Canadiens Not Nearly Good Enough At Heritage Classic

How disappointing was that?

After all the hoopla building up to the Heritage Classic, with much on the line, with injured players Mike Cammalleri, James Wisniewski, and Hal Gill returning, the Canadiens continue their scoring struggles and fall 4-0, thus losing the second of their three-game western swing and in the process upsetting immensely any Habs fan worth his or her salt.

Unfortunately, it’s the Vancouver Canucks next, a team which happens to be leading the entire league and who probably weren’t shaking in their boots at what they saw from the bleu, blanc et rouge in Calgary, and Edmonton before that when the Canadiens lost 4-1.

Montreal has scored three goals in the their last four games, and although they managed 39 shots to Calgary’s 37, their shots came here and there, from the outside or trickling through. The Flames’ Miikka Kiprusoff was good in nets but didn’t have to be great, and Carey Price at the other end was also good but needed to be great to stop this big, dangerous club in white pants who made the Habs look very ordinary on a night when the hockey world was watching.

As much as a spanking as Montreal took, it might have been different if PK Subban and his defence partner Hal Gill hadn’t taken penalties a minute apart in the first period. The Flames grabbed both the lead and the momentum at that point, and being the terrible hosts they are, never allowed the visitors back in it.

After that first goal, the game was as good as done, even when Montreal was getting shots on goal later on. No Hab was a standout, no one was dangerous, many were invisible, and Wiz looked tentative – which I guess can be expected after almost getting his face removed with a puck. Everyone was less than sensational. Way less.

Very disappointing to say the least. And extra disappointed, I suppose, were the many Habs fans at McMahon Stadium in Calgary who paid big money, saw no goals, a loss, and froze their asses off.

Random Notes:

Tuesday in Vancouver. After that, the team is back home to meet and greet the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday.

I wasn’t going to but I’ve changed my mind and decided to say it – Montreal has lost 6 of their last 7. They’re in the process of taking a huge step backwards. They’re not playing well, not scoring, not impressing anyone at the moment.

The highlight of the day was seeing the Snowbirds fly over McMahon. Twelve years ago I went up with the Snowbirds in Comox as part of a media day thing, and not only did the pilot let me take the controls for a few seconds, but we also flew upside down at one point and did a few tricks. It was amazing, unlike the Habs’ performance today.

18 thoughts on “Canadiens Not Nearly Good Enough At Heritage Classic”

  1. Dennis, I agree losing 6 of 7, they are a team in trouble and I don’t see a solution. Their only chance is to come together as a group and try to find a way to win. They can play better but they are playing like prima-donnas. Scared to go into the corners, scared to get hit. They shouldn’t rely on the trade deadline, they need to pull themselves out as they are ‘professionals.’ I am not looking forward to vancouver. Maybe one good thing is JM getting fired and Muller being named coach before it is too late. PG needs to smarten up and make the move now.

  2. What can a person say about this current slide. At the pace the team is on there is a chance they won’t get two hundred goals this season and to me that is PATHETIC. Pleks looks tired and it’s no wonder with the way the top lines are over-used. Also it can’t be any fun to loose as much as they have been and play the Martin way. I realize that with what Martin has to work with the system gives them a chance to win but when I look at the players individualy it’s not a bad lot of talent on this team. There is something seriously wrong with this team. Be it Martin or the fact that so many players are having off years or one causing the other. Reminds me of the talk of how some of the great players would have greater years if it wasn’t for playing under the Devil’s or the Wild’s systems. Maybe the same is true here. Can Gio, Gomex, AK, Pleks, and Cammy all be having an off year with-out another reason. Its getting to a point now that I will turn the game on and check it out every so often but to sit and watch a complete game just frustrates me. I don’t care about just making the play-offs. I want a winner again and an exciting team to watch play. Fast skating, hard hitting and with the ability to score often. Then again I’ve been told that I’m delusional. The game tonight was not worth the hype. Not even close.

  3. Mayo, somrthing needs to change. Calgary just looked so superior, and they’re not the only ones. If we were a small team that played big, then fine. But we’re a small team that plays small. There’s just too many guys doing very little, all at the same time. Hopefully Gauthier is having afitful sleep and he and Gainey and the gang decide to make some changes, if it’s possible. One thing about the Vancouver game – if they can win it, it’s going to be sweet!

