Habs Power Play Crashes And Burns

The Canadiens drop a 4-3 decision to the visiting Philadelphia Flyers, but it was a game to be had for the home team.

If they had any kind of power play.

One goal on nine power play attempts. Is that lousy or what? Tomas Kaberle may have been brought in to improve this feeble man-advantage problem with the Habs, but it was the same old song and dance again tonight.

One for nine. With several minutes of two-men advantages. Just not good. And the team will never truly become a threat until this part of their game is straightened out.

They still could have won, though, even with such shortcomings. The Habs fought back three times to even things, but just couldn’t do it a fourth. Even though Maxime Talbot went to the box with just 2:21 left in the third, thus handing it back to the Canadiens once again on a silver platter.

The man-advantage feebleness was in the forefront, the tiny two-game win streak brought to a halt, and Hal Gill was held off the scoresheet. Damn.

The charge up the playoff spot ladder fizzles out like a dud firecracker. For now anyway.

At least I don’t have to eat toxic maple syrup anymore. (Kind of a local joke for those unaware).

There was, however, one extreme highlight on this disappointing night. Louis Leblanc scored his first NHL goal, a goal in the second period that had tied the game at two, and for a short period of time, all was right in our little world. And after the Flyers had gone ahead 3-2, Erik Cole scored the lone power play marker with just 16 seconds left in the frame, and this game was ours for the taking.

But it wasn’t, because the power play sucks the big one.

Random Notes:

David Desharnais scored Montreal’s first goal, hauling it out from behind the Flyers’ net and firing it home.

Mike Cammalleri and Tomas Plekanec had chances – Pleks on a clear-cut breakaway for instance, and Cammalleri with a pile of shots. But none fooled Philly netminder Sergei Bobrovsky. It’s easy to stop pucks when they’re fired at your chest.

PK Subban and Alexei Emelin had puck problems tonight, and unfortunately, it hasn’t been just tonight for these two.

Shots on goal – Montreal 29, Philadelphia 25.

Next – Devils in town on Saturday. I think I’m done making predictions, at least until the power play starts to click.

It was announced tonight that Chris Pronger is gone for the year with concussion problems. This is a great loss for hockey, and these head problems have reached critical proportions. Start with getting rid of some of the ridiculous over-the-top armour these guys wear.



15 thoughts on “Habs Power Play Crashes And Burns”

  1. Not a doctor but these atheletes with serious concussion issues can’t help but think that they are going to be suffering from different forms demetia
    or alzheimers when they get older – Very sad…..

  2. There was a time when if a team had a power play, they’d get a full two minutes regardless if they scored. Thanks to us, that rule changed.

    That team would run up the score so high with 9 power plays that the Flyers would have to play with bags over their heads for the rest of the season from the humiliation.

    We were given the win on a silver platter but we basically threw it away. There is no way that a team with 9 power plays should lose. For crying out loud they weren’t facing Hasek or Roy or Dryden. The Flyers were even missing major parts of their team!

    The highlight of the game was Leblanc’s goal. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the Bell Centre that loud ever. Not even during our playoff run two years ago. Amazing.

    The giveaways are terrible as well. And for the love of god, don’t pass the puck up the middle! Hello! I’m not even a beer-league player and I know that.

  3. I don’t want to sound whiny, but referee Chris Lee was a factor.

    The NHL should investigate this guy to see if he’s fixing games. But then again, Bettman’s probably okay with that.

  4. chris lee was a factor. some of the calls against the flyers were also b.s. …… look at the slumping hab players. too many to be a mere coincidence. plecs, cammy, gionta, gomez. there is a common denominator here. guess who? the young players make mistakes but they are not the sole reason games are lost, as a scrambling coach would have us believe…… by now this must obvious to everyone who is not delusional.

