What a game for Andrei Markov! The General scored two goals and added an assist on Saturday night against the Ottawa Senators, in a compelling game that saw the Montreal Canadiens come out on top with a 3-1 win. This marked the 7th time that Markov had scored twice in a game over the course of his long career. After the 3 point night, Markov is now sitting at 6 goals and 29 assists for 35 points in only 56 games this year. His 0.63 points per game this year is the 13th highest in the NHL among defensemen, with some notable names being lower than him such as P.K. Subban and Shea Weber. In spite of his recent tremendous performance, it’s time to look back at Andrei Markov’s great 16-year career thus far with the Montreal Canadiens.
A Look Thus Far
As of today, in 984 career games with the Habs, Markov has 119 goals, 452 assists, and 571 points. Those are very good numbers for a defenseman, especially considering that the Habs have never really been considered an offensive powerhouse during Markov’s time with them. While Markov has still put up a good amount of goals, it is his assists that really separate him from others. When thinking of Andrei Markov, it has always been his great vision and playmaking abilities that come to mind first, and we can clearly see this in his goal/assist ratio. In addition to being able to produce, Markov has always been very reliable defensively. Albeit not the faster skater, he makes up for it with his high Hockey IQ. A big factor in why Markov is trusted defensively is that he rarely spends too much time in his own zone. He is usually able to read the play with great success and get his team out of the d-zone with crisp and intelligent passes. This limits the number of chances and o-zone time the opposition gets in a game, and as a result, less goals are scored against the Habs.
Comparison To Other Habs Greats
When comparing Markov’s regular season stats to other great Habs defensemen, it clearly shows how good Markov has been for the Canadiens. In every main category, Markov is among the top 3 all time. Here are some key stats, with Markov’s ranking among all-time Habs defensemen in brackets.
Games Played- 984 (2nd)
Goals- 119 (3rd)
Assists- 452 (2nd)
Points- 571 (3rd,*1 pt behind 2nd*)
Game-Winning Goals- 20 (T-2nd)
As you can see, Markov ranks greatly in every category and still has plenty of time left in his career to catch those above him. Unfortunately, there is one thing that most of the “top” all time Habs defensemen have, that Markov doesn’t; A Stanley Cup. If Markov truly wants to cement his status as a top Habs defensemen of all time, he is going to have to add a cup to his name. Fortunately for him, he still has a chance to win one with the Canadiens. Despite his contract expiring at the year’s end, he will most likely be re-signed by the Canadiens. This will give him a few more years to attempt to cement his great Habs legacy.
Regardless if Andrei Markov wins a cup with the Habs or not, he has done enough over the course of his career to ensure one thing -he will always be loved by myself and all fellow Habs fans.
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