The good part can be summed up quickly; Carey Price was once again steady throughout, and Brian Gionta finally scored.
That’s mostly it.
The Canadiens showed only spurts here and there in losing 3-2 to the visiting Senators, and often, especially in the second period, were fairly pathetic when it came to mounting any kind of sustained offence. It’s all very discouraging.
There were times though, when the Canadiens did have chances, but of course Ottawa’s Brian Elliott played a great game and once again the Habs make an opposing goalie look way too good. These enemy goalies are going to get swelled heads after these Montreal games where they all look like Terry Sawchuk.
A very depressing night indeed, although Benoit Pouliot seems to have raised his level of play considerably which is not only good but also quite surprising, and Brian Gionta, as mentioned, bulged the twine.
But then there’s Scott Gomez, who carries the puck often, but it never seems to be enough. Junior and college players can take the puck up the ice and lose it too. Not a big deal there. There’s more to being a good player than just being a great rusher. You have to be able to finish as well.
In many ways I admire Gomez. He’s a beautiful skater with a good shot, and is also an effective penalty killer, but he needs to do much more than what he’s doing. Although he’s not the only one who’s underachieving and I suppose it’s unfair to single just him out.
Okay, maybe it’s not unfair. He deserves it.
Andrei Markov isn’t playing like Andrei Markov and I hope this isn’t a case of an injured player coming back too soon. It’s probably just rust. It’d better be just rust. But he’s definitely not up to scratch just yet and it’s unnerving to see a great defenceman being only ordinary.
And wouldn’t you know it? Like run-of-the-mill goalies who play like Hall of Famers when they go up against the Habs, there’s Alex Kovalev, who plays to a ratio of about five mediocre games to one good game, of course decides to have one of his good games against his old team, scoring two goals and getting several other great chances along the way.
I even thought I saw him checking once or twice.
This is a game no Habs fan should be happy about. The boys couldn’t finish, they gave Ottawa far too many dangerous chances, they were non-threatening for most of the second period, and a bunch of players are still stuck in neutral, which frankly, I’m getting quite sick of and I’m sure you are too.
And they’ve now lost three of their last four games.
The only silver lining is the Carey Price story, which Hollywood should jump on right away.
Shot on goal – 31-23 Ottawa
Vancouver, a good team picking up serious steam, comes to town on Tuesday.