ANOTHER LOSER POINT – NY Islanders-5 Canadiens-4 (Overtime) Jan. 15, 2018

Jan 16th, 2018 | By

What we had out on Bell Centre ice Monday night was the NHL’s worst defensive team up against the 29th ranked offense. What could go wrong with that?

The worst defense in the league blew two two-goal leads and wound up in overtime while the NHL’s third worst offense produced 56 shots on goal and still couldn’t produce enough to win the game.

That’s the way it has been and will be with the 2017-2018 edition of the Canadiens.

ENTERTAINING LOSS – Boston-4 Canadiens-3 (shootout) Jan. 13, 2018

Jan 14th, 2018 | By

It’s another one in the loss column which was more than half expected considering the current state of the Canadiens compared with that of the Bruins who have been one of the league’s best teams over the last month and a half.

At least they weren’t boring and playing dull uninspiring hockey had been a team affliction until the game against Tampa ten days ago. Like the game against the Lightning, also decided in overtime, it was a matter of rising to the occasion. Some might more accurately say, playing over their heads. Win or lose, the paying customers at the Bell Centre were entertained after being forced to sit on their hands for most of the month of December.

HOLLOW VICTORY – Canadiens-5 Vancouver-2 (Jan. 7, 2018)

Jan 7th, 2018 | By

The Canadiens made it two wins in a row for the first time since before Christmas which is a good thing. They did a lot of things right to get their 2-0 lead except they worked hard enough to make it 4-0 and couldn’t. Anders Nilsson was yet another goaltender who was made to look like the second coming of Georges Vezina. Their failure to pile it on allowed the Canucks, who were playing their second game in twenty-four hours to come back to tie the game

CROWD PLEASER – Canadiens-2 Tampa Bay-1 (shootout) Jan. 2, 2018

Jan 5th, 2018 | By

The Canadiens have been a poor hockey team for most of the first half of their season. They have also been something worse. They have been dull.

Thursday night against the team with the best midseason record in the league, they were anything but dull.

You have to look at the context. The Canadiens entered the game on a five game losing streak in which they scored only four goals. Nothing changed much in this game. The Canadien scored only once.

PASSIVE PERFORMANCE – San Jose-4 Canadiens-1 (Jan. 2, 2018)

Jan 3rd, 2018 | By

Tuesday night against San Jose, the Canadiens lost their fifth game in a row and dropped a little deeper into the abyss of the NHL’s nether regions.

The team has lost 23 of it’s 40 games this season. Although there have been a variety of reasons for the losses, there is one thread that is constant – the Canadiens can’t score. Their lone goal against the Sharks came on a five-on-three power play. They have four goals their last five games. Through almost every one of their games this season the inability to score, especially five- on-five hangs over the team on a nightly basis. The Canadiens have scored 23 goals while winning three of their last 12 games.

‘ONE AND DONE’ – Florida-2 Canadiens-0 (Dec. 30, 2017)

Dec 31st, 2017 | By

“One and done”.

We started to hear the phrase in connection with the Canadiens in November and as the season progressed it became a descriptive of the Canadiens offense.

When April rolls around it is destined to be the epitaph for a lost season, the penultimate nail of which was driven at Sunrise Florida two days before the New Year with 43 games remaining on the schedule.

SAME OLD……. Carolina-3 Canadiens-1 (Dec. 27, 2017)

Dec 27th, 2017 | By

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Ultimately it was the story of the 3-1 loss at Carolina. After a dreadful first period that could be chalked up to the post Christmas travel schedule. After that, the Canadiens were good enough to win the game, except……

Except they can’t score goals. Even if you have the best goaltender in the world you can’t expect a 2-1 win every night.

DEFENSELESS – Edmonton-4 Canadiens-1 (Dec. 23, 2017)

Dec 24th, 2017 | By

What we saw from the Canadiens defense on Friday night in Calgary was the exception and definitely not the rule.

As well as the Canadiens blue line played against the Flames, in Edmonton they reverted to the form they displayed in giving up five goals in Vancouver on Tuesday.

This is the defense that Marc Bergevin rebuilt over the last twelve months and few like what they’re seeing

THE ROCKET LINE AGAIN – Canadiens-3 Calgary-2 (Dec. 22nd, 2017)

Dec 23rd, 2017 | By

The NHL has undergone radical changes over the last decade. One of them that has sort of slipped through the cracks is the changing role of the fourth line.

There was a time when what coaches wanted from their fourth line is a heavy physical presence and defensive responsibility for around eight or ten minutes of ice time a game while leaving offense to the top nine forwards.

SHOOTING GALLERY – Canadiens-7 Vancouver-5 (Dec. 19, 2017)

Dec 20th, 2017 | By

One of two things always seems to happen when you put two struggling hockey teams on the ice together. They either choke each other off defensively while putting their respective fan bases to sleep or they come up with a wide-open mistake-filled and ultimately entertaining game.

At Vancouver Tuesday, fortunately for those who stayed up late to watch, it turned out to be the latter.

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