Reasonably Lousy Night In Montreal

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.

Random Notes:

Shot on goal – 31-23 Ottawa

Vancouver, a good team picking up serious steam, comes to town on Tuesday.

5 thoughts on “Reasonably Lousy Night In Montreal”

  1. Hey Dennis,Benoit Pouliot has gained some confidence in these past few games ,looks like he can be threat he was supposed to be coming out of junior.Scotty Gomez is being paid to much to just kill penalties,time for him to step up his game as well.The Habs just didnt want this one,all except for Carey Price,they played like crap.Time for a reality check.

  2. I did think Gogo put a bit more effort into it, and perhaps JM did too cause when Gio finally shook the monkey loose it was Gogo on the ice with him and not Pleky. Still, I don’t mind the Gio/Pleky/Cammy trio.

    I’m still on the Pouliot bandwagon tho he doesn’t seem to need my constant rushing to his defense anymore. Today I’ve taken up the mantle for Jacques Martin, so now I’m afraid I might be going soft in the head. I seem to have misplaced my claws.

    With the exception of a scant few, the team on the whole, sucked in terms of effort, commitment and desire to win. I don’t care to see this particular version of the Habs again. I saw it plenty last year. I want October’s version back now please.

  3. Tyg, sometimes I think the coach can get too much blame and 20 players are off the hook. These guys have to play the way they can when they’re on the ice and if they don’t, a hundred coaches often can’t make them step it up. When I watch games I rarely focus on what the coach is doing. I’m more concerned with how the players are playing on the ice, what they’re doing with the puck, whether they’re working hard, and whether they’re making extremely bad decisions. These guys are pros making millions and should be able to adapt to other teammates from time to time. Maybe Martin isn’t a great motivator and maybe he makes some of the young guys nervous, but players need to suck it up and earn their money. And I’m extremely pleased with the new confidence Pouliot is showing. He can be a very valuable player if he gets it together.

  4. I missed the game, but i wasn’t expecting much especially that it was their second straight game in 2 days. So losing this game doesn’t come as a surprise to me.
    Let’s just hope they rebound and win the next one!

  5. Phil, I hope that’s the reason. That they were a bit tired because they weren’t sharp. But it seems there’s been a few games where they weren’t in it, passes were off, shots were off, and Kovalev played really well.

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