When a team, any team, manages just four shots in the second period and a pathetic two in the third, they’re probably going to lose. Almost every time, I’ll bet. And the Canadiens did absolutely nothing to dispel this fact that I’m pretty confident in saying without having the all-important facts to back me up.
It just seems that for goals to happen, pucks have to be on net. It’s physics or something.
Montreal had their nice little three-game win streak ended in Philadelphia, losing 5-3 in what had been a see-saw type of game until the Flyers broke it open in the third with three unanswered goals. It was a shock and yet it wasn’t. We’ve become used to the boys finding ways to get things done. And it’s very hard to say they let us down when it’s just one game and they’ve been on fire for much of this shortened season.
It was a dismal loss, though. The Canadiens weren’t sharp, the Flyers flexed some muscle, and the team hobbles back to Montreal with several players nursing sore feet and other various aches and pains, including Tomas Plekanec who left and never returned after suffering something that looked very innocent on the replay but obviously can’t be all that innocent. It’s been described as lower body, and now we wait to see how this key guy is. Plekanec has been as consistent as can be, and this could be a dreadful loss.
Both Brendan Gallagher and Max Pacioretty took pucks off their skates and of course the thought of broken bones cropped up, but they were back out soon after. It doesn’t end the anxiety though. When the skates finally come off, will their feet fit in their shoes?
Imagine if we’d lost not only Plekanec but Max and Gallagher too. Every game is a crapshoot. Coming out the same way they went in is the trick, and on this night, we can only cross our fingers that some serious bullets were dodged.
Alexei Emelin, on a long shot from the point, had opened the night’s scoring, and in the second period, after the Flyers had tied it and gone ahead, Brandon Prust evened things and twenty seconds later, David Desharnais put his team in front 3-2. Two goals on four shots. One would even think this turn of events would spark the Habs and deflate the home team.
If one thought that, one would be wrong.
Philadelphia bottled up the Habs in the third, held them to a pitiful two shots, and with 5:06 remaining, tied things up. A minute and a half later the Flyers took the lead, and then salted it away with an empty-netter.
It wasn’t a heart-wrenching loss for the Habs. They deserved to lose.
I said recently that if Montreal was going to do something on trade deadline day, I hoped they’d do nothing except maybe get a bit tougher. After tonight, I wish they’d gone for some grit. Someone to slap Scott Hartnell around. Someone to make this fellow and others pay for getting too close to our netminder.
Brendan Gallagher had a bit of a mediocre night. But so did everyone else. The Flyers are one of these teams that often bring out the worst in the Habs. Not every time, but often.
Shots on goal – Philly 34, Habs 17.
Next up – Tonight, when Winnipeg comes jetting in. It’ll be interesting to see how Habs react after the stinker in Philly. And it’ll be interesting to see who’s wounded and who isn’t after the dust settles.