Against the Blues they gave up two in seven seconds and it almost became three goals in 1:02 when Colton Parayko took a bad David Schlemko pass and hit the post behind Carey Price.
The talking point after the game was how the Canadiens battled back to tie the game, but the reality is, that seven second breakdown cost them the game.
It was the tenth time this season they’ve allowed two in less than a minute, which means they’ve done it once in every three games. That is not good.
SLOW FADE –
On the scoreboard, the Canadiens lost this game by a goal. In reality the Canadiens had a hard time against the bigger-stronger Blues.
They started well enough but things deteriorated through the late stages of the first and especially the second period where the Corsi numbers told the whole story. In that period the Blues had the puck in the Canadiens end for almost two thirds of the period – 62%. They got those two quick goals to go ahead 3-1 which is a commanding NHL lead these days.
We know how Carey Price can change the character of a game. With the Canadiens trailing 3-2 Price made brilliant saves on first Robert Bortuzzo and then Vladimir Sobotka in the 5th minute of the third period. Shots on goal at that point favoured St. Louis 26-14.
Inspired by Price the Canadiens outshot the Blues 11-4 through the final 15 minutes, and got the tieing goal before the fluke goal off Schlemko’s skate ended whatever comeback hopes they had.
Shea Weber singlehandedly got the Canadiens back in the game. Weber used a quick wrister to beat Jake Allen to make it 3-1 late in the second period and in the third launched a slapper that curved around Allen to tie it.
Weber led both teams with six shots on goal. He played with Jordie Benn until late in the second period when Claude Julien moved Schlemko up to play with him. Schlemko was paired with Weber for both of his goals.
Julien likes to use Andrew Shaw on right side faceoffs. He won 6 of 8 against the Blues including clean offensive zone wins against Paul Stastny and Kyle Brodziak that teed up Weber for his two goals. Shaw leads both Tomas Plekanec and Phillip Danault with a 55.5% win percentage.
….The Canadiens always have problems with the size of Western Conference teams. They were forced into 28 giveaways to only 8 for the Blues. However, the Canadiens outhit the Blues 42-31 thanks mostly to Nicolas Deslaurier who is proving to be a big contributor on the fourth line. Deslaurier registered 10 hits. Remarkably he stays out of the penalty box despite the robust nature of his game.
….Brendan Gallagher had a rough first two periods and found himself on the bench after he made a half-hearted backchecking effort on Scotty Upshall who scored the first of those two quick goals in the second period. On his next shift he took a penalty and Julien sat him down for most of the final 15 minutes of the period. Gallagher redeemed himself somewhat in the third period.
The Canadiens remain in third place in the Atlantic Divison and Boston has those four games in hand back. The home stand continues Calgary in Montreal on Thursday and Edmonton on Saturday. They’ll wrap it up next week against New Jersey before they head out on their annual seven game holiday road trip that will take them through to the New Year.