It began as a game between two teams with very different numbers – Montreal, third in the east with 42 points, and the New York Islanders – 14th out of 15 teams in the east with just 22 points.
But in the end, the lowly New York Islanders had handed the Canadiens an embarrassing and unacceptable 4-1 loss, and the Habs slump continues even though they had squeaked out a 3-2 win in Carolina just before Christmas.
It’s easy being an armchair quarterback and going on about several dozen things I don’t like about the Habs right now, but I recall the words of Washington general manager George McPhee who said on the HBO documentary 24/7 that if hockey critics really knew what they were talking about, they’d be in the game.
There’s not enough jobs for all of us, George.
And at the risk of sounding like a critic, I’ll go ahead and say that PK Subban doesn’t need to be in the press box, where he was again tonight, and Carey Price needs a rest. Am I bad for saying this?
This Habs team is far from dynamic at this point, and it’s what Subban brings in spades. Play the young fellow, let him make mistakes, but also let him wake up the rest of the team and piss off the enemy.
Carey Price was not only loosey-goosey with the puck several times, but has played 33 of 36 games, with backup Alex Auld only getting work three times. Most backups get in twenty or thirty games in a season. Auld might see ten if he’s lucky.
But there I go again, criticizing, and like George McPhee would say, if I knew what I was talking about, I’d be in the game.
Tomas Plekanec scored Montreal’s lone goal.
I didn’t feel Max Pacioretty deserved a penalty, let alone a five-minute major, for bodychecking an Islanders player into the boards. His wasn’t a head shot and it wasn’t charging. All it was was a bigger man slamming a smaller man and sometimes these things hurt smaller men. It’s hockey, not ballet.
Shots on goal – 39-25 Montreal.
Next up – in Washington Sunday, home of the swearing fat man and George McPhee.