Crazy Loss

The chances were there for the Canadiens from time to time, but 6’7″ Ben Bishop was a wall. A high wall. And much of the time Tampa Bay dominated but led only 1-0 in the third.

And wouldn’t you know it, the Canadiens would tie a game they shouldn’t have been close to doing, with just 4:38 seconds left in the third period, only to lose 2-1 in the shootout.

They also did their best to lose it several times in the late going, with chances starting to come and Carey Price playing like Jacques Plante, when suddenly Rene Bourque took a penalty for high sticking at 16:27 of the third, then Lars Eller went off at 18:54 for a face-off violation, and just forty seconds into overtime, Andre Markov went to the box for shooting the puck over the glass.

But Price continued to be sensational throughout, until of course the shoot-out, a time when things just don’t go right. Price struggles with these clear-cut situations, and the laws of nature say it’s a terrible combination when his shooters can’t put the puck in the ocean with their own chances.

How come other teams manage to beat goalies in shootouts?

Galchenyuk – nope, Tampa – yes, Briere – nope, Tampa – nope, Gallagher – nope, and the game ends 2-1 for the visitors and the Habs get a point thanks to Carey Price and no one else.

The Lightning played like a real team – quick both ways, solid checking, sound goaltending. The Canadiens often looked lost and confused. Like it was them who were without Steven Stamkos, not Tampa.

Not a good night for the Canadiens, except for Price, even though they kept it close and managed a point. So I suppose if you look at it that way, it was a good night after all. But they were tremendously outplayed, outshot 45-29, and the Bell Centre only came to life when the puck bounced in off Briere.

A perfect road game for Tampa. A less-than-dazzling display by the home team. And three seriously ill-timed penalties is enough to drive a man to drink.

Random Notes:

Brendan Gallagher, with his new mustache, looks like a young apprenticing porn star. Did he have that the other night or is it black felt pen?

Max assisted on Briere’s marker.

Is it fair to say Rene Bourque isn’t exactly helping right now? What do you think Mayor Coderre?

Next up – Friday in Columbus


13 thoughts on “Crazy Loss”

  1. Hope that you feel better this morning, Dennis. There were only two players who stood out in a positive sense last night; the first was obviously Carey Price, without whom the score would have been 4-0 or 5-0 instead of 1-0 before the fluke Briere goal tied it up. The second was PK Subban, who was all over the ice. Ultimately, the Habs got a point that they did not deserve at all. Yes, Tampa was that much better than Montreal last night. Once it got to a shootout, I knew that the game was over. I’m curious; what is Montreal’s record in shootouts since the league started them? I’ll bet that it’s something atrocious.

  2. It’s amazing how good goaltending is so important ….The Leafs record would not be near as good without the excellent play of Riemer and Bernier this year

  3. Thanks Ian. Still under the weather. First time in about a year and a half. Tampa was much better than Montreal. The way they didn’t allow movement and bottled them up. And they can go on the attack too. A nice team right now. I don’t know what Montreal’s shootout record is but it sure doesn’t seem like it would be something we’d be jumping for joy over. It also seems like the guys who took it last night all went with identical moves to Bishop’s left, and he had no problem. A point is good I guess. I just didn’t like the way we got it. And I hated those three penalties at the end.

  4. I really haven’t seen much of the Leafs this year and not sure how they look. Can they look as disorganized as the Canadiens? They’re coming to Montreal on Nov. 30 which should be interesting to say the least. And yes, there’s nothing like a hot goaltender. Just wish ours was hot in shootouts.

  5. Frankly, the Habs were very fortunate to get that one point. The one Montreal goal was a total fluke, and I still think that the second Tampa goal should have counted. This game should have ended 2-0 or 2-1 for the Lightning in regulation.

  6. Thanks for the stats, Chris. That’s good info, and while I am surprised that the Habs aren’t farther down the list in terms of overall shootout record, I wonder where the team stands over the last three or four seasons. The shooting percentage is about what I’d expect. It proves that Habs goalies basically have to pitch a shutout in the shootout if they want to get a “W”.

  7. Sorry, this is probably formatting rather crappily

    Year Shooting Saving
    2014 #26 0 / 6 #21 2 / 4
    2013 #20 6 / 19 # 3 15 / 20
    2012 #26 13 / 59 #21 21 / 55
    2011 #24 7 / 28 #11 21 / 28
    2010 #20 11 / 37 # 5 28 / 38
    2009 #18 12 / 38 #18 27 / 42
    2008 #26 9 / 37 # 5 28 / 38
    2007 # 9 15 / 39 #22 24 / 40
    2006 #20 4 / 14 # 6 11 / 15

    Sort by total S% then Sv% and then repeat for previous years

  8. Great stats again, Chris, but they do establish the Habs’ generally poor performance in shootouts.

  9. That first # shows that only in 2006-07 did we crack the top half of the league in shooting.

    Unfortunately it’s not so easy to rank the overall shootout games won/lost results year by year. Silly NHL, winning or losing the most shoot-out games doesn’t mean much if you’re also in the most shoot-outs.

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