What can be said about Montreal’s 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes?
It can be said that it’s the Canadiens third straight loss, for example and this has turned into a horrendous slump.
It can be said they played fairly well and had their chances.
Guillaume Latendresse scored a much-needed goal on a penalty shot.
And Alex Kovalev finally notched one, and although his team lost, he’s got to feel good about this. I know I do, for what it’s worth.
That much can be said about this game.
But something else needs to be discussed.
Montreal took an extraordinary 11 of the 12 penalties called in the first two periods.
Certainly they deserved many of them, which means there’s a discipline problem to be addressed. It’s not the first time the Habs have been silly this way, and although it drives the coaching staff nuts, maybe much of it is the coaching staff’s fault. Guy Carbonneau and his crew haven’t instilled the necessary habits any real contender has. Many of these penalties came from laziness, from stopping skating and hooking and tripping instead when the opposing player starts to break away.
Of course these players are professionals and should know better, and they have to start using their heads. But the bottom line is, the coaches need to have control of their players and accept a lot of the blame here.
On the other hand, tonight’s referees, Fred L’Ecuyer and Brad Meier, blew their whistles on borderline calls which in turn not only disrupted any flow, but also in turn ripped off the paying public who didn’t come to see them, they came to see a hockey game.
And the hockey game really only happened in the third period.
There’s a reason why some referees are chosen for the sexy gigs – the Stanley Cup finals, the All-Star game, and prestigious international games. L’Ecuyer and Meier aren’t doing themselves any favours with this kind of work.
Is it possible league officials told these two after the second period to get a grip and let the teams play?
Because I’m in an ugly mood, I’m gonna say that I hate cheerleaders at hockey games.
Carolina scored three power-play goals. No wonder. They had 15 chances.
Thursday night, Philadelphia is in Montreal. Will there be more stupid penalties? Will Kovalev score again? Will the Habs finally win?