It’s Over Boys. Now You Can Go Back To Sleep.

It certainly couldn’t have been the way Jaroslav Halak planned on passing the reigns back to Carey Price. Halak’s stint as number one goalie was drawing to a close, and he’d done a good, solid job for the team. Soon it would be time for Price to take over.

 But in Atlanta Tuesday night, after Halak had let in three goals and the team was down 3-0 in the second period, Guy Carbonneau decided it was time. And so Carey Price is back, and Jaroslav Halak probably isn’t feeling all that great right now. In fact, I wouldn’t blame him if he snuck on down to the hotel bar later on and chug-a-lugged about ten shots of bourbon.

 But no blame should be put on Halak’s shoulders. The Canadiens were asleep for most of the game, especially the first period. And there’s no excuse for that. And in the end, they fell 4-2 to those southern cotton pickers.

 Montreal lost to a team that isn’t very good. And Wednesday they play a team that is very good, the New Jersey Devils. And if they lose that one, they head into the long All-Star break on a skid, which is the last thing they want. The Canadiens have officially shot themselves in the foot.

 But they did this to themselves. They deserve it. They stunk.  

 Will I do my job and mention Montreal goal scorers and such?

Nope.

 Will I say anything good about Montreal?

Are you kidding?

11 thoughts on “It’s Over Boys. Now You Can Go Back To Sleep.”

  1. “But no blame should be put on Halak’s shoulders”
    Dennis, will all due respect, how can you even say that? The first 2 goals Halak gave, my blind grandma could’ve stopped.
    The forwards were actually putting up a decent effort (not their best, but not a total stinker either) until the second softy, but at some point if they can’t trust the goaltender to stop the most routine of shots, they are likely to quit.
    I’m not going to absolve them all of blame and put it entirely on Halak. The rest of the team sure could’ve played better. But to say Halak deserves no blame?? I can’t accept that. He was terrible, period.

  2. No, I agree he let in soft goals. But it wasn’t as if he let in soft goals when the the team was rolling. They were flat as flat can be. But you’re right, he has to accept some blame. I’m just upset with the whole effort.

  3. Well with that I can agree with you. I was very upset last night, I actually turned down the volume and started doing something else by the end of the game, which I usually never do… it was just so frustrating.

  4. I’m not surprised. Our guys are simply not prepared to play to the level of intensity they must during the regular season in order to be able to up the ante sufficiently in the post-season to be bona fide contenders.

    And, James, shame! “… if they can’t trust the goaltender to stop the most routine of shots, they are likely to quit.” UH? UH! QUIT? Since when is any Habs team to be tolerated who quit? The real glory the real celebration of the Habs is that they never quit (the Cups are merely the concrete manifestation of this) – never let the bad reffing, the cheap shots, the goonery, bad breaks, soft goals, whatever – never let anything distract them, cause them to lose their focus, lose their will. And if we fans actually condone a totally unacceptable attitude of `fatalism’, of `oh well, it’s just not our night tonight’ then we betray ourselves. Here’s the nub:

    “…And right action is freedom
    From past and future also.
    For most of us, this is the aim
    Never here to be realised;
    Who are only undefeated
    Because we have gone on trying;”

    T.S. Eliot, `Four Quartets’

    James, so what if the Habs lose? I don’t give a goddamn. But I do give a huge mofo goddamn if they don’t `try’. I can deal with losing. Life is defined by loss. What I find unacceptable is lack of effort -defeat. And this, it seems to me, underlies the true value of sport – it is a metaphor for all things.

    p.s. if the above sounded like a `lecture’, it was so intended. Think about the words of The Poet!

  5. I only caught the first period, but the forwards seem to have played well in the first. They had some good pressure, but they were missing the net with their shots.

    But after the second softie, you could sense a deflation (or maybe that was my deflatedness coming through: is deflatedness even a word?).

  6. One more thought on Halak:

    Out of all the goalies who have played at least a minute of hockey this year, Halak has the second-worst goals against average, and the eighth-worst save percentage. That means, out of 50 goalies, he’s ranked 49th and 43rd.

    Yet people keep thinking he’s a quality backup.

  7. Jim- I absolutely agree with your tirade about effort. And I didn’t intend to come across as condoning the ‘we quit’ attitude that I saw last night towards the end of the first period.

    But you have to be realistic. You can’t expect a team to have the same focus and intensity after 2 softies by a goalie who they barely already trust because he’s shaky. At least, you can’t expect that of the Montreal Canadiens, the way this team behaves this season.
    They are not good, confident or mature enough, to deal with that.
    Are there better teams out there in this area? Sure. But that’s how it is so I expect once in a while they’ll lose a stinker like last night, where their motivation gets crushed by something they should battle through (be it refs, bad goals, or anything else). Just hope it doesn’t happen too often in the playoffs…

  8. One thing that rattles me about last night, which is completely un-related to Halak, is the lack of physicality.
    Except for one good hit by Komo on Slater at the beginning of the game, and one solid check by Max Pac on Schneider in the second, the team lacked any form of physical presence.

  9. I can’t find “deflatedness’ anywhere, but I like it. I felt a lot of deflatedness last night. And isn’t it funny how different eyes see different things. I thought the team was flat in the first, and some of you didn’t. And I’m like James. Midway through the third I started washing dishes and feeding the cat.
    Devils tonight.

  10. Sigh, James, I guess my `tirade’ fell on deaf ears, eh? You come right back and reiterate exactly what I was railing against. The point is that we have let our Hab hockey culture degenerate into this kind of oh-well-we-showed-up-but-things-just-didn’t-go-our- way attitude. James, of course I don’t expect our team to `have the same focus and intensity after 2 softies by a goalie who they barely trust because he’s shaky’ I expect us to up the ante,to become more so, much much more so! By all means BE REALISTIC and understand that nothing in the NHL comes easy, nothing is a given, nothing is gained if individuals and teams are `defeated’ because they let essential aspects of the game – chance, soft goals, bad calls, etc etc – demoralize them, cause them to, in effect, give up. THERE ARE NO VALID REASONS OR EXCUSES FOR NOT TRYING! If players are good enough to play in the league they are good enough to be the best and for a Hab anything short of doing what is required to excel at this level is unacceptable.

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