Habs Fall Again And The Beat Goes On

I suppose it was a brilliant move on Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher’s part to start Cedrick Desjardins in goal in his first-ever NHL game. Montreal is skating in quicksand and can’t score goals, and of course Desjardins was property of the Habs not long ago. 

Naturally for Desjardins, the adrenaline was surely flowing.

So put the guy in, all he needs to do is play reasonably well, and his chances of a win in his first game are good. Which is what happened as the Lightning breezed over the basically listless Habs, a team completely out of sorts, and a team with a coach who I feel is certainly hovering near the edge of a cliff and moving closer and closer as the minutes go by. 

Another Habs loss tonight, 4-1 to the Lightning, and I know you’ll see the gruesome details almost everywhere but I’ll mention them anyway; Montreal has lost eight of their last ten and in their last three games have scored a total of two goals while allowing eleven.

But what is almost as unacceptable is the fact that the Habs received two penalties in the first couple of minutes play in the second period, and both for too many men on the ice. And one of these undisciplined errors provided the Lightning with a two-man advantage in which they scored, broke a one-one tie, and the rest, as they say, is history. Or Bob’s your uncle if you’re so inclined.

Random Notes:

Carey Price was replaced by Alex Auld midway through the third period. Can it get any more depressing?

James Wisniewski, in his first game in a Habs uniform, played well, showed some jam, and hit the post with his big shot. In hindsight, if that puck would’ve gone in instead of hitting iron, it would have been a 2-0 Habs game at that point, things might have been different, and Wiz would have been an instant hero.

But that’s hindsight, and that, with a buck or two, will get you a cup of coffee.

Steven Stamkos almost single-handedly made it look like men against boys, and the guy’s only 20 years old.

Next – Florida on New Year’s Eve to end this dreadful road trip.

19 thoughts on “Habs Fall Again And The Beat Goes On”

  1. Hey Dennis,Well holy shit I never thought I would see it this roadtrip,6 losses and 1 win.Where does a person start? Ya cant blame Beliveau or Richard,Gionta,Subban or Picard.They way it is,or they way to win,is put the blame on Jaques Martin. Sorry Dennis,just had to let be known.

  2. Some questions on a cold night in Northern Ontario…
    Is Martin in trouble if/when this slide continues?
    Does this speed up PG’s search for some scoring help?
    How bad does Lapierre have to be to get benched?
    Can we just rewind to October when you knew we had a better than even shot at winning a game?

  3. How about this, Dishonest John. After Florida tomorrow night, Montreal plays Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Boston, Rangers, and Pittsburgh again. So even if they pull one out in Florida, they’re still in a bit of a fix. If Martin’s not in trouble now, he will be very soon. Hopefully we get a forward shipped in soon, and I don’t mean David Desharnais. We need somebody at least six feet. Lapierre is ineffective. And in October we won eight of twelve. The good old days.

  4. This brings up a question I wanted to ask a couple of games ago. What would you do if you had the reins of this team and could make changes.(With-in reason of course as Laps for Crosby just ain’t happening.) I don’t mean this question in a malisious way but as a serious question. The players I read about aquiring on some of the other sites are a) unrealistic as a trade as Milbury is no longer in the league or b) trading one player with no heart for some-one else’s player with no heart. As you said in a previous post you like toughness, passion and heart in a player and it’s not there. I agree and the players who do have it in the system just don’t have the skill level to be in the NHL at this point. It’s an attitude that they need to have planted in this team with one or two mean SOB’s with some passion and that attitude can spread. The team is playing defeated from the drop of the puck and they seem to be just waiting to find a way to lose. I believe that the team at this point needs to be shocked back to reality and just tinkering with lines and call ups won’t change what is happening. Price is or seems tired if not of the minutes then of the plays in front of him. I think that it all comes down to money now and whether the Molson’s want to eat JM’s salary and or Gomez’s.

  5. Hi Don,
    For me the team needs to get bigger. I realize it’s a lot to ask but a big forward who can score is the thing. When I see that Dustin Byfuglien is being played mostly as a defenceman in Atlanta I scratch my head. Huge guys with good hands like him are as rare as can be, so why aren’t they using him more up front? He was a brute as a forward in Chicago. Someone like him is badly needed in Montreal. We saw how Philadelphia outmuscled them in the eastern finals last year, and we’re seeing now how long legs outskate short legs in the crunch. And Montreal is a non-factor in scrambles in the crease, both at our end and theirs. The muscle isn’t there and that’s why I bring up Big Buff. I also loved your analogy recently about Crosby, Don, and the way he battles. He’s hungry for the puck, and our skilled guys like Gomez and Gionta and Kostitsyn and Pouliot don’t play this way at all. The only solution to this mess is to play each game like it’s the 7th game of the Stanley Cup final. and our guys are far from this mindset. Why is that? They’re responsible, and so is the coach, and so is the captain. And one last thing – I believe they yanked the heart out of Subban.