  5. while i’m at it with regards to bullshit reffing, this stalinist approach to calling minor infractions or perceived infractions is the result of the nhl trying to look as if they are protecting the players. player safety is the furthest thing from the current nhl agenda. why? because it COST TOO MUCH to address the real issues. no one wants to put out the money to enlarge the playing surface let alone deal with easier things like equipment, enforcer rule and no touch icing. i’m not saying the nhl wants it’s biggest stars injured but it is a DIRECT result of it’s thoughtless, short sighted policy………… so a two minute penalty for assaulting ones stick, not ones body, becomes a normal slashing call. after all that mutherf%$^in’ stick cost over $300……. we are just a hair away from thought penalties in the nhl. ah-ha, you were thinking of slashing that stick were u not? 2 minutes.

  6. Jacques Martin, please go away. If you don’t go away please LISTEN to the reaction and suggestions of the fans. These fans are not mere spectators; they are knowledgeable and you should consider yourself LUCKY to have a city overflowing withsound advice.

    Unless you live in a bubble and don’t watch TV or listen to the radio surely the organization has a team of people specifically hired to gather public opinions about the games, egret it be from radio, TV or Internet.

    Your plan to play the vets and sit the rookies IS NOT WORKING. Stop beating it like a dead horse! Besides, there’s a huge chance we will not win the Cup this year- GIVE YOUR ROOKIES ICE TIME!

  7. Right on, Marjo. For some reason, he seems to have the support of management and owner but I don’t know why. Great comments from you.

  8. Darth, It’s not in him to be like that, but even half of that would be good. Instead of looking at his ridiculous notes all the time.

  9. Hobo, you’re right. If they made the ice bigger, they’d have to take pout seats, which means less ticket sales. It’s all about money. But surely they can do away with those stupid shoulder pads. Don Cherry was right on with this one, even holding them up for all to see. They don’t need these suits of armour.

  10. Hobo, Am I ever sick of these slumping Habs. I said before the season even began that if we can get everyone playing well at the same time, it would be a good team, even a great team. But these guys slump constantly. I’m really sick of it.

  11. Danno, it seems we get this guy Lee way too often. And it seems like there is always controversy at some point, like Cole’s goal being called back.

  12. Martin, absolutely. Down the road there probably will be complications. The NHL is dragging its feet. No-touch icing, smaller pads etc. There are so many problems with this great game, and it seems it’s been increased since Gary Bettman took charge.

  13. hobo is absolutely right about the NHL paying lip service to protecting the players from injuries.

    Making the rinks larger would cost some money because they would lose a row of seats but what difference would it make in markets where they are not filling the arenas anyways? So the second row seats become the first row seats, big deal. All the owners have to do is charge a little more for the premium seats.

    The argument against modifying the rink surface is that it should have been done while most of the newer NHL arenas were being built. But it can’t be that hard to renovate a rink and remove a row of seats.

    And no-touch icing could really prevent a lot of injuries too. It’s easy to implement and it wouldn’t cost them a dime. So what’s the holdup?

    I hate the mediocrity of the Habs lately and hope they cut it out really soon. But to put things into perspective, last night’s loss was the first defeat the Habs have suffered in December during regulation time.

  14. I blame the stick-boy for the loss. Who else to blame for the number of times we had the puck directly in front of an empty Philly net and we fanned on the easy shot? I lost count after a half dozen such chances. Or what about the poor clearing attempts straight up the middle directly to the opposition. Those led to at least two of the Philadelphia goals. Were the Canadiens using the wrong sticks? Were they taped incorrectly?

    As for the injuries, I most definitely agree with eliminating the unnecessary hard outer shell shoulder and elbow pads returning to the traditional soft ones. It should be a no brainer given the choice between getting a bruise while hitting an opponent or getting brain damage from a hit. I primarily blame the NHLPA for the lack of action on this issue. Why don’t they give a damn about their players? Instead, just like Bettman, the NHL and the billionaire owners all they care about is the money, health be damned.

    I disagree that increasing the ice size will help. Players skating up the middle will be blind sided from even more ice. Or the game will become duller along the boards far from the nets.

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