I had a real bad feeling after the Canadiens lost to Atlanta and then to New Jersey just before the All-Star break. Because then they’d have to avoid losing to Tampa Bay not to become officially mired in a three-game losing slump.
But they did lose to the Tampa Bay Lightning, 5-3, and so, just like that, in a blink of an eye, the team that was winning, is now losing.
And imagine now if they stink out the joint against Florida Thursday night? Then it becomes a full-fledged slump.
And if that happened, they’d better beat Los Angeles on Saturday or the wheels would then have fallen off and certain Habs fans would emerge from the cracks, screaming for a trade and saying Bob Gainey stinks as a general manager, Guy Carbonneau should get fired, and the radio talk shows would be chattering, and on and on and on.
All because they couldn’t beat the lousy Atlanta Thrashers a week ago.
And now it’s come to this. The Habs can’t handle Tampa Bay, a team that sits way back in the pack, somewhere around 26th of a 30 team league.
Vinny Lecavalier was a force for the Bolts, and has possibly convinced Bob Gainey that the centreman is worth giving up a lot for. And maybe Vinnie played extra hard to convince the Canadiens’ brass to do just that.
Carey Price was mediocre in goal and hasn’t looked right since he returned from his ankle injury. I suppose he’s not 100%, even though he says he is.
The thing is, Montreal looked just fine in the first half of the game and even led 2-1 in the first period. But Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis, being the good French-Canadian boys that they are, made sure their team wouldn’t be denied. Both were very impressive.
Hopefully there’s no party planned at a Tampa restaurant after the game for Habs. That sort of thing hasn’t gone well in the past. Just ask Ryan O’Byrne. And with Super Bowl partying now under way in Tampa, maybe it’s best the boys abide by their curfew tonight.
Big enemies Boston, the Rangers, and New Jersey all won tonight, which makes it even worse.
Montreal better win on Thursday.