Habs Fall To Felines

It was a fast-paced, up-and-down deal where the 15th place Florida Panthers punctured the 1st place Habs’ balloon and is a fine example of just how easily a balloon can lose its air.

So much for the feel-good vibes we’ve had running up and down our veins lately. And at the risk of sounding like a paranoid maniac, we’re only two more losses away from a slump.

How’s that for a cheery statement? But we had to lose at some point so hopefully this makes me sound less like a bummer.

I’m not a fan of parity. I’ve decided that this idea that any team can win on any night is old and tiresome. Florida languishes in last place in the east and tonight looked like a Cup-contender. Montreal should’ve come out and acted like Andre the Giant doing a number on Richard Simmons.

Parity. Humbug.

It’s the Canadiens’ fault of course. Zero for five on the power play. A big two-man advantage to start the third period. Brian Gionta came as close as you’ll ever come to scoring, but that’s what happens when you’re in a slump. Nothing goes right.

Gionta needs to bank one in off somebody’s face and after that he should be fine.

And this feeble power play is getting on my nerves. Three lousy goals with the man advantage in 11 games.

I’m just going to jump right to the Random Notes now. I’m not in the mood to babble.

Random Notes:

Andre Markov looked dangerous from time to time but it also seemed his timing was off slightly.

Florida’s winning goal came on a David Booth penalty shot but that’s not interesting.

Benoit Pouliot got another assist as he and Jeff Halpern did the work on Mathieu Darche’s goal. Pouliot now has five points which is four more than Lars Eller and five more than Tom Pyatt.

Shots on goal were an amazing 41-31 Habs. One goal on 41 shots does not make a Habs fan feel the need to dance a jig. At least not me.

Next up – Tuesday in Columbus.

18 thoughts on “Habs Fall To Felines”

  1. Hey Dennis,Went to Prince George and got home late,only saw the last 13 minutes.The Habs didnt look bad from what i saw,the penalty shot shouldnt have been,Booth didnt lose control of the puck he passed it off to another player.This penalty shot anytime bullshit is ruining the game as far as I’m concerned,but you know Bettman and the boys have already done that anyways.

  2. Derry, they didn’t play bad. It was a fast game. The problem is, they can’t score and they had their chances. And the power play……….what’s that smell?

  3. Now why would a Montreal fan be so concerned by the fact that the Leafs lost again… I think the Bruins should be your concern … 4-0 over Ottawa tonight after blanking the Leafs 2-0….

  4. It’s too bad the winning streak ends at four games. I was kind of hoping we’d beat the Panthers and win the remaining 71 games as well.

    After four games in three nights, and the last two being back-to-back the team was showing signs of fatigue, lack of chemistry and jump. The flight from Long Island landed at 2:30 a.m. in Montreal while the Panthers were well into their beauty sleeps.

    That was a big disadvantage for the Habs right off the bat.

    Another disadvantage was Tomas Vokoun who was almost perfect.

    Our pop-gun powerplay failed to produce in spite of Markov’s return. Gomez, Gionta, Cammarelli and others all need to wake up.

    Luck sometimes plays a big role and it just wasn’t with us this game.

    Bounces and breaks did not go our way. Several shots missed by a hair and the snakebitten Gionta missed two golden opportunities on the 5 on 3. He could have tied it up by scoring on a wide-open net but the puck somehow was stopped by the skate of Panthers defenseman Dennis Wideman.

    I sure hope Gionta isn’t cursed because he’s wearing the C. He was such a clutch scorer last year and we need him to return to that form.

    The defense (notably Hamrlik and Spacek) made some horrible mistakes which cost us. One resulted in that penalty shot by David Booth who beat Price on with a deke. Just moments before that, Price had stopped Booth from scoring on a breakaway.

    With the shots being 41-31 in favour of the Panthers it’s hard to blame Price for the loss. Bottom line is, you can’t win most hockey games if all you can score is one goal.

    Looking ahead to the November schedule; we start off with two road games — Blue Jackets (Tuesday) Sabres (Friday) before coming home to face the Senators on Saturday. November promisses to be a tough test as we will be up against some tough agressive teams like Philadelphia and Boston.