  6. Weber let three (count’em) pucks go by him at the point on the PP. he played like crap alongside Wiz, i was impressed with our new #20.

  7. I was not fooled at all my Montreal’s run in the playoffs last year. Martin rode a hot goaltender. I told friends at work this team is not any better than last year’s when they backed into the playoffs (even though they had a good start this season). Martin again rode a hot goaltender with Price. I asked the question what happens when Price cools off?

    This team cannot score, shows no passion, plays systems hockey ( we want to be the new New Jersey Devils) and frankly is a boring team to watch. PK comes along with a lot of passion and creativity and fight in him. What did they do? like you said they tore the heart right out of him. He was the only reason i looked forward to watching them. Now he’s so afraid of making mistakes.

    NOTE: Montreal has not had a top 10 scorer (in points) since 1985-86 when Matts Naslund got a 110 points.

    Sidney Crosby had better thank someone for not being selected by Montreal. His spirit would have been broken too. Montreal has been committed to defensive systems since the early 80’s. When they hired Martin I knew it was going to be more of the same. Montreal does not have any use for creativity. They are happy with their top player scoring getting no more than 65 points.

    How do you get excited about this team??????????????????????

  8. To answer Don’s question, I do not know what needs to be done in the short term. What do you do? Offer up a Kostitsyn? A Gomez? Would you take them? For who? This team is not going to win the Stanley cup (in the next 5 years) with the mindset they now have. Can you imagine this small team ever winning the cup? Let’s get real here.
    There has to be a combination of skilled players who can put the puck in the net, bigger players who will stand in front of the net and some sort of defensive system. NOT ALL DEFENCE!
    It’s time to rebuild around this sort of team. That’s all I can say.

    CONFESSION TIME: Because I am so disheartened by Jacques Martin’s style of coaching I was cheering for them to lose the last few games. But if we are waiting for a firing I don’t believe it will come soon.

  9. Well RDS will likely do their best McSplooge imitation tonight. Desharnais has been called up by the Habs. Just like Wizzer, he’ll fix EVERYTHING! No pressure there Davey boy…

  10. Wiz was one of our better players on the night, Mayo. Of course, that’s not hard to do. Anyone who was moderately okay was one of our better players.

  11. Frank, I can’t add anything to what you say here, especially the first sentence in paragraph two about the lack of passion. You’ve said everything clearly and with passion, something the Habs lack. They’re not an exciting team to watch. Sometimes it looks like they can be, maybe in the first few minutes of the odd game, but then I guess Martin reins them in and it’s back to like you say, New Jersey Devils hockey. And what a depressing stat you point out about not having a top 10 scorer since Mats Naslund. The firewagon team we’ve known and loved has become one of the most conservative in the league. What Martin is doing isn’t working and either he needs to go or he has to take the harness off and let them find a more offensive style. It seems like every game that once again they don’t score more than one or two. The Rocket is mighty pissed off up in the sky right now. And the rest of us are too.

  12. Desharnais called up? Hopefully they sit a veteran like Gionta or Cammy. Who knows, maybe Desharnais’s size and hunger could add a spark. My only answer to our problem is a coaching change and a follow-up trade for a bigger forward. Maybe we acted too quickly by sending Laraques packing (if he went to the front of the net). Christ, my brain is hallucinating.

  13. Tyg, I sure hope Desharnais is super strong because as good a scorer as he is, he’s still too small and adding him doesn’t make them any more of a playoff contender. Our small guys need to take a page from Martin St. Louis. He’s one of the few really small guys who plays large. You can see in his face that he’s all business, and he gets it done in a big way. I’ll welcome Desharnais with open arms if he shows this type of heart, but if he doesn’t, we’ve now become about the same size as the Lac St. Louis Lions midget team.

  14. Mayo, Georges, as big as is, played like a pussycat in Montreal. It’s too bad because he would have struck fear into the enemy just by being there. Instead, he made it like Woodstock. We need mean, angry types who hate to lose. How come Travis Moen, who is a decent fighter, isn’t mean and angry? Many of these guys should feel guilty for accepting their pay cheques.

  15. the good thing about all this is that jm will get fired, eventually, and no one will be happier than i. no band aid will stop the bleeding. we must go to the source of the problem and work from there………… so just sit back and enjoy the ride and make sure you have an endless supply of paper bags. you will need them………. this will take time.

    happy new year

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