ROCK BOTTOM – Arizona-5 Canadiens-2 (Feb. 15, 2018)

Feb 16th, 2018 | By | Category: Canadiens, Canadiens Game Story, Latest News

There are two kinds of “statement games”.   One of them involves a couple of credible teams trying to prove who is king-of-the-hill, at least in the moment.  The other is to avoid being dubbed the worst of the worst.  The game at Glendale Arizona Thursday night was the latter and the Canadiens didn’t come out of it looking very good.

The Canadiens went into Arizona with one win in their last ten road games and ranking 26th in the league. to the Coyotes 31st.

Up against the team with the league’s worst record but a team holding a win over the Canadiens at the Bell Centre back in November, would it be too much to expect the Canadiens could somehow build up some emotion, even if it was for one night in a lost season,  to even the season series.?

Apparently not.

One might shrug off the loss Wednesday night to a Colorado team that still thinks it has a chance at a playoff berth but there is no way of ignoring the dismal effort put up by the Canadiens Thursday at the Gila River Arena.

OUT TO DRY

In the first seven minutes of this game Carey Price stopped five odd-man rushes. That’s how disinterested the team defense was in playing against an Arizona team who’s offense is worse than the Canadiens. Price gave up a power play goal and that’s all in the first period, so the Canadiens with the intermission had a chance to get their legs going.

Didn’t happen.

SUDDEN DEATH

The Avalanche wasted no time in the second. With the Canadiens defense behind the net, a pass out to Brendan Perlini alone in the slot made it 2-0. And then nineteen seconds later with Jeff Petry and Karl Alzner failing to protect the middle of the ice, a quick pass up to Perlini and the breakaway made it 3-0. Failure to push back after being scored upon has been a storyline all season. The number of times teams have scored two in less than a minute against the Canadiens is somewhere around twenty.

PACKING IT IN

What an awful start to a road trip for Max Pacioretty. He’s always been known for his scoring slumps but he’s avoided having a load of criticism heaped upon him because of the 200-foot nature of his game.

I can’t remember two worse games for the captain. that he’s put in the last 24-hours.   He took a terrible boarding penalty that led to the Coyotes first goal. In the third period with the Canadiens taking advantage of the fact the Coyotes had stopped skating to narrow the score to 3-2, Pacioretty was hit with an offensive zone “holding the stick” penalty. He sat in the box as Arizona scored their fourth goal. Worse, at a time when the team needs some leadership Pacioretty has been invisible. Over the last two games he has managed only three shooting attempts, one was blocked and in this game two missed the net.  The indefinite nature of his future with the Canadiens as we approach the trade deadline may be an excuse.  But that’s all it is…..an excuse.

SHUFFLED

It didn’t take long for Claude Julien to start moving around his forwards. Charles Hudon centered Pacioretty for much of the game. He was a centre in junior. Nikita Scherbak, who was robbed of a goal in the first period and hit a cross bar in the third still was bounced off the Drouin line to the fourth line early in the second period. Logan Shaw, who I thought had a good first period on the fourth line, replaced Scherbak with Drouin and disappeared for the rest of the game.

ALSO WORTH NOTING

….The Canadiens are the only team Arizona has managed to beat twice this season.

….The Canadiens have produced 81 shots on goal over the last 24 hours and have two goals to show, one of them on the power play.

….Daniel Carr led the Canadiens with five shots. All of them in the third period. Hudon, playing centre all night, had four shots and held his own in the faceoff circle winning 10 of 20.

….Brendan Gallagher had another energetic night which was capped by his team-leading 21st goal.

….Otherwise an embarrassing night for everyone. The Canadiens are now 1-10-0 their last 11 games on the road. In the 11 games they’ve scored 13 goals. In the ten losses they have averaged one goal per game. Can the General Manager survive this will be the on-going question.

MOVING ON

This is shaping up to be a disaster of a road trip. The Canadiens now head for Las Vegas for Saturday night and then on to Philadelpia next Tuesday before facing the Rangers and Tampa Bay next Thursday and Saturday.

2 Comments to “ROCK BOTTOM – Arizona-5 Canadiens-2 (Feb. 15, 2018)”

  1. Ned Stark says:

    The HABS were totally ineffective for two periods but then caught fire with the PP goal from Gally11. Shortly after that the 4th line put on some effective pressure on the Yotes defenders. What looked like a sure goal was staved off by a super play by an Arizona defensemen who got his stick in the air to deflect the puck away just as it looked like a sure goal. But less than 20 seconds later Carr finished off a great shift by roofing a rebound by Rana and the HABS were right back in the game! They kept up with the pressure looking for the tying goal. But as the HABS continued to press deep in the ARZ end the loud whistle stopped the play. Sure enough Capt Terriffic was slapped with a holding the stick penalty. Sure enough on the replay there was Max67 not moving his legs and holding the defenders stick tightly as he attempted to get closer to the puck.
    Two ARZ rushes later and the puck was in our net as the PK failed once again. Byron late to get back allowing a beautiful pass across the ice to a wide open shooter who tucked it in. Game, Set & Match….the HABS backs were broken from a needless penalty by Max67.

    Please, please trade this lazy doofus! The guy plays with zero heart and effort. Now he’s gone 8 games without a goal. The way he’s playing it could be 80 games before he scores again. Other players are moved down to the 4th line or onto the Healthy Scratch list by the coaching staff when they screw up or fail to show consistent effort. But not Maxie boy! Julien just turns a blind eye toward him. I’m sure the players see it too and I doubt they like it either.

    Mr. Molson -> do the right things now. Fire Bergevin! Step down as Team President and conduct a search for the best candidate to become the new Team President. Note I did not say French Team President I said the best candidate. This team needs to be after the best of the best to fill it management and coaching ranks and like why’s for our players. This organization has for too long only looked in the shallow gene pool for their coaching and management ranks instead of going after the best. It well past time to properly start rebuilding this organization from top to bottom. So get on with it and stop spinning your wheels doing nothing.

  2. Bay_Bye says:

    when the worse team in the league has 2 wins of 16 this season against you I guess the Habs are the real losers. Capt Pacs has disappeared in all aspects and needs to go…the defense was atrocious…can not back check or keep up with other teams forwards….this is not an NHL defense….we can’t score and take stupid penalties at the worse times….why isn’t Pacs set for a game to wake him up…but no Capt Pacs is not touchable or punishable. Molson needs to hire a President and fire Bergy,Julien and Lefebvre…