It’s become increasingly clear that Montreal’s biggest problem isn’t on defense like most of us thought it would be after Andrei Markov and Ryan O’Byrne went down with injuries. The biggest problem, it seems, after tonight’s 3-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators, is that the forwards can’t finish. The Canadiens had so many good chances, especially in the first, but couldn’t pull the trigger on more than just one goal. It was the same against Colorado, and in Edmonton and Calgary. If the boys figured out how to bury the puck when the chances arise, they wouldn’t be in this horrific predicament right now.
How bad is it? Five straight losses, that’s how bad. The one small consolation to this whole mess is that they’re still a ways yet from their all-time losing streak which occurred in 1926, when they went down twelve straight times. And the overall record for longest losing streak is shared by both the 1974-75 Washington Capitals and the 1992-93 San Jose Sharks, who hold the dubious distinction of losing 18 in a row.
Only one or two goals every game isn’t good enough. A team has to score more than that, and the Canadiens aren’t getting it done. No one has stepped forward and taken charge, no one has been brilliant, many of them border on supreme mediocrity. Carey Price is stopping pucks and doing his share, but it’s the 22 guys in front of him who aren’t. Just once I’d like to see them capitalize on many of their chances, take a big lead, and let the other team play catch-up for a change.
It has to be a great job when you’re paid several million dollars and you just work reasonably hard but produce almost nothing. Is it the easiest money you’ve ever seen earned? It’s like a construction worker who sweats hard every day but the building never gets built. And who has risen to the top to deserve the captaincy? No one. But they certainly need some leadership.
Five straight losses. How embarrassing is that? This team should be ashamed of itself.
I had a friend when I lived in Ottawa named Ian, and he was a big Habs fan. He wore the sweater, we sometimes went down to the Forum to see games, we watched the 1975 Canadiens-Red Army game on TV together, and he cheered loudly for the team we both loved.
Then two things happened. Ottawa got a team in the early 1990’s, he suddenly became a Senators fan and immediately started hating the Habs. How can this happen? He was a mutual friend of my wife and I, and when we got divorced, he stopped talking to me. He took sides as many do, he’d known my wife longer than I had, and I think he heard some untrue stories and believed them. Several years ago I phoned him and he was fairly friendly, and we exchanged emails. I wrote a couple of times to him and in return, he wrote back with only one word answers, like “Oh” or “No.” I wrote him and asked him what was with the one-word answers and he said that’s the way he likes it. So I replied “Oh” and haven’t spoken to him since.
The moral of this story is, this son of a bitch will be happy like hell that his new team beat the one he grew up with and loved for much of his life.
Alex Kovalev assisted on the Sens’ second goal, and then scored the third. How about this – we trade two or three of the new guys for Kovalev?
Atlanta’s in town on Tuesday. Do you think we can win this one?