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Author: Ron Reusch

GAME #63 – A CAPITAL THRILLER – Canadiens-4 Washington-3 (Overtime) Feb. 20, 2020

We are at that point for the third straight Canadiens season where games are merely a number on the schedule, in this case #63. With the team out of playoff contention, each has to be taken for what it is, a game with no contextual value attached beyond it’s entertainment value and it’s effect on the draft lottery.

Ken Dryden once described the way hockey is perceived in Montreal as, not a game but an ‘art form’. Thursday night’s 4-3 overtime win in Washington may not rank with the Mona Lisa but it could still qualify as ‘fine art’.

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GAME #62 – SINKING FAST – Detroit-4 Canadiens-3 (Feb. 18, 2020)

What does this tell you about the Canadiens?

Against the other twenty-nine teams in the league the historically-bad Detroit Red Wings have won 11 of 47 games. Against Montreal they are 4-0.

As a result of the eight points the Canadiens should have been able to pick up against Detroit this season, the only remaining issue with twenty games remaining is where the team is going to finish in the draft lottery.

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GAME #58 – BLOWN OPPORTUNITY – Arizona-3 Canadiens-2 (Feb. 10, 2020)

Nothing comes easy in the current parity-driven NHL but Canadiens fans might have felt odds were on their side for a win over the Arizona Coyotes Monday night.

They didn’t get it and another nail was driven into the coffin of Montreal’s rather quixotic quest for a 2020 playoff berth.

There’s always something to complain about when the Canadiens lose a game that fans think they should win.  With them, the list includes lack of depth and top level offense, a weak defense, goaltending issues and, that old stand-by, injuries.

In this game the finger of blame can be pointed directly at special teams.  The power play to be precise.

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GAME #57 – KOVALCHUK!! – Canadiens-2 Toronto-1 (Overtime) Feb. 8, 2020

First impressions are hard to erase.

For instance I (and many others) were of the opinion that Tomas Tatar had some hockey skills but they were not on display every night, which was why he was thrown into the pot as an afterthought in the Max Pacioretty deal.  In his 137 games as a member of the Canadiens nobody has in fact been more consistent.

Similarly, there was this feeling that, great as he had been, Ilya Kovalchuk was a me-first type of player who had abandoned his team and contract to return to Russia for five years. Despite endorsements from his former teammates, that impression was a hard one to shake.

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