STARK REALITY – Los Angeles-5 Canadiens-1 (Oct. 18, 2017)

Oct 19th, 2017 | By | Category: Canadiens, Canadiens Game Story, Latest News

At what point do we decide that what we are seeing is no longer a trend but cold reality?

There is reality in numbers and , although you can make statistics lie, it is hard to sugar coat those connected with the Canadiens and their performance thrugh the first two weeks of the season.

After seven games the Canadiens are 1-5-1 including losses of six in a row..  they have average 1.43 goals per game while being outscored 27-10.  They have scored only six goals at even strength.   That is the stark reality of the Canadiens in October 2017.  And nobody seems to have any idea what can be done about it except to somehow ride it out and hope for the best.

ADVANCE NOTICE

If we were paying attention, we might have been forewarned of troubled times ahead during training camp.   the Canadiens lost their first six exhibition games.   Losing in training camp is seldom cause for concern but at the time I was struck by how little effort was exerted by the team’s core players. In hindsight, a case could be made that the lack of mental preparation has carried over into the regular season.

DESPERATE MEASURES

Claude Julien shuffled his entire forward group against the Kings Wednesday night. Most notably, he moved the struggling Alex Galchenyuk to right wing on the top line with the equally disfunctional Max Pacioretty and Jonathan Drouin. For about ten minutes they actually worked well together. By the end of the night, the Anze Kopitar line owned them. The line totaled five shots, none of them dangerous.  Pacioretty has one point in six games this season and the knives are starting to come out.  There was no improvement in Galchenyuk either.

BRIGHT LIGHT

In the chaos of the Los Angeles game  there was the Dannault/Byron/Shaw line.

Paul Byron literally dove for a loose puck to score the Canadiens only goal, a seldom seen second effort from a Canadiens player on this road trip.  Byron was the Canadiens best forward against the Kings.   Linemate Andrew Shaw, who played his best game of the season, was a close second. Shaw was around the puck all night and  led the Canadiens with four shots and five hits.

THE OTHERS

Jacob de la Rose was back in the lineup on the fourth line and in his postgame comments Claude Julien said he liked what he brought to the game. Still de la Rose was given only 10:56 ice time. Brendan Gallagher was on that fourth line as well for a total of 10:18.

THE BLUELINE

I thought Jeff Petry had a good game which belies the fact that at the end of the night he was on the ice for four Los Angeles goals.

Victor Mete did nothing to change anyone’s opinion about his long term future with the team.

And his partner Shea Weber played another 28:16. How long can that continue?

Neither Weber nor Mete were on the ice for any of the Kings goals.

I was surprised that Julien replaced Brandon Davidson with Jordie Benn against the Kings.  It was still 1-1 when  Benn, who has been having issues the last ten days, decided to pinch deep into the Kings zone. The Kings countered with a 2 on 1 that led to what proved to be the winning goal.

Joe Morrow, Benn’s partner, was playing his second game for the Canadiens.  He knows how to rush the puck and he’s got a shot.  His defensive game still needs work.

ALSO WORTH NOTING

The Canadens are one of the worst teams in the league in the faceoff circle. They wound up at 51% in this game thanks to Tomas Plekanec, who won 14 of 18. Meanwhile Jonathan Drouin continues to learn on the job. He won only six of 18.  After holding his own the first four games, Drouin has won 15 of 50 the last three games.

The Canadiens piled up another 37 shots on goal.  They are averaging 36.6 shots per game, fourth highest  in the league but have scored only 10 goals.  Net presence was better in early in this game but that disappeared in the second and third periods as the Kings took over the game.

MOVING ON –

The Canadiens have lost six in a row. The last time they were winless in seven straight was Dec. 23-Jan.7 of the 2002-2003 season when they lost 6 and tied one. They’ll try to avoid equaling that dubious mark Friday night in Anaheim. It’s been 13 years since the Canadiens won a game in regulation time in Anaheim..

4 Comments to “STARK REALITY – Los Angeles-5 Canadiens-1 (Oct. 18, 2017)”

  1. Bay_Bye says:

    you said Benn was not on 4 any goals but that is not correct…Benn and Azner were on together for the winning goal. why were these 2 clowns on together.Montreal has to admit the Drouin at center experiment is a complete failure winning only 30% faceoffs in last 3 games.15 for 50….we will not win a cup with this team

  2. reusch says:

    My bad. Late night brain fade. It should have read “neither WEBER nor Mete were on the ice for any of the Kings goals.” Corrected it. Thanks for the heads-up.

  3. Ian London says:

    Folks: we have a bad team coached by a throwback to a system that does not work today and managed by someone who knows very little about acquiring and/or keeping key players. MB is dragging our team down and there is nobody apparently with the power to do anything about it that seems to care.

    He stood in front of the media and therefore the thousands of fans who read and/or watched the “speech from the throne” and declared this is a better defensive team than last year’s team. I thought pot wasn’t legal until July 1 NEXT year. Even if we had someone to come in and replace him tomorrow and CJ put a game plan that actually works with the personnel we have, this is looking like a lost season.

    Every GM knows what we are going thru and any trade he tries to make will result in no improvement for us in the long run. They will skin him alive.

    He gave away 4 starters on defense including Sergachev and we got Drouin. I love Drouin but he can’t do it all himself. Oh yeah we got Morrow, Alzner, Streit and Hemsky. Wow!!!

    and of course he pulled a Margaret Thatcher and blew the deal to keep Radulov.

    tell me again why he is our GM?

  4. Ned Stark says:

    I see Ian London is justifiably upset with MBs constant remodelling to the next lower level for this team. But to answer his question we are in a deep spiral down and until our owner Geoff Molson actually starts thinking for himself instead of swallowing whatever crap MB feeds him. I simply feel that Molson knows not nearly enough about the game, the team and holds no one to be accountable for their actions. If he was somewhat accountable in being the owner the Subban trade would never have taken place. That clown coaching in Laval would have been left on the Rock. Therrien would never have been hired and Larry Robinson would have been. Gerrard Gallant was a great hire but for the wrong position. He should have been the team’s Head Coach right from the start. Bergevin was a lower tier defender when he played and he associates with those types of players today. No wonder we have so many of those types of guys on our team/organization. As far as talent goes MB it is best shown when you can play a 4th liner in the Top 6 for extended periods of time. He also thinks we’re back in the 60’s or 70’s with the way he’s designed our team. Slowest defensive group in decades playing out there now and not very well.
    At his presser earlier in the week MB tried to put his finger on what was wrong with the Team. He “guessed” it was a lack of confidence but I disagree. It’s a lack of goals. Bergevin still believes that grit, character and the ability to grind wins you games. Maybe the very odd one or two but in the end it simply comes down to out scoring the other team. Unfortunately he doesn’t understand statistics like 30th in goals scored. He just figures that because we have #67 and Weber and Price we’ll win just about every game. He can’t grasp that speed and athleticism is what wins today along with coaching that fully understands today’s games.
    So in the end Ian London we will continue along in the downward spiral because of our owner’s paralyses in doing the right thing. We’re more interested in being liked by the French Press and the RDS team and the provinces politicos that believe you have to have only French owners, French GMs and French Coaches for the Habs even if they aren’t the best choices. So sad to see politics messing about in Sports specifically the Montreal Canadiens.

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