At least Ottawa lost, so that’s good. But then again, Toronto won. So that cancels out the good part.
Oh, and there was a game at the Bell Centre.
Chalk that one up to one of those nights, forget about it, and move on. Because nights like this, a lousy 6-4 loss to the Ducks, are gonna happen. It’s a long season.
We just don’t want it to happen too often. Almost never, as a matter of fact.
We could say the five-day layoff made the team rusty, and that might be true.
Or we could say that Jaroslav Halak stunk, and that might be true too.
And we could say the Habs just didn’t have it on this night, although they fired 51 shots at J.S. Giguere.
The fact is, the Canadiens played their poorest of their seven games so far this season (although opening night in Buffalo was pretty bad too), and the Ducks, just like I was worried about, have used this little eastern road trip to snap out of their doldrums, having also beaten Toronto and Ottawa on previous nights.
Watching Halak reminded me of so many nights from recent years, when you never knew what kind of goaltending you were going to see, and far too often, weak goals were scored on the good guys. It was discouraging for the skaters, and nerve wracking for fans whenever the puck made its way inside the blueline. But that changed, for the most part, with the arrival of Carey Price.
Halak didn’t have it, allowing four goals in a period and a half, and was replaced by Price, who’s been fighting the flu all week. Price wasn’t tested a whole lot and gave up two goals, which is a whole lot better than giving up four goals.
You have to wonder what the outcome would have been if Price had started.
On the positive side, Alex Tanguay notched a couple more to make it five in seven games, and Saku Koivu and Tom Kostopoulos also bulged the twine.
That’s it for positives.
The Carolina Hurricanes are in town on Tuesday. The game may be televised back in Raleigh as long as there’s no car racing and high school basketball going on.