(UPDATE – Canadiens forward Ryan White has been ordered to a face-to-face meeting with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan Tuesday in New York after his targeted hit on Flyers defenceman Kent Huskins in the first period of Monday’s 7-2 loss. White was given a match penalty and, considering his previous record this season, a suspension is likely)
The Philadelphia Flyers took advantage of a mentally unprepared Canadiens to take a 7-3 victory at the Bell Centre Monday night. Scott Hartnell scored three times to lead the Flyers. Wayne Simmonds, Erik Gustafsson, Jacub Voracek and Claude Giroux also scored for the Flyers. For the Canadiens it was Max Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk. Carey Price failed to finish a start for the second straight game. Peter Budaj replaced him for the third period after Price had allowed six goals 29 shots. The game’s three stars were Hartnell, Giroux and Brendan Gallagher.
Adding It Up –
Dead Flat – It was clear early in this one, the Canadiens were not ready to face the rough and tumble that the Flyers bring to their games even when they’re on the verge of playoff elimination. The Flyers outhit the Canadiens 7-1. That one hit was credited to Nathan Beaulieu but did not include Ryan White’s elbow to the head of Kent Huskins that drew a five minute major and game misconduct and a Tuesday conversation with Brendan Shanahan.
Blame the Goaltender – Carey Price is certainly part of the problem. In his last five starts Price is 1-4-0 with a 4.45 goals against average and a an .858 save percentage. That includes a combined 48:07 against Toronto and the Flyers where he let in nine goals on 34 shots. Between goals, he successfully stopped four clear breakaways and a series of odd-man rushes. Of the Flyers 29 shots through the first two periods, 20 of them were clear solid scoring chances.
Man Alone – Hockey is a team game, and the team didn’t turn up for Price. The first Flyers goal was banked in off Davis Drewiske as the defence collapsed right into the goalmouth. On the second goal there were five players screening Price. The third goal was the result of Josh Gorges missing a check on Claude Giroux behind the net. Number four was a power play goal. On number 5 Giroux’s shot would have missed the net had Markov not deflected it in. Number six, Josh Gorges took himself out of position to settle some sort of score and Hartnell was all alone in front.
Dumb …and Dumber – The hallmark of this version of the Canadiens has been team discipline. On this night the Canadiens got right into the gutter with the Flyers. . 94 minutes in penalties including a match penalty, game misconduct, three major penalties and two misconducts and that was only the Canadiens side of the ledger. Four power play goals in the game, two to each team.
No Quit – Brendan Gallagher has only one gear. As he was in Toronto while the rest of his teammates languished, Gallagher was all out for every second of his 23 shifts. Along with his 13th goal he also drew two penalties, the second of which led to the Canadiens first power play goal. With 13, Gallagher is now tied with Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau for the rookie goalscoring lead.
The Time Is Now – Michel Therrien has hesitated to do anything about the Desharnais line. Although Max Pacioretty scored his first goal in seven games, the line outside of Gallagher is not very good. Pacioretty has scored in only 3 of the last 20 games. Desharnais has two goals and five assists in his last 16, most those points coming off Gallagher’s hard work.
The Unraveling – The Canadiens have not played a good period of hockey since they clinched their playoff berth versus a compliant Sabres in Buffalo last Thursday. The work ethic that earned the team it’s berth in the playoffs had disappeared. It’s now two sloppy regulation time losses in a row. Three in the last four games. It took 31 games for the Canadiens to lose six games. They have now lost six of the last 12.
The Domino Effect – The Canadiens have played four games since Alexei Emelin wrecked his knee in that collision with Boston’s Milan Lucic. Michel Therrien was forced to move Francis Bouillon up from the third pair to play with Markov and give rookie Nathan Beaulieu and newcomer Davis Drewiske 15 minutes of ice time. Markov is the one who has felt Emelin’s absence. Markov is minus-6 in the four games Emelin has been absent and the Canadiens have given up 15 goals. The immanent return of Raphael Diaz is not going to help Markov.
From the Coach – ‘It’s pretty simple. It’s a game of pride. There’s no work ethic out there right now, we don’t pay attention to detail. It’s disappointing.” Michel Therrien during his post-game news conference.
Don’t Look Back – Somebody is catching up. Toronto dominated New Jersey Monday night and now they’re four points behind the Habs with six games to play including another head-to-head meeting at the Air Canada Centre to close out the regular season.
Next Up – The Penguins in Pittsburgh Wednesday night and then Tampa Bay Thursday and Washington on Saturday at the Bell Centre followed by three road games next week at New Jersey, Winnipeg and Toronto to finish the season.