Ask hockey people about the mandated four day mid-season break and you get a variety of opinions. Players seem to like it. They had better, It was their idea and something they demanded in the last Collective Bargaining agreement. Coaches hate it because they thing it ruins momentum. In that group, Michel Therrien may be the exception. His team hasn’t had anything resembling momentum in three months.
Since the end of that 13-1-1 start to the season on Nov. 13th the Canadiens have just the one three game winning streak. It came just after the new year and in two of those games they had to win in overtime. So for Therrien, the four days off might stop the win-one, lose-one pace we’ve been seeing since mid-November.
And so they go to their four day break. The fact that the Canadiens are still in first place in the Atlantic Division is a testament only to the horrible weakness of the division. The Canadiens have lost five of their last six games and eleven of the last seventeen and in the last 43 have won 18 games and lost 24. And they’re still in first place. But that hold is tentative at best. They go to their break leading Ottawa and Boston by six points and Toronto by nine, but the teams hold massive games in hand.
Things could change considerably before the Canadiens play their next game against Winnipeg next Saturday. With five games in hand, Ottawa will play twice before the Canadiens hit the ice again. Toronto with four in hand also will play twice.
Missing the playoffs entirely was unthinkable two months ago. Unless things change, it’s a real possibility now.
Here’s an eye opener. The Canadiens have more losses in regulation time than both Ottawa and Toronto right now.
ABOUT THE GAME –
….Don’t pin this loss on Carey Price. Nothing he could do to save this one. And he made some pretty good saves along the way.
….The Canadiens have found many ways to lose over the last 2 ½ months, part of their problem in this game was an inability to exit their zone cleanly under the Bruins forecheck. Offense starts with the breakout and the Canadiens executed it badly for most of the night.
….The Canadiens had a fairly decent start in the game and it was only 1-0 going to the second period. Then the Bruins took over. 17-7 were the shots in the second period and two more goals and from that point the Canadiens lost their attentiveness. Game over.\
….Shut down Radulov and Pacioretty you shut down the Canadiens. Boston did a job on them. Pacioretty did get five shots on goal but not many of them were good clean looks. I don’t think Radulov had one of his best games.
….Once again Canadiens special teams were awful. The Bruins scored a goal shorthanded, another on the power play and the Canadiens were 0 for 6 on their power play. The Canadiens have given up a power play goal in eight of their last ten games.
An interesting week. We can be guaranteed of a series of long meetings on the seventh floor of the Bell Centre. Marc Bergevin’s confidence in the team he’s put together must be shaken at this point. We are now well past blaming the Canadiens situation on a slump or injuries. Right now the Canadiens are not very good, plain and simple