Habs Hit A Niittymaki Wall

It wasn’t like Montreal didn’t have its chances in this depressing 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Canadiens had long, extended chunks of each period where they stormed the net and swatted away all around Tampa goaltender Antero Niittymaki. But Niittymaki, like so many goalies who come in to Montreal, played like he’s the greatest backstopper on the face of the earth and 15 years from now will absolutely be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Other nights I’m sure he’s quite average. Just not tonight.

Canadiens’ Little Big Three zoomed all over the place, but only Brian Gionta could find the twine. Scott Gomez and Mike Cammalleri should have had one or two themselves but just couldn’t get it done. On this night, Niittymaki was the boss.

Carey Price wasn’t the boss. He was decent but not great, and we need great. There were several times when he was caught way out of position but Tampa couldn’t finish. But in the end, they finished three times which was too much for a Habs squad who couldn’t solve the other guy.

Random Notes:

I felt Tomas Plekanec skated well, as did Glen Metropolit at times. But maybe it’s just me.

Canadiens host the Flames on Tuesday.

Plus – Can we start over? 

14 thoughts on “Habs Hit A Niittymaki Wall”

  1. No one should be blamed for the loss today. We didn’t get the bounce, nothing went in. And Tampa just got extremely lucky today. I think we played really well. Just luck turned its back on us.

    Carey played well. It’s just those point blank shots that Tampa got after the shots bounce off the boards

  2. Phil – He gave up one huge rebound on one of the goals. It was a goal that shouldn’t have happened.

  3. Hey Dennis;I didnt see the game..port alice tv only had the leafs playing,but i did see the replays.you know your last satement,can we start over..you know the leafs are going to want to as well,they actually beat up on detroit tonite.

  4. also is probably gonna be one of the very few times that The Leafs will beat up anybody. Considering that The Red Wings are injury plagued right now.

  5. Refs were ridiculous which did not help. Wright’s goal should have been disallowed but the Toronto bunker boys thought otherwise. That penalty against Mara with three minutes left was a joke – TB got away with way worse and never got penalized. Still, the bottom line is you need more than one goal to win most hockey games…

  6. Do I ever agree with you about the refereeing. I didn’t think it was a goal either, and the Mara thing was ridiculous and sealed it for Tampa. But the Habs made the goalie look sensational and they shouldn’t have.

  7. God, Refs are one of the 4 things i ate with a passion.
    The other three are

    Miley Cyrus
    Jonas Brothers
    Twilight
    AHHHHHHH

    I can’t stand refs, ’cause i play basketball for my school team, and boy, did they ever do a number last game. But that’s a whole other story.

  8. The Monster looked real good last night … Kessel contributed …

    5-1 Leafs over Detroit ….. maybe some hope the Leaf Nation ..

    That Niittymaki is a very good goalie …

    Price looks so good at times and then the soft one… Reminds me of

    Toskala in Toronto a bit

    Canadians worked hard a usual .. bad result .. Cest la vie

  9. Even though i despise The Leafs, I really like Goooostavsson, he’s the only ray of light for them since Toskala hasn’t been any help from the start.
    I remember when Toskala let in a goal when an Islander cleared the puck from his own end. I wasn’t completely shocked but i sure did laugh a lot

    poor Leafs.

  10. I hear you Phil. I ate a ref once too. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti. But I found he was tough and tasted too gamey and have since given them up ever since 🙂

    But seriously, haven’t we been getting the short end of the calls for some time now? Is it a Betman/Toronto conspiracy? Ever since Chicago, then Toronto, Atlanta, Boston and TB we have been getting fleeced by bad calls or no calls against the opponents when there should be.

    Case in point. That ugly hit from Chicago’s Andrew Ladd who obviously had intent to injure Matt D’Agostini.

    But the referees assessed Ladd with an elbowing major and a game misconduct. That’s all you get for trying to take someone’s head off if they’re a Hab… The league did nothing to discourage future incidents.

  11. I almost got booted from the game ’cause i yelled at the ref “That’s a bullsh** call” But i had to say it, ’cause it was about the 50th bogus call in the span of 30 minutes. I know, do the math.

  12. I am not so sure that the rebound could have been averted on Tanguay’s goal. Firstly, what odds that an ex-hab would would actually score a goal against us? Secondly, the original shot was well placed and Price could only use his pad to make the save. Not an easy feat to catch the puck with a pad frankly. The habs played well enough to win and once again, luck was just not on our side. As an aside, I like the team not giving up this year. It is a good sign and I am willing to bet that things will get better in a short while. Losing our best D the very first game clearly indicated that we would have a long haul ahead. At the same time, if they can learn how to win with Markov, should be very interesting when he gets back into the lineup again.

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