The coaching change couldn’t alter the ‘character’ of the Canadiens which manifested itself once again in the 5-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils Saturday night at the Bell Centre. The Canadiens were down 1-0 in a shaky first period, but came back to scored three of the first four goals in the second period before giving up a tieing goal to David Clarkson with 1.34 remaining. The third period was all Devils.
Adding It Up –
…….Same Old/Same Old – The pattern is well established. Poor start; in this case the Devils had a 7-0 shots on goal advantage and a 1-0 lead before the game was ten minutes old. Improved Midgame – They scored three of the next four goals to take the lead. Bad ending – A second period late goal and the Canadiens tanked. No legs in the third period and the Devils had an embarrassingly easy time fending off the sporadic effort the Canadiens managed to muster.
Jekyll/Hyde – For the first part of the game Chris Campoli was solid on defense and scored his first goal as a member of the Canadiens early in the second period. From that point onward the bad Chris Campoli surfaced, the one that has great difficulty in his own zone. In his wisdom, the new head coach entrusted him to penalty killing duties and he was on the ice for both Devils power play goals. And his mishandling of the puck led to a 3-on-0 Devils break at on point
…..Part of the Problem – Erik Cole had a terrible night. His three consecutive careless penalties put the team on the defensive. The Devils scored a power play goal on the third one. Including his first five or six games with the team, I don’t think I’ve seen him more out of sorts.
……The Dane – Lars Eller was far and away the best Canadiens forward. He not only used his speed, but there is a power aspect to his game that is beginning to be more and more evident. The fact he had some offensive success while playing with Mathieu Darche and the neophyte Louis Leblanc speaks volumes.
…..Noteworthy – Hal Gill had two assists in the game. When’s the last time he did that. He got a third star selection for that. The Plekanec/Cammalleri/Kostitsyn line was assigned the job of checking Parise/Henrique/Kovalchuk. They did an excellent job. Most of New Jersey’s scoring came from second liners, which were the responsibility of the Eller line.
……Net Presence – If there was a bright spot it was the way the Canadiens scored on Martin Brodeur. On the Subban power play goal, Erik Cole completely blocked Brodeur’s vision. On the Campoli goal it was Michael Blunden in front, and it was Mathieu Darche screening at the goalmouth on the Lars Eller goal.
…..From the Scoresheet – Shots on Goal – Plekanec-5, Kostitsyn-4. Hits -Blunden, Darche and Cole 3 each. Blocked Shots – Gill, Campoli – 4. Faceoffs Won/Lost – Desharnais 56% (5/4); Plekanec 50% (11/11)
Ahead – Starting Monday in Boston, the Canadiens hit the road for the next six, three before and three after Christmas Day. Some would say it’s a good time to hit the road away from the hue, cry and the pressure. The down side is the lack of productive practice time that I’m sure the new coach would like to have.
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 Number||Goals||Saved shots||Missed Shots||Fenwick+/-||Blocked Shots||Corsi+/-|
|20468||MTL||13 – L – CAMMALLERI, MICHAEL||0||1||7||6||0||2||4||7|
|20468||MTL||14 – C – PLEKANEC, TOMAS||0||1||4||5||0||1||2||7|
|20468||MTL||15 – C – NOKELAINEN, PETTERI||1||1||0||4||1||1||2||1|
|20468||MTL||17 – D – CAMPOLI, CHRIS||2||3||8||8||3||2||5||9|
|20468||MTL||22 – D – KABERLE, TOMAS||0||0||6||6||1||2||2||3|
|20468||MTL||26 – D – GORGES, JOSH||0||0||5||8||2||1||3||7|
|20468||MTL||31 – G – PRICE, CAREY||2||3||17||21||6||5||10||18|
|20468||MTL||45 – R – BLUNDEN, MIKE||1||0||0||2||1||1||1||1|
|20468||MTL||46 – L – KOSTITSYN, ANDREI||0||1||9||6||0||2||5||7|
|20468||MTL||51 – C – DESHARNAIS, DAVID||0||0||4||4||3||0||2||3|
|20468||MTL||52 – L – DARCHE, MATHIEU||1||1||6||8||2||2||2||7|
|20468||MTL||67 – L – PACIORETTY, MAX||0||0||4||4||3||0||3||3|
|20468||MTL||68 – D – WEBER, YANNICK||1||0||0||2||1||1||1||1|
|20468||MTL||71 – C – LEBLANC, LOUIS||1||1||4||8||2||2||1||6|
|20468||MTL||72 – L – COLE, ERIK||0||0||4||4||3||0||3||4|
|20468||MTL||74 – D – EMELIN, ALEXEI||0||1||7||6||1||2||4||4|
|20468||MTL||75 – D – GILL, HAL||2||2||3||5||3||2||3||7|
|20468||MTL||76 – D – SUBBAN, P.K.||0||1||5||10||2||1||3||6|
|20468||MTL||81 – C – ELLER, LARS||1||2||9||9||2||3||4||7|