Wednesday, March 30, 2016

David Desharnais Autographed Card

So I was lucky enough to witness a rare feat last night: a Montréal Canadiens win in the 2015-16 season:
There were moments when it was boring (the shots were still 1-1 seven minutes in), but all told, there was enough action to make the evening worthwhile. The Habs were up 2-0 after one, the Detroit Red Wings had made it 3-2 in their favour by the second intermission, Montréal had a goal disallowed for a phantom goalie interference call after a coach's challenge, and yet still rallied to win 4-3 in regulation, preventing the Wings from obtaining a single point as they battle the Philadelphia Flyers for the last wild card spot with two weeks remaining in the regular season.

The three stars were Max Pacioretty, Sven Andrighetto and Pavel Datsyuk, but if I had had a say, Paul Byron would have gotten the first star, as he was everywhere on the ice, finishing with a goal and an assist while Pacioretty may have scored two, but he was softer than a pillow for the first half of the game, often hovering at the red line instead of helping his teammates out in the defensive one, as he has been prone to do since December.

Goaltender Mike Condon also had a pretty good game, stopping 39 of 42 shots with a few impressive glove saves thrown in for good measure. Andrei Markov (an assist, +2 and nearly 30 minutes of play), Tomas Plekanec (an assist while keeping Henrik Zetterberg pointless), and Alex Galchenyuk (two assists, +3 rating) also had a fine game.

David Desharnais didn't factor in so much, but he was the home team's only center who won more faceoffs than he lost, with a success rate of 80%. That was enough for me to decide to feature him today, with card #45 from Panini's 2013-14 Prizm set (the Silver variant), which he signed in black sharpie with his jersey number (51) tagged at the end:
DD has a year left on his 4-year deal, which carries a reasonable cap hit of $3.5M. Unfortunately, with Galchenyuk seemingly ready to take on the #1 center role, Plekanec solidly in place at #2 and a wealth of others who can play the position in the organization (Michael McCarron, Charles Hudon, Michaël Bournival and Gabriel Dumont in the prospect pool, Lars Eller, Torrey Mitchell, Bryan Flynn, Phillip Danault, Byron and Jacob De La Rose on the current squad), he could be on the outside looking in at this point and might have to move to Europe to close out his career afterwards.

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