Habs Eaten By Coyotes

With Thomas Vanek in the lineup and Dale Weise a healthy scratch, the Canadiens drop a 5-2 decision to the Phoenix Coyotes, a game they were in until they weren’t.

Maybe it’s because Vanek played alongside smallish Tomas Plekanec and wee Brian Gionta, but he looked absolutely huge. He’s listed at 6′ at the Canadiens website, but 6’2″ everywhere else, including Hockey Database and Hockey Reference.

I’m going with those. He’s definitely bigger than 6′.

But that’s beside the point. The Canadiens lost, although it isn’t the end of the world. They just have to win in San Jose on Saturday to erase the bummer.

The Coyotes struck first when a long shot caromed off Douglas Murray, but Andrei Markov tied it with a big blast. Then with Lars Eller taking a tripping penalty in the offensive zone, Phoenix once again grabbed the lead and visions of Eller in the doghouse danced through many of our heads I’m sure.

But he was back out shortly after, which was nice to see. I hate seeing guys in the doghouse all the time. And if life was truly fair, Rene Bourque shouldn’t have played since last November.

The killer for the Habs came with just nine seconds left in the first period when Phoenix made it 3-1, and as they say, Antoine’s your uncle.

Montreal did narrow it to a 3-2 game in the second when Alex Galchenyuk scored on a 5 on 3, and Alexei Emelin had previously bulged the twine, but the goal was called back because Desharnais was stuck in the crease.

We could also say the Canadiens were all over the Coyotes in that second frame, but the home team had four penalties to Montreal’s none, and that might have something to do with it.

In the third, I listened to the game on the radio on my way to the airport to pick up Luci. That’s when I heard Phoenix make it 4-2 and then 5-2. It’s also when I got lost at the airport trying to find the parking garage.

Random notes:

Along with Weise, healthy scratches included George Parros and Francis Bouillon. Josh Gorges is back in Montreal having his damaged hand looked at.

The Canadiens apparently didn’t arrive in Phoenix until 3:00 am, but no excuses, right?

Habs outshot the Coyotes 26-23.

Thomas Vanek, although looking slightly out of sorts which is understandable, still managed to have three or four good chances to score, which is three or four more than Rene Bourque has managed in the last month.

Peter Budaj was less than sharp. We need Carey Price back, but with the final stretch and upcoming playoffs, it’s very wise not to rush things. Groin injuries take time. I remember suffering one myself after that private party with the players’ wives. Took me months to recover.

Newly acquired d-man Mike Weaver didn’t seem overly impressive in his debut but I think it’s unfair to judge after just one outing.

Next, the San Jose Sharks on Saturday at 10:00 pm ET. Another tough game, and it’ll be nice when this road trip is over. Not only because it’s a tough four games, but also because they’ve all been past my bedtime.

Maybe we’ll see a camera shot of grumpy Neil Young at the game. He’s been a season ticket holder in San Jose for years. Ex-Hab Terry Harper, who lives a couple of hours north of San Jose, also goes to games there from time to time.


13 thoughts on “Habs Eaten By Coyotes”

  1. Good one Dennis!

    “Groin injuries take time. I remember suffering one myself after that private party with the players’ wives. Took me months to recover.”

    πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

  2. I wore my CH when I lived there and no camera ever looked at me…but I’m not Neil Young…

    Habs played 3 games in 4 nights, in the West and after a jet lagged tour of Sochi. We can’t blame them for being tired last night after giving their all in Anaheim and facing a pre-road trip hungry set of Yotes. A solid effort from Budaj and Toker for that. If we can beat SJ, it will create good energy for what lies ahead back home. Go Habs Go!

  3. How does anyone go from our climate to the dessert to try skate?Bring us a team in Hamilton and La Belle Province,& maybe one in the Merry Times

  4. I agree, Pete. We so need more Canadian teams. Very possible that Habs and Leafs may be onlyCanadian teams that make playoffs. Am I the only one this infuriates?

  5. It bothers me as well, Marjo, and it’s been a good 20 years since the majority of Canadian teams were consistently good. But, if you go team to team, there is a reason why this is the case. Starting out west, Vancouver is being run by Mike Gillis, arguably the worst GM in the league outside of Garth Snow. Calgary has been in disarray for a decade, and there is not an infusion of young talent coming which could change that situation. Edmonton has a lot of young talent, but the coaching has been awful. Toronto is, well, Toronto. Ottawa had its run in the mid-2000s, but it too seems to be suffering from a “franchise malaise”, for lack of a better term.

    You can’t even blame the current situation on the Canadian dollar, as the dollar has been doing quite well vs. its American counterpart for much of the past decade.

    Ideally, I’d love to see at least two more teams in Canada (Quebec City and the Toronto area), but Gary Bettman would never allow that.

  6. Me too, it frequently infuriates me that the Leafs will likely make the play-offs. I do take a bit of pleasure in the misery of my many Leaf friends. And lots of pleasure in the misery of CBC reporters.

    Vancouver had a good run of consistently good teams, just a run of bad luck losing to the eventual Stanley Cup champion, time for their rebuild.

  7. He wasn’t good, Ian, but that’s what a backup is. Good and bad. It’s also why we need Price back soon.

  8. Big game in San Jose, Marjo, and I agree, it’s been tough for the boys lately. Must be exhausting. I’m proud of them and when I was talking to Gilles Gratton at work, he said that two points on this road trip would be fine for them. But when they get home, they really have to start putting the hammer down. We need Price back and Vanek on fire.

  9. Agree peter. Put a team in Quebec and Hamilton or even closer to Toronto. The rinks will be filled, new rivalries will happen. But Bettman and gang don’t seem to want this. Craziness.

  10. It’s sad, Marjo, that Canadian teams haven’t been competitive in recent years. It goes against everything hockey and our country stands for.

  11. They may someday allow another team in the Toronto area but who knows. All the talk about building a big rink near Markham (I think), but I don’t know how that’s going. It’s crazy there’s not not more cities with teams. Canadians sell them out (usually), whereas you can shoot a cannon through some of these American rinks and not come close to hitting anybody.

  12. Christopher, Vancouver really did have some nice teams in the last few years. Big, talented, well-balanced. But they could never get it done. Toronto on the other hand sucks every year.

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