GAME #15 – Fast Fade – NY Rangers-5 Canadiens-3 (Nov. 6, 2018)

Nov 7th, 2018 | By

Jonathan Drouin is fast becoming the current version of Alex Kovalev. Love him one game, hate him the next.

Drouin was the Canadiens best player Monday night against the Islanders. Against the Rangers he was awful. His failures were multiple. He was bad on offence; equally bad on defence. It was early in the game, but Jeff Petry’s disgusted reaction after Drouin’s giveaway led to the Rangers first goal said volumes.

GAME #14 – Resilience – Canadiens-4 NY Islanders-3 (Shootout) Nov. 5, 2018

Nov 6th, 2018 | By

Fourteen games into the season the Canadiens still haven’t lost two in a row.

It’s signifcant for a couple of reasons. The Canadiens obviously have shown an ability to bounce back from a loss something that was sorely lacking in last year’s team. But more importantly, they have shown an in-game ability to recover from a bad period to regain competitiveness .

GAME #13 – Offensive Blackout – Tampa Bay-4 Canadiens-1 (Nov. 3, 2018)

Nov 4th, 2018 | By

Much is being made of the fact that the Canadiens are one of a handful of teams that have not lost two games in a row this season. It’s nice that they have bounced back after losses, but there’s a harsher reality.

The Canadiens have lost two of their last three, both of them on home ice. Since their 4-1-2 start the Canadiens over the last six games have been in a win-one lose-one pattern – 3-3-0.   That’s .500 hockey and it won’t get you in the playoffs.

GAME #11 – Confidence Shaken – Dallas-4 Canadiens-1 (Oct. 30, 2018)

Oct 31st, 2018 | By

Admittedly it’s a low bar, but I think most would agree the this year’s version of the Canadiens is better than the 2017-2018 edition.

But there are still hangovers from last year’s team echoing around the Bell Centre and they came home to roost in Tuesday night’s game against the Dallas Stars.

Familiar issues such as a lack of scoring touch, poor special team results, untimely and bad penalties and a fragile team psyche that lets down at inopportune moments.

GAME #10 – Price In The Zone – Canadiens-3 Boston-0 (Oct. 27, 2018)

Oct 28th, 2018 | By

Early on in this game as the Bruins were putting on their pressure you had the sense that Carey Price was in the zone. When he is at his best there is a well documented calmness to his net presence. At no time in the game was he out of control which is usually marked by desperate flopping around. He was consistently square to the Boston shooters.

GAME #9 – Listless In Buffalo – Sabres-4 Canadiens-3 (Oct. 26, 2018)

Oct 26th, 2018 | By

The high point of the Canadiens game in Buffalo Thursday night came in the second minute when Artturi Lehkonen stripping Marco Scandella of the puck and set up Max Domi for the first of his two goals.

The Canadiens survived the first period with their 1-0 lead. After that, although they managed to stay close on the scoreboard, the Sabres owned them by almost every metric.

GAME #8 – Closer Than It Should Have Been- Canadiens-3 Calgary-2 (Oct. 23, 2018)

Oct 24th, 2018 | By

It’s been Jekyll and Hyde with Jonathan Drouin this season. Fortunately we’re seeing signs that the good version is showing up more often than the one we saw in Ottawa Saturday night. The good version is creative and avoids his tendency to try to do to much on his own. He was all of those things in a two-point night including his third goal of the season.

GAME #7 – A Point The Hard Way – Ottawa-4 Canadiens-3 (Overtime) Oct. 20, 2018)

Oct 21st, 2018 | By

The Canadiens played their style game for maybe ten minutes. After that it got away from them and it cost them an overtime point.

Admittedly it could have been worse. And a road point is nothing to sneeze at in today’s NHL. Still, the result could have been better.

GAME #6 Gallagher Comes Through – Canadiens-3 St. Louis-2 (Oct. 18/2018)

Oct 18th, 2018 | By

Never discount Brendan Gallagher who is one of the league’s best whistle-to-whistle competitors. Julien had him on the ice for in the final 30 seconds of regulation time. Gallagher’s forecheck forced Colton Parayko to throw the puck blindly out from the corner. Gallagher hustled to the side of the net in time to chip Tomas Tatar’s intercepted shot over Jake Allen for the game winner with 9.7 seconds left. Goals in three straight games for Gallagher. Tatar now has seven points.

GAME #5 – Plekanec’s Night – Canadiens-7 Detroit-3 (Oct. 15. 2018)

Oct 16th, 2018 | By

What a night. One thousand games. Pro athletes will tell you it’s only a number to consider after a career is over. Plekanec didn’t play like it was “only a number”. He scored a goal. If he still had a shot he might have scored another one.

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