For the third straight game, the Canadiens looked tremendously ordinary and the starting goalie was pulled.
So much for my previous pep talk.
A total of eighteen pucks have found their way behind our two netminders during this three-game stretch, with last night being a 6-4 loss at the hands of the home town Pittsburgh Penguins, and the team in general is in disarray. It’s time to stop this nonsense.
Let’s write these three games off and forget they ever happened. It’s better this way.
Peter Budaj relieved Carey Price against Toronto and Philly, and last night in Pittsburgh, Price came on in relief of Budaj. It’s just an overall depressing time. But it’s not all on the goalies. Many of the forwards are stuck in neutral and the defence, aside from our Norris Trophy guy, is less than formidable.
Visions of Alexei Emelin crashing and blasting dance in my head.
A huge dimension is missing with the big Russian on the sidelines. Toughness and scaring the bejeesus out of puck carriers won’t be found in the likes of Davis Drewicke and Yannick Weber and most of the blueline corps, but we could always rely on Emelin to rattle some bones.
Guys are floundering and sloppy with the puck. They’re being outmuscled and outskated, and when you combine all of that with less than stellar goaltending, it’s a recipe for hockey fan depression.
Raphael Diaz is apparently close to returning, which should help, and maybe even recreate some of the old Diaz/Markov power play magic we saw in the beginning. Diaz will be a sight for sore eyes, but he’s missed the last 24 games so it might be tough in the beginning.
As long as he gets back.
It’s also weird to treat Diaz like the coming Messiah. But it’s grasping at straws and hoping he makes a big difference, whenever he shows up.
Pittsburgh beat Budaj three time on nine shots in the first period, and that was it for our backup who has been fine up until recently. Carey Price in relief allowed the other three goals on twenty shots over two periods, and at times looked shaky and other times not bad. He seemed a tad better than the past two games, if that’s any consolation.
P.K. Subban found himself in a scrap with Brenden Morrow, and if I can throw my two cents in, I’d say to P.K. that this summer, instead of being a weatherman and a media darling, take some boxing lessons instead. It’s the one thing lacking in his game. He’s a lousy fighter.
Habs outshot Pittsburgh 35-29.
Gabriel Dumont notched his first NHL goal, and other scorers included Brian Gionta, (which I don’t get to say very often); Alex Galchenyuk; and Andrei Markov. Galchenyuk has such a great wrist shot, and he fired a beauty into the top corner past Marc-Andre Fleury.
So there were a couple of good things about tonight. Not many, but it’s better than none.
Now it’s back home for a meeting tonight against Tampa Bay.