  4. Don, me too. It’s not just about making the playoffs, it’s about being a genuine contender. And the way the so-called stars are playing, they’re not close at all. I agree with you that Plekanec looks tired. And I agree that on paper they look good. But it seems that they can’t all play well at the same time, and right now, hardly any of them are. I was looking forward to this game so much. I used to go to football games at McMahon, I know Calgary, and this was a showcase event. The shots on goal don’t say a thing. We got 39 shots but it’s all smoke and mirrors. They were never really a threat to win and I guess we all knew it. I also think that I would probably never go to one of these outdoor games unless someone gave me a ticket. The distance between the game and the seats up top was astounding and it just didn’t seem right to me. Montreal has looked good on occasion this season and has also looked extremely mediocre on many a night. This was one of them when they were extremely mediocre, as was the Edmonton game and several before that. Such a disppointment. I’ll see them first-hand on Tuesday.

  5. Nothing “Classic”about that game. Dennis I’d rather read more about flying a Snowbird upside down.

  6. Christopher, the pilot let me do this: I had the control stick and had been sort of flying myself for a minute or two and he said, there’s a fishing boat down there, take it down so I can see it closer. So I did! I made the plane go down gradually, all by myself. Then I sort of leveled it a bit and then he took over. I asked him if we could go upside down so he radioed the squadron leader up front, (we were on the outside wing) and he said to the leader, “passenger requests an inversion”, and the leader replied back in the affirmative, so he said hold on and we went woop, upside down. Then he said, hold on, and we shot straight up. I didn’t barf once. The Snowbirds are the only bunch in the world who take off and land all together. We landed, and each plane has its own tech standing there and directing us in, and we taxied right in front of. I did a full page piece for the paper, and later did a couple of smaller stories. It all came about the day before. The editor phoned me at home and asked me if I wanted to go up with the Snowbirds and if I did, I had to get my rear end on the next ferry over to the Island. I went over, stayed at the airforce base, and then had an hour or so briefing in the morning before going up. There were a few us and we all loved it. Here’s a link to the post I put on some time ago – The technician even saw this story and commented in the comments section.

  7. Thanks Dennis. Sorry I forgot about the previous Snowbirds post, I remembered when I saw the link. But it’s was worth a second read.

  8. Hey Dennis,Home from Arizona yesterday,just in tim to watch the “classic”.I was disapointed in the Habs play,Carey did well but they have to be able to score to win games eh.I sure wish they could have pounded a few past the Kipper.I do know one thing for sure though,the Habs played better then that group they had in between periods,they were friggin horrible.

  9. DK, I sure hope I don’t drive 5+ hours to Montreal next month and watch a repeat of yesterday’s feeble effort! Gomez & AK just seem to float around waiting for their shift to end, my hope is they are jetisoned out real quick. Send them both to Hamilton & bring some bodies up who really care about winning. What’s to loose, we have to pay them anyway’s!
    I sure hope your long trip & a chance to see OUR team does’nt end up like the last two games we’ve watched.
    Cheers from the East!!!!

  10. Dennis, on the bright side you can say we’re due for a win now so tomorrow’s as good a time as any to start that nine-game winning streak.

    But seriously. Yesterday’s game was doomed from the get go. Even Gary Bettman himself complained about the shitty ice conditions. It was so bad everything depended on if you got lucky on all the wild bounces the puck was taking. I think it was Hal Gill who said it was like playing with a tennis ball.

    And the refs gave the Flames a head start in the first period while they had the 35 mph wind in their backs. Playing shorthanded and against the wind for the first 20 minutes on crap ice was enough to put us behind a big eight ball that just rolled over and crushed us.

    But the simple fact of the matter is that Calgary – although they got an early edge – were able to adapt to the extreme conditions and play a more gritty style while we played like frightened little girls for the most part.

    They call it the Heritage Classic. Funny. It was an insult to our heritage and it certainly wasn’t a classic.

    Next game (on nice flat ice with no wind) tomorrow against the Canucks.

