Second Straight Stinker For Habs

I miss the old Canadiens. The ones of a month or two ago, when they were racking up wins all over the place and guys were finding ways and the goalie was stopping pucks left and right.

Where did they go? And who are these guys?

The expectations were high on this night. Get back on track after a dismal 5-1 loss in Toronto. Enjoy the drama of Carey Price redeeming himself after getting pulled for Peter Budaj.

Unfortunately, sometimes the best laid plans……

On this night at the Bell, with expectations high, Carey Price was a notch less than ordinary almost from the opening faceoff. Early on the team was forced to play catch up after falling behind 2-0, and they did, with two power play markers from Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher. It was good for a brief moment.

We just needed some goaltending after that and it could be a fine night. But it didn’t happen.

The goaltending, defence, forwards backchecking, not much of any of it was there. Not by a long shot. The game was soon out of reach, way out of reach, and the visiting Philadelphia Flyers skate away with a 7-3 win over a confused gang of Montreal Canadiens who ran around and allowed Flyers skaters way too much room, and in general, really were the shits.

And once again, Price was replaced by Budaj, and the best I can say is that I’m grateful we haven’t had to endure many of these stinkers this year. There’s only been a few.

I hope this is simply a classic case of taking the foot off the pedal after clinching a playoff spot, and things get turned up again when the playoffs get going. But I’m not real confident about this. That team out there was as mediocre as can be, and it’s a cause for concern.

Where’d that old team go?

Random Notes:

Philly outshot the Habs 33-28 if you’re interested. I’m not really.

Alex Galchenyuk scored the team’s third goal, which was nice. It was 4-3 at that point.

P.K. Subban earned two assists and had a good night, all things considered. The march to the Norris continues.

Michel Therrien’s job now is to find the old team. There’s a Jack Adams Award waiting to be won.

Wednesday in Pittsburgh.

15 thoughts on “Second Straight Stinker For Habs”

  1. I’ll say this much. When this team loses, it tends to do so “in style”. Last night’s “effort” was pathetic. Carey Price, as highly as I think of him, does NOT do well against the Flyers (1-7 in his last eight starts against Philadelphia). Believe me, I live in Flyers country, so I heard about the debacle during and after the game (even though I was already watching it–my FB page and “text message bin” were filled with messages from gloating Flyers fans). The fact of the matter is that the Flyers, as badly as they have played this season, are a big, physical team, and once again, Montreal came up small (pardon the pun) against that type of team. At this point, we not only have to worry about first place, we also need to keep in mind that the Habs are only four points ahead of the Maple Laughs. So, fifth place is very much in sight, and be honest, would you want to go into a series against a Toronto team that has owned Montreal this season, for the most part, with the Loafs having home ice advantage? I wouldn’t. All in all, it was a very disheartening game, and I don’t feel any better about it this morning than I did last night………

  2. Thats what happen when key defenceman go down with Diaz and Emelin..Could be a depth problem on developed defenceman in the farm system…..You have some good youth D-men in the system but are still undeveloped….

  3. It was pathetic, Ian. Everything seemed to go in, and the team looked lost and confused. We know they’re much better than this and they have to find what they’ve lost. A win in Pittsburgh would be sensational, but with Budaj in nets, would it complicate things for Price if they do win? I hate all this. I miss the team we saw up until now.

  4. Ah, but that’s the question, Dennis–is Montreal REALLY better than this? Was the success through much of the season a mirage, and are we now seeing the “real” Habs. Over the last 12 games, Montreal is a .500 team. As well, it has been badly outplayed by every big, physical team it has encountered (with the obvious and notable exception of Boston). Taken all together, the signs from the team are not encouraging as we head towards the post-season. Fourth place looks likely, but fifth place may even become a possibility unless the team gets its act together defensively. All of a sudden, that last game against Toronto may take on a lot more meaning than it already has, and I don’t like the Habs’ chances in that game whether it has meaning or not.

  5. I don’t think it was a mirage, Ian, but I feel the defence is thin and our goal scorers such as Ryder, Pleks, and Max are streaky, which isn’t a good thing and is a concern. Of course we prefer consistency. Last year, it was always a handful mired in slumps, and unfortunately, slumps seem to be taking place again now, including between the pipes. But they also looked confused and completely out of sorts, and that’s where the coaching staff needs to do some adjusting. One last thing – I think Gionta isn’t helping one bit, and as captain, he’s supposed to be leading. I don’t see any of this from him.

