Montreal had hardly any chances in their game against the Senators on Monday night – only those point-blank deals from Brandon Prust, Alex Galchenyuk, and Tomas Plekanec on several occasions, and those goal posts from Max and Cole and Diaz. Then there were those blasts from the blueline and scrambles around the net and everything else the team threw at Ottawa goalie Ben Bishop, including the kitchen sink.
All that and they only score once and lose 2-1 in the shootout. Outshooting the Sens 45-24 and popping one measly goal. But it was one of those nights. I’m not crazy about these nights.
The goalie was as hot as can be. He won the game. But this was a big game for Montreal and they should have found a way, especially against an injury-riddled squad like the Sens. Ben Bishop isn’t even a first-stringer, but the Canadiens couldn’t beat him.
So there’s no excuses, no whining, no bad luck. Montreal lost a game they should have won, and it happens. That’s why the goalie is the most important player on the team. That’s why a good backup is a precious commodity. That’s why I need a good stiff drink.
Speaking of goalies, the Canadiens have one of the best, but from time to time, our Carey Price can fan on an easy pitch down the middle. Remember last year when he was daydreaming at a faceoff and was beaten before he could even move? I’m sure I cursed at him. And tonight, a puck he’d normally squeeze in his sleep sailed by and the Sens broke the ice and took a 1-0 lead. Price is great, just not 100% of the time.
Now it’s Toronto to contend with on Wednesday, and we all know how the Canadiens have fared so far against these guys. The Habs need this game in a big way because if the Leafs were to win their third straight over the tricolour, they might think they’re a good team. And that wouldn’t be right.
I’ve already mentioned the shots on goal.
Rene Bourque didn’t play for the second straight game. He has the flu, but it’s been a few days now so suck it up, Rene, and get back out there.
PK Subban got booed tonight, which is always good in a visitor’s barn. Bobby Orr used to really hear it, especially in Toronto. Singers know they’ve made it when play Carnegie Hall. Hockey players know they’ve made it when they’re booed on the road.