    All I know is that it’s an 82 game schedule and if we continue to play as well as we did in October we should be fine.

    ————————————————-

    This is neat…

    It’s Halloween. And it’s also someone’s birthday…

    http://canadiens.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=541538

  5. Danno, that chance by Gionta when he hit the skate is as close as one can get to scoring. Damn. And deep down I’ve wondered slightly if there’s some sort of connection between being given the C and not starting well. Like maybe a focus thing. But then I thought it couldn’t be. But Gionta really needs to break out. One thing – the shots were 41-31 in favour of Montreal. Definitely an offence-type game. But just one goal. I didn’t know about the late arrival from Long Island. That makes a difference for sure but all in all, they just couldn’t finish things. Great comments, Danno.

  6. I don’t know what Gomez and Gionta’s problem is, and I no longer care. Just fix it. MSM are suggesting signing Bill Guerin now to magically fix that line. Even at league minimum – which I doubt he’s willing to do – do we even have the cap space?

    How about Gomez learns to pass to his wingers instead of shooting too far ahead or too far behind, and stops dropping pucks at the blueline for opposing forwards to scoop up nice and easy? How about Gionta launches the monkey off his back and into orbit?

    I don’t know what the problem with the power play is either, but after a pre-season and 11 games, how about Jacques and his staff get that fixed too? Someone’s not doing their jobs around here but it’s not me, cause I’m still nitpicking as usual. ;)

  7. What the heck is it with that state of Florida? Do the Panthers invite our Habs to a party the night before the game and load the room with chics in bikinis? I think it will take just a few games for Markov to get back in shape. I wish someone could put on an investigation to find out how much the Leafs are paying CBC to get the national broadcast so much. Happy Hallowe’en. BOO!!!!!!!!

  8. Hey Mikey, we made the Panthers look like a fantastic team and just not right. And the Leaf thing? I’ve given up. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that the Leafs will forever dominate the television waves.

  9. I’m gonna hope it was fatigue that brought us down. I watched a bit of the third and I couldn’t believe that this team was first in the league heading into this game. Now that Markov’s back, we need to work on getting everyone to function together like a team. The one good thing I saw was the amount of shots we took. It was better than the playoffs last year! But perhaps we’re getting Halak’d for Halak-ing others. :(

    And we do have to worry about Boston. They could easily over take us in the standings. Why have they only played 8 games? Getting too much rest?!

  10. Hi Habby. I don’t think they’re quite coordinated just yet with Markov added to the lineup but it won’t take long to get that together. And yes, we don’t want Boston anywhere near us. They’re one of our biggest enemies. (except in the fifties and sixties when they stunk to high heaven). I also suppose they’ve played less games because part of their pre-season was overseas in Ireland and such.

  11. That pre-season in Ireland, you have to give Boston some credit. It wasn’t cold enough for the ice to form yet but they just got on with it.

  12. Thanks for the explanation. Yeah, everyone in the NE division should hate on Boston for those ‘Bruins Bear’ commercials. But as much as I hate Boston, I hate Philadelphia more. Too much playoff grief there from ’08 and ’10.

  13. Also could just be a fluke. It seems like every year we’re either a few games ahead or a few games behind Everyone else… We’re never right comfy in the middle.

    I feel like more recently, Philly and Carolina have become the nemesis (although without much bad blood for the Canes), as well as Pittsburgh seemingly overnight from last playoffs. This is good – getting the hate on is fun! And the Leafs haven’t been a satisfactory foil too much lately… even if the games are Always super close*, the standings usually aren’t. Historically though I don’t think you can top MTL-TOR and MTL-BOS.

    *06/07 Season. 8 meetings. 7 go to OT/SO or are decided by one late goal. The 8th – a 5-1 leaf blowout in TO, where Huet gets yanked after Antropov scores on a breakaway (somehow… slowest player in the leage, breakaway… okaaay…). Guess which game I shelled out 250$ to go to, to satisfy my urge for some live Habs hockey in TO.

  14. Haha, I feel for you there Danny. That was the one where we didn’t qualify because of that one game, right? God, what a pain. I follow rivalries more closely in the playoffs, so I guess I could add Carolina to my list after ’05.

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