  6. I guess that time will tell if the early-season success was a mirage or not. Lack of depth, especially on “D”, is certainly an issue, as is the fact that many players have been passengers, for all or part of the season. Among those: Travis Moen (everyone’s favourite “whipping boy” now that Gomez is gone and Kaberle has been exiled), Ryan White (king of the stupid penalties), MaxPac (I love him as a player. He’s still young and learning, but there have been too many stretches this season where he has been completely invisible), David Desharnais (has done NOTHING to merit that contract extension. At the risk of being politically incorrect, if his name was David Jones, he would NOT have received the extension), Andrei Markov (not necessarily his fault. Thanks to injuries, he’s a shell of what he once was).

  7. DK, forget the beach balls get some of those oversized exercising balls for Price to practice with!! My gawd two very pathetic games when they should be hitting high gear to enter the playoffs on a positive note. You can’t turn the switch on & off it just does not work! I don’t know what to make of Price, is he getting the playoff heebie-jeebies?? That blank stare while on the bench reminds me of a few years back when he got rattled by the Booins, a deer caught in the head lights of an oncoming freight train.

  8. Ian, I think you’re wrong. DD is sucking now, but before his suckfest, he certainly deserved the pay raise, DESPITE his ethnic background. And to suggest that this is why he got the raise is despicable. DD is not the only one in a slump. Gionta can’t shoot the puck straight, Patches is shooting from the blue line rather than crashing the net, we traded Cole because he was not producing (although there may have been something more to warrant a trade…)

    We need a few muscle men now that Emelin and Prust are out (hopefullly Prust returns) and the other teams know this. It’s a universal feeling that Moen is doing nothing — perhaps doesn’t want any injuries as he nears retirements, as some suggest. With little guys like Gallagher, Gionta, DD…what forwards do we have to defend them?? Moen won’t, Bourque’s coming back from a concussion…Is Bouillon going to have to defend them all the time?? We’re in deep doo-doo. Sorry to sound pessimistic but I don’t see us passing first round.

    Honestly, unless Price plays assertively, stops the non-nonchalance attitude, stands solid in front of the net we’re going down the drain. Playoffs are going to be rough. It’s a good thing Price isn’t French Canadian, can you imagine? Therrien must favor him because he’s French therefore he plays him regardless…

    The Flyers for Gods sake. 7-3

  9. Marjo, I make no apologies for calling it the way I see it. That you may find my comment (or me) “despicable”, well, you don’t know me, so I really don’t care what you think of me.

  10. @Ian M. Sirota, I don’t care if he’s Anglo Canadian or French Canadien, I feel they should have waited till the end of this season and make an informed decision then. Possible the one & only mistake the GM has made to date. Budaj has definatly earned his extension, but Moen should be jettisoned out ASAP. His contract has turned him into another reincarnation of the Gommer! Don’t forget DD is the set up man for Patches & Ryder & if they are not putting the set-ups in the net it’s not for his lack of trying! I’d also like to see more balls from Eller, he should have got up Saturday & given the little prick Kadri a face wash, Gallager was ready to go any time the little coward was ready to go, but no he didn’t want any part of that. Come on Eller grow some cahoonies!

  11. @Mike Williamson. I actually share your view (about the signing of DD), the views of some others notwithstanding. My only point was–and still is–that the signing was motivated by the fact that DD is French Canadian, which is important for the Canadiens because of their unique position in the North American sports market. After last year’s awful season and the hiring of a unilingual English coach (and the uproar that that move caused in the French media), that the team would be more than a little bit publicity-conscious is understandable. Ryder has played fairly well since coming over–far better than I anticipated, in fact, but DD has struggled all season. Even when MaxPac heated up, DD did not. I did not like the signing, which is for far too much money (the only mistake that Marc Bergevin has made thus far, imho), as DD would never have gotten close to that on the open market. Pierre Maguire said much the same thing today on TSN690.

    I agree about Budaj and Moen. I disagree about Eller who, while he hasn’t been as consistent as I’d like, he is still young and showing improvement.

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