EMBARRASSED AT HOME – Toronto-6 Canadiens-0 (Nov. 18, 2017)

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

A

The Canadiens passed through the season’s quarter pole with that 6-0 home ice Toronto beatdown Saturday night.

Historically in the NHL, when teams hit the the season’s 21st game they have pretty much established how good…or bad …they are and will be for the remainder of their seaason.

After a quarter of the season the Canadiens fit into the “bad” category.

What has turned this team into a semblance of it’s former self.? Has the departure of Andrei Markov made that much difference? Is the Carey Price “situation” dragging down the entire team?  Except for their absences, this is pretty much the same team that finished last season with 103 points.  This season they’re on pace for 72 points  and destined for a berth in the NHL draft lottery.

STATISTICAL NIGHTMARE

It’s nearly impossible to find anything the Canadiens are doing well.

One quarter of the season has passed and the Canadiens have the worst shooting percentage in the league, They rank 29th in even-strength goals-against as well as goal differential;. They are 28th in goals scored per game, goaltending save percentage and penalty killing. They are 27th in the league in goals against per-game, Their power play is ranked 26th in the league and they are 25th in even-strength goals-for.

And all of that adds up to a team that currently sits in 27th place in the overall league standings.

NUMBERS DO LIE

Territorially, the Canadiens were in charge through the first half of the game. By the mid-point of the second period they were outshooting Toronto 22-12. On paper 22-12 may look good, but most of those 22 shots were long distance with little net presence, while Charlie Lindgren had to be very good on six of the 12 Toronto shots.

CALL IN THE SHRINK

Among the many things dogging the team, the Canadiens emotional fragility.

After outworking the Leafs for thirty minutes and having nothing to show for it, a defensive blunder gave Toronto their first goal. Thirty-seven seconds later they were down 2-0. That was the seventh time this season they’ve been scored upon twice within a minute.  If you’re keeping score, that means this has occured in one third of their games.   And in the third period they were to do it again, giving up two more on back to back shots 48 seconds apart.

DESPERATE MEASURE

At this point Claude Julien seems willing to try anything including putting together a line of Jonathan Drouin, Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk. I’m betting Julien won’t do that again. Early on they seemed to have it going but by the end of the night one could only call them as a organizational disaster.   It was their failure to co-ordinate that led to the game’s opening goal and they were still on the ice 37 seconds later when Toronto scored again.

OVERWORKED

There is large talent gulf between Shea Weber and the Canadiens second best defenseman. As a result he’s been logging massive minutes. It all came home to roost in this game, which was probably his worst with the team. He had some good offensive numbers including five shots on goal, but it was a rough night in his own end where he was minus-3. He logged only 21 minutes, partly because he spent a total of six minutes in the penalty box.  Julien says he’s like to reduce his minutes, but considering the rest of the defense, one can only ask how in the world he’s going to do it.

THE HOME STAND THAT WASN’T

This was to be the six game home stand that would get the Canadiens over .500 for the first time this season. It turned out to be what is likely to become the season defining two weeks on the schedule. The Canadien lost four of the six games. Only one of the two wins came in regulation time. Twice the Canadiens were shutout. They came into the six game Bell Centre series two games under .500 and head back on the road three games under.  the Canadiens have won only four of eleven home games this season.

HITTING THE WALL

I’m really not ready to blame the goaltending in this one. I thought Lindgren was weak on the second goal but this was a team loss. Still Lindgren has given up ten goals in the last two games which is troubling. As athletic and acrobatic as he is in the crease, he also gives up a lot of rebounds which is red meat for any team that likes to crash the net. And the Canadiens defense is not noted for preventing opponents from doing just that.

MOVING ON

Julien mentioned the fact that the NHL CBA prevents him from taking immediate action to correct the many issues plaguing his team. Under the NHL CBA Sunday is a mandatory day off and Monday the team will travel to Dallas for the first of the back-to-back games Tuesday and Wednesday against the Stars and then Nashville.  against the Stars.

But it’s now what Julien might or might not do between now and Tuesday but what is going to happen in the Canadiens front office.  Marc Bergevin knows that something has to be done to change the atmosphere surrounding his team. The test will be how he accomplishes it.

2 Comments to “EMBARRASSED AT HOME – Toronto-6 Canadiens-0 (Nov. 18, 2017)”

  1. Ned Stark says:

    There’s no way to sugar coat this whipping at the hands of the Leafs tonite. This team was playing competitively for the first half of the game. But poor execution in the Leafs end in completing plays or hitting the net with their shots. Several years ago the team brought in a shooting specialist and maybe they should revisit this idea. Weber would be the 1st guy I’d have him work with. Each game he’s getting several good looks but he’s missing badly and often and it’s really hurting this team. When you keep running Bergevin’s power play which is essentially getting Weber set up for his one timer. It’s such a juvenile set up that is easily defended. Bergevin said he got Weber for all those PP goals he scored in Nashville. Well with a one man PowerPlay it’s no wonder we rank 28th in the league.
    One of the themes this year for our troubles is the team is still getting used to CJs new system. Well that’s a bunch of crap. Covering your check inside your blueline is just basic hockey from the a PeeWee level and yet this team can’t even do that.
    In the intermission the panel said some profound changes are coming to the HABS but I don’t believe it. Molson doesn’t have the courage to take the necessary and proper changes to correct this team and organization. This is a turning point time for the organization and I do hope they start the necessary rebuild but without Bergevin. He needs to be fired for this mess he is responsible for but refuses to take any accountability for it.

  2. Bay_Bye says:

    it is Bergevin who got rid of all our young and PMD defensmen.this defense we have now is totally incompetent. Even Weber was -3 last night…I still prefer PK but lets face it Weber can’t do it on his own. Pacs and Petry are at -11..Drouin has only 3 goals and his faceoff % is not a #1 centers..not sure what it was last night but was 28% against Arizona.As we are seeing goaltending is not our biggest weakness,probably the least of the worries. we can’t defend or stop players from going to the net and although we can get a ton of shots on net not many are threatening and are from far out. Unfortunately I see the main problem being defense, we are slow,can’t cover,can’t tie up the stick,can’t move the puck up ice,can’t backcheck…other then Weber and he has had his offtimes this defense is our weakest link..MB brought in too many Dmen that can do really nothing as a unit…we need a rebuild but without MB.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: