Canadiens Game Story

MERCIFULLY OVER – Toronto-4 Canadiens-2 (April 7, 2018)

Apr 8th, 2018 | By

That fiasco known as the 2017-2018 Canadiens season is over.

It was an awful ride, riven by injuries, poor management, underachievement and for fans, broken dreams.

The Canadiens finished with 71 points, 32 fewer than last season. It might have been somewhat better if the injuries hadn’t piled up in the final 40 games but right from training camp there was a feeling that this was a poorly constructed team that was going to have problems winning games.

They tied a team record in Toronto with their 40th loss in regulation time. They won only 11 of 41 road games which also ties a team record.

From December 22nd when they were actually a game over .500, they were the worst team in the league winning 13 of 46 games. In the final two months of the season they were unable to beat any team that made the playoffs.



STILL FOURTH IN THE LOTTERY – Canadiens-4 Detroit-3 (April 5, 2018)

Apr 6th, 2018 | By

What we had on the ice Thursday night in Detroit were two bad hockey teams. A look at the league standings prevent any argument on that point.

But the teams are bad for different reasons. The Red Wings, whose last Stanley Cup win was ten years ago, are now the oldest team in the NHL. The team the Canadiens currently put on the ice are the league’s youngest.

While a huge portion of the Montreal fan base was, for reasons of the draft lottery, hoping for a loss, the seven rookies  on the ice for the Canadiens were more interested in their NHL futures than what may or may not happen on the April 26th lottery day.

Ultimately, in a mistake-filled game, motivation was the difference.



FRUSTRATED AGAIN – Winnipeg-5 Canadiens-4 (overtime) April 3, 2018

Apr 4th, 2018 | By

For the first two periods Tuesday night Canadiens versus Jets had the look of one of those pre-season exhibition game with neither team having any idea what they were supposed to be doing.

The Jets had decided to rest some of their best players and the Canadiens were what they’ve been all year; injured and disorganized.

Winnipeg took advantage of Canadiens blunders to take a 3-0 lead. but  things changed with a minute left in the second period when Artturi Lehkonen, who was one of the few who had his stuff together, rifled home a loose puck to make it 3-1.

In the third period the Canadiens were a different team while the Jets kept playing like a team that has nothing left to accomplish in the season’s remaining games.   The Canadiens came back to tie it; twenty-four seconds later lost the lead again; tied it again and then lost the game 5-4 in overtime.  Another path to what was their 52nd loss of the season.  



FAMILIAR ENDING – New Jersey-2 Canadiens-1 (April 1, 2018)

Apr 2nd, 2018 | By

The third period of the Devils game was a microcosm of the Canadiens season.

The Canadiens went into that third period in complete control. They had limited New Jersey to only one dangerous scoring chance through the game’s first forty minutes and carried a 1-0 lead. It took only 26 seconds for the wheels to start to come off for the Canadiens. That’s when Nico Hishier tipped Sami Vatanen’s shot from the point to tie the game.



FOREGONE CONCLUSION – Pittsburgh-5 Canadiens-2 (March 31, 2018)

Apr 1st, 2018 | By

So what did you really think was going to happen in Pittsburgh Saturday night?

The Pittsburgh Penguins entered the game with the NHL’s best power play. The Canadiens had the league’s worst. Special teams weren’t the only things separating the two teams Saturday night but they turned out to be the Penguins three power play goals turned out to be the difference in their 5-2 win.

The Canadiens simply haven’t been able to beat the league’s better teams.



THIRTY FOR GALLAGHER – Canadiens-4 Detroit-2 (March 26, 2018)

Mar 27th, 2018 | By

Brendan Gallagher knows only one way to play hockey. He does it game-in and game-out with such consistency and excellence that people like me tend to take him for granted. Because his compete level is so high every game, his games often become a footnote, quite often on this site included written in the ‘Also Worth Mentioning’ segment if mentioned at all.   A good Gallagher game is just something we have come to expect as a matter of course.  A bad game, or a bad shift for that matter would be remarkable.



GOALTENDING ISSUES – Washington-6 Canadiens-4 (March 24, 2018)

Mar 25th, 2018 | By

Anyone with an ounce of hockey sense the Canadiens have a big problem at the centre ice position. We’ve known that since training camp.

But what about goaltending?

Carey Price let in four goals on 14 shots to start the game against the Washington Capitals en route to that ugly 6-4 loss at the Bell Centre. In his 45 starts this season he’s given up four or more goals 17 times including 8 times whe hit’s been five or more.



NIEMI LAYS A GOOSE EGG – Canadiens-3 Buffalo-0 (March 23, 2018)

Mar 23rd, 2018 | By

This was a pressure game. Niemi was protecting a 1-0 lead right up to the final two minutes of the game. He has some really big moments. He stopped four shots while the Canadiens were two men short early in the third period. But, to me his best work was late in the second period when the Canadiens got themselves hemmed in and Niemi had to come up with three terrific stops, twice by Sam Reinhart and then on Brendan Guhle. Game saving work.



ROAD KILL – Pittsburgh-5 Canadiens-3 (March 21, 2018)

Mar 22nd, 2018 | By

Should we be surprised the way this game unfolded?

With the Penguins playing their second game in 24 hours with travel between and the Canadiens simply trying to end their mess of a season as soon as possible, we got a predictably uneven game that featured two unsuccessful penalty shots, a failed coaching challenge, a shorthanded goal, a blown 2-0 Pittsurgh lead, a linesman who had to leave the game after suffering a deep cut to his hand,



SHOOTING BLANKS – Florida-2 Canadiens-0 (March 19, 2018)

Mar 19th, 2018 | By

Halfway through the game the only question was, not whether the Canadiens would beat the Florida Panthers but whether they would score a goal. The answer to that was “no”. Again. They were shut out for the third straight time by Florida . It was also the twelfth time this season which is most in the league. Combine that with the 13 games in which they scored just one goal and you’re looking at one third of the season in which the offense has done next to nothing.



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