    I hope you and Lucienna have a great time and the team makes us proud again.

  11. Danno, we’re here and ready to rock. 24 hours from now we’ll be at the rink down the street and I’ll be introducing myself as the future owner. Damn we need a win on this night. And yes, maybe in Calgary we were doomed from the get-go. Regardless, I want to see more drive, some goals, and a big win. And also the Shark Club!

  12. Mike, we’re here and ready to rock. I’ll get back to you on how I think Gomez and Kostitsyn play. There’s others too who need to pull up their socks. Gotta get to the Shark Club.

  13. Derry, Arizona? What a travelling man you are. Were you there to buy the Coyotes? Off to the Shark Club.

  14. Thanks, Christopher. That post goes back a bit and shows you’ve been reading here a while now. So I thank you for that. Shark Club, here I come!

  15. Back in October I went to the Hockey Hall of Fame and being the excited Habs fan I am when I get to see a part the glory of the Habs’ history up close I bought a Heritage Classic puck. It’s on display in my room but I’m thinking of chucking it somewhere dark so I won’t have to see it again. It’ll forever be a reminder of how the Habs sucked. We couldn’t even manage one goal against this team. Where was Calgary last year in the playoffs? That’s right, they weren’t even in the playoffs! We need big changes to this team. The last rebuild was NOT a success. All that kept us in it last year was Halak. We can’t force Carey to do the same, especially since he’s been playing so much. Alas, the Cup run last year won’t allow Pierre Gauthier to fire Jacques Martin. But maybe if we miss the playoffs this year, which it’s looking like will happen if they keep losing, then perhaps he’ll be gone.

    If you notice we’re developing a pattern where we get quite a lot of points one month, then bomb others. I’m talking from December to this month. October and November were good, but we did have an alternating win/loss thing going on in November. 🙁

    I’m so sorry Dennis that every time I post here now, it’s nothing positive. Actually, now I kind of understand how Leafs fans feel most of the time. You want to punch someone on the team, someone in the management, and the coach.

    And finally some good news. Price is in net tomorrow for the Habs according to Habs Inside/Out. So you get to see the BC boy. Let’s hope he’s happy tomorrow and can win because I’m sure he’ll have family and friends in attendance.

  16. Habby your posts are great, not negative. I’m afraid my stories have been a bit depressing in the last while but the Habs have been nothing rave about. I’m hoping like crazy that the big turnaround begins here, with us in the stands to witness it. And I’m looking forward very much to see PK and Price. And the Wiz. I was reading not long ago some old comments from Islanders fans in an Islanders blog and many said Wiz wasn’t any good and it was no loss to see him go. These folks don’t realize that Wiz played mediocre hockey in Long Island probably because he was playing in Long Island.

  17. Thanks Dennis. Your posts are fine as always. I’m hoping for a turn around as well, but I feel our ship began sinking after that game to NJ. We’ve managed one win since then. 🙁 Wiz, I feel, has been under too much pressure. Those points he got the beginning and the way he became a superstar must have affected him. I hope we’re not suffocating him.

    I don’t know if you caught the Heritage Classic special on CBC on Saturday, but there was a Scott Gomez interview. The interview is at 16:37 of this video:

    The ending? Totally reminded me of that post of yours. This guy…a person can stay neutral about his salary to points conversion and all that stuff. But when you’re being rude like this, you do not belong in hockey. Hockey players don’t need to be saints, but they shouldn’t be rude either. Just look at Jean Beliveau. I’m sure you’d say he’s one of the classiest athletes the NHL has ever seen. He gave an interview during the playoffs last year and he was so polite and cooperative. Somebody needs to discipline Gomez. Forget Subban. Subban’s respectful and doesn’t speak in such an arrogant way. Who says, “I didn’t want to but they made me?” This wasn’t during or even after a game. This wasn’t during the playoffs. This was after a practice in which Gomez probably didn’t even work up a big sweat. His actions bothered me very much. If I were the Habs I’d bury his contract in Europe like Hawks did with Cristobal Huet.

  18. Habby, I’m sure Gomez thinks he’s just be being hilarious but we’ve heard this routine before and it’s not funny. He should concentrate on hockey and forget being a comedian.

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