Granted, the first and third goals should never have happened but the reality is, the Canadiens popgun offense again left themselves with no room for mistake.. or in this case, two of them.
For the 24th time in the last 29 games the Canadiens couldn’t get past the two goal mark and winning games 2-1 is really hard to do, even when you have Carey Price performing his miracles.
And the work ethic was there against Buffalo. But, we’ve been saying for more than a month, bringing a lunch pail to work isn’t enough. Talent, especially on the offensive side of the puck, has to enter the picture as well and the Canadiens come up woefully short in that department.
This game did have it’s moments. The two best Canadiens forwards got the goals. Dale Weise for the second night in a row had a big impact on the game. But he’s Dale Weise not Max Pacioretty. And Alex Galchenyuk’s go-ahead goal was brilliant. The Plekanec/Galchenyuk/Gallagher line was the Canadiens best. the rest of the Canadiens offense operated somewhere between ho and hum.
When a team is limited to two goals on any given night, the pressure to defend is intense. The first goal was, if you’ll forgive the pun, indefensible. Max Pacioretty absolutely went to sleep on his backcheck on Marcus Foligno who had enough time in front of Mike Condon to re-read War and Peace before he scored the opening goal. The winning third goal was simply poor coverage. It’s that way when there is no wiggle room.
And what has happened to Max Pacioretty. He has a well-established reputation as one of the league’s top snipers but, for some reason has stopped trying to pick corners. He had three shots on goal in the game, all of them easily handled by Robin Lehner.
This was supposed to be the point in the schedule where the Canadiens could bounce back against the league bottom feeders. After going 0-3-0 against the teams that were holding down 29th and 30th in the league standings, it’s safe to say the Canadiens are in good company.
With this loss, sportsclubstats.com reduced the chances of the Canadiens making this year’s playoffs from 18% to 11.2%. That’s only a number. Everyone in Montreal knows they have no chance at all. The Canadiens are 2-9-0 their last eleven games at home and there were a couple of thousand empty seats.. Scalpers were selling tickets before the game on a two-for-the-price-of-one basis which has to be worry the Canadiens marketing department.
And so it goes. Next up, Edmonton and then Carolina. Back to back on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. The Canadiens have been swept in each of their last three back-to-back series.