Not the best start for the Canadiens in Calgary. The first period saw them play with a distinct lack of fire-wagon hockey, more like horse and wagon hockey, and found themselves down 1-0 midway after Travis Moen coughed up the puck in his own end and the Flames got the party started.
Lots of red, white, and blue sweaters in the stands, and more where the cameras don’t go. The West is filled with Habs fans, coming from grandfathers and fathers living life on the prairies and foothills, cheering for Les Glorieux over the years, and it makes its way down to the kids who now have money and can afford the ducats.
Suddenly it’s 2-0 Flames with just over a minute to go in the first, coming just after the Canadiens had botched a power play. The Canadiens are making this no-name Calgary team look way too good. The idea now is to get into the dressing room, think about how things have to pick up somewhat, and wait for Mr. Therrien to enter the room and yell a lot.
The second period was even more lethargic. It became 3-0 with Francis Bouillon in the box for an unnecessary shove into the boards. Inexcusable. People are staying up late and it’s not right.
But wait, what is this?
P.K. blasts one home with 2:14 left in the frame and on the power play! It’s 3-1, Habs fans in the stands perk up, and the rest of us do too except we didn’t pay 200 bucks for a ticket.
Imagine having nothing to cheer about on your big night out to see your Habs? Been there, done that. It’s very depressing.
The third period was a time to build on the momentum from P.K.’s blast. And Subban, interviewed during the intermission, said they’d had a poor practice beforehand and were flat. Does it mean they’ve had lousy practices since 2002, the last time they won in Calgary?
Six losses and a tie in their last seven games in Calgary. What the……?
Will it become seven losses and a tie? And who was running the lousy practice?
The answer my friend, was blowin’ in the wind.
Lars Eller mades it 3-2 with almost half a period to go and suddenly, after only two and half periods, it became a game. The Canadiens found some zip. They could taste it and they gave it their all. For ten minutes.
And in the end………….such a silly penalty by P.K. with 1:49 left, and the everything went pfffft. All that late good stuff down the drain. Too bad, they were on the verge.
All in all, too many were invisible for too long.
Seven losses and a tie in eight games in Calgary. It’s ridiculous.
Shots on goal – Montreal 35, Calgary 25.
Next up, Thursday in Edmonton. Hopefully the practice is better.