What is there to say? The fact is, the Canadiens, as currently assembled, aren’t a very good hockey team. On this night, against a team that was on the ropes, they simply failed to compete. It happens during a long season, but with this year’s version of the hockey club it seems to be happening a little more often than is forgiveable. Count bottom-feeders like Calgary, Colorado, the Islanders and now Anaheim among the Canadiens eleven losses so far this season. Six players on injury reserve is not an excuse for a failure to compete. I’m not sure even the heralded return of Andrei Markov is going to change things measurably.
Out of Gas – It’s one thing, when you’re three time zones away from home, to lose your legs at 1.00 in the morning Montreal time. It’s a completely different story when you lose it at 10.30 Eastern Time. The Canadiens had control of the game for exactly 6:46 of the first period. At that time, Jonas Hiller made a stop on David Desharnais that would have given Montreal a 2-0 lead. You could almost hear the air come out of the balloon.
Much Maligned ….. Or not maligned enough. I would be hard pressed to think of a Canadiens team over the last sixty years that had a power play as bad as the one the team is putting on the ice right now. They were literally handed 5:46 of consecutive power play time from 13:00 to 18:46 of the opening period. Through it all they took three shots, all of them by defenseman, three more shots were blocked, two missed and the Ducks took the puck away from them twice. In the game the Canadiens had 13:46 of power play time on seven penalties. They managed five shots and two scoring chances. They are now zero for their last 23 over the last five games and the Canadiens record is 1-3-1.
Desparate Measures – Things are so desperate that Josh Gorges logged 6:23 on the power play. In his previous 24 games Gorges total power play time was 3:33. 6:23 of power play time and one shot on goal. He also put in 5:32 as a penalty killer.
The Enigma Blame for this loss can spread to almost every corner of the Canadiens dressing room, but what in the world is with Michael Cammalleri? When a player is on the small side, he has to bring something special to the game. There is nothing ‘special’ about Cammalleri’s game right now. He has two goals his last 14 games and may have hit bottom with this game where he failed to produce one shot on goal.
Past Their Bedtime – The Canadiens entered the third period at midnight Eastern time and trailing 2-1. And dead to the world. They got their first shot on goal of the period at 14:58, a 50 footer from P.K. Subban. The comeback attempt by the Canadiens amounted to being outshot 9-3.
Capitulation – The Ducks outhit the Canadiens, who were easy targets, 27-13 through the first two periods. Realizing the Canadiens had packed it in, there were only six body checks in the third periood, four of them by Montreal.
The Debut – Louis Leblanc’s first NHL game was an uneventful 7:52. He had one harmless shot, a 50 foot wrister in the first minute of the second period, two hits and mostly he stayed out of the way, which is a good thing.
Standing His Ground – Thanks to a string of lazy penalties Hal Gill was on the ice for more than half of the 13 minutes of the Canadiens time shorthanded. He blocked 11 shots, seven of them in the third period when his teammates took four careless penalties, two of them by P.K. Subban. And don’t blame Gill for the Ducks first goal. Frederic St. Denis gave him an unmanageable pass across the goalmouth, rather than moving the puck up ice.
The Penalty Killers – After giving up a league leading two power play goals on the road their first 52 times shorthanded, the Canadiens gave up two more their next three. That kind of net.
In the Nets – Jacques Martin has been very careful about when he starts Peter Budaj. After all, while certainly adequate, he is no Carey Price. So this was his fourth start. And his third loss. The Florida Panthers, New York Islanders and Anaheim have beaten him. He hasn’t been bad in any of the games, he just hasn’t been Carey Price and when Price is not in the nets the Canadiens look more like the Ducks and Islanders than a playoff contender.
From the Stats Sheet – Shots on Goal – Subban-5; Gionta-3. Hits-Kostitsyn-3; Blocked Shots-Gill-11. Faceoffs Won/Lost – Eller 5/5 (50%).
Moving On- Now the pressure’s on. San Jose Thursday night; Los Angeles Saturday afternoon and the possibility of coming home riding a five game losing streak.
The Corsi/Fenwick Numbers
Shots directed at net while a player was on the ice at even strength, excluding empty net situations.
|Game Number||Team||Player||Goals||Saved shots||Missed Shots||Fenwick+/-||Blocked Shots||Corsi+/-|
|20357||MTL||13 – L – CAMMALLERI, MICHAEL||0||0||4||5||3||1||1||1|
|20357||MTL||14 – C – PLEKANEC, TOMAS||1||1||2||2||3||4||1||2|
|20357||MTL||15 – C – NOKELAINEN, PETTERI||0||0||3||1||0||3||3||4|
|20357||MTL||21 – R – GIONTA, BRIAN||1||1||3||1||3||3||1||2|
|20357||MTL||26 – D – GORGES, JOSH||0||0||3||2||5||2||2||4|
|20357||MTL||30 – G – BUDAJ, PETER||1||1||12||11||10||10||7||8|
|20357||MTL||32 – L – MOEN, TRAVIS||0||0||4||4||4||2||2||2|
|20357||MTL||46 – L – KOSTITSYN, ANDREI||1||1||2||1||4||4||3||4|
|20357||MTL||51 – C – DESHARNAIS, DAVID||0||0||3||6||3||3||2||1|
|20357||MTL||52 – L – DARCHE, MATHIEU||0||0||2||1||1||4||3||2|
|20357||MTL||61 – D – DIAZ, RAPHAEL||1||0||3||6||4||3||1||3|
|20357||MTL||62 – D – ST-DENIS, FRÃ‰DÃ‰RIC||0||1||5||2||2||5||4||1|
|20357||MTL||68 – D – WEBER, YANNICK||0||0||2||1||0||5||2||4|
|20357||MTL||71 – C – LEBLANC, LOUIS||0||0||4||3||2||0||0||0|
|20357||MTL||72 – L – COLE, ERIK||0||0||3||5||3||2||3||1|
|20357||MTL||74 – D – EMELIN, ALEXEI||0||0||5||3||1||4||3||2|
|20357||MTL||75 – D – GILL, HAL||1||1||3||4||4||4||1||3|
|20357||MTL||76 – D – SUBBAN, P.K.||0||0||5||5||4||1||2||3|
|20357||MTL||81 – C – ELLER, LARS||0||0||4||3||4||0||1||1|