.500% Hockey Without Markov Is A Victory For Montreal
Andrei Markov has been the anchor on the backend for the Montreal Canadiens for several years. He is one of the best defenseman in the league year in and year out and he does so quietly without generating a whole lot of attention for himself. Markov is not the best at much and is the worst at nothing. The man is as consistent as they come and is the epitome of a professional. He shows up each day and does his job and does so in a manner that reflects very positively on the bleu, blanc et rouge of the Montreal Canadiens.
In this season alone, Markov has missed as many games as he has in the past several seasons. As consistent as he is on the ice, he is also a workhorse who remains healthy, which in Montreal is not always an easy feat. When Markov does feel the bite of the injury bug, the production of the Habs usually drops with him. Since 2005, Montreal has averaged around .208 as a winning percentage with Markov out of the line-up. In that same time span with Markov in the line-up, Montreal has had almost a .550% as a winning percentage. He had led the team in scoring for much of the season last year and finished second to only Alex Kovalev by one point after 27 got hot late in the season. So clearly Markov has proven to be crucial to the success of the Montreal Canadiens in recent seasons.
This is a stat and a fact that does not escape most Hab fans. So you can imagine our agony when Markov went down with a serious injury so early in our season. Running with a winning percentage of .200% for much of the season was not going to set us up well for a late push for the playoffs. However, Montreal has done the unthinkable and remained in contention. Since Markov went down, Montreal has a winning percentage of .454%. While not great in and of itself, if the presence of Markov can boost our team has it has in recent years, the Habs will have set themselves up nicely for a second half push for the playoffs. Montreal has had some strong teams in recent years that have gone on to finish 1st in the Eastern conference. Yet these teams have been unable to do what our current group has, which is play .500% hockey without 79 in the line-up. If this year’s team can see even half of the .300% percentage point boost that we have seen in recent years, the bleu, blanc et rouge should not be counted out.
.500% hockey without Markov in the line-up needs to be viewed as a huge win for the team thus far. In the second half of the season, Montreal fans are hoping for 79 to be in the line-up a little more frequent.