long reach disrupting many passing lanes; he also scored three times on both the man advantage and the man disadvantage. Armia finished the season with career highs in goals and points, with 16 and 30 respectively. Let us hope that Armia becomes the consistently defensively-responsible 20-goal-scorer we fans envision him becoming.. .

BRENDAN GALLAGHER. A. The heart and soul of this hockey team was on pace for a third consecutive 30-goal season, were it not for his injury and the shortened season itself. Gally put up 22 goals and 43 points in the 59 games he played in. Along with Tatar and Danault, Gallagher was a cog in one of the league’s most dominant possession lines, sporting a Corsi For % of 61.2 whilst playing against the best players in the league. While the stats are impressive, no numbers can really embody what exactly Gallagher brings to this team, that can only be seen when watching him play. Put simply, it’s his fight. Gallagher battles for every puck like it’s overtime in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. That is something that very few players in sports demonstrate, the complete embodiment of will. Gally was Gally this season, and in my book, that warrants him an A.. .