Is it too much to ask the Canadiens to wait slightly longer than the first period before going into a defensive shell to protect a lead?
It was going so well. Two goals by Maxim Lapierre, the one player, even more than PK Subban, who the orange greasers would love to stuff down the zamboni exhaust pipe. Carey Price was stopping them cold. PK Subban seemed oblivious to the cat calls. And the hometown crowd sat on their hands and were so quiet and depressed it made my heart soar.
But then, as they have on several occasions this young season, the Canadiens stopped trying to score and instead concentrated on keeping the puck out of the net. Naturally, play remained mostly in their end, and they allowed an inexcusable 21 shots on goal in the second period to their feeble five.
They simply handed the game to the Flyers on a silver platter.
It became 2-1, then 2-2, and then, of course, 3-2 for the wrong team, all because the Habs forgot to put on any pressure after the opening frame.
And what could have been. Lapierre came within half an inch of a hat trick when he hit the post, and more importantly would have made it 3-0. It also would have made the crowd even quieter than they already were, which at that point resembled a seance.
Lapierre did his two-goal damage with help from Benoit Pouliot (two assists) and one helper from Jeff Halpern. Scott Gomez added….nothing, Brian Gionta chipped in with…..nothing, Andre Kostitsyn……., Cammalleri, Plekanec…… They all swooped and swerved and not much of anything else.
They would have looked okay on Battle of the Blades, but this was a hockey game.
We’re learning in a big way that we can’t rely on the guys we thought we could rely on, at least so far this season. It’s been the journeymen who have kept this team high in the standings and thank goodness for them. As far as the big money players on this team go, patience is wearing thin in my little house by the sea.
Yes, what a disappointing night, all because the Canadiens decided to go into a shell way too early. Is that what you’re teaching them, Jacques Martin? Couldn’t it have waited until say, midway through the third before defence overruled everything else?
Kind of reminds me of the conference final last year.
Roman Hamrlik hit the post late in the third which would have tied it. But I’m grasping at straws here.
Next up – Wednesday when the LA Kings pay a visit.
Shots on goal – 45-31 greasers.
Valeri Bure and his partner Ekaterina Gordeeva won Battle of the Blades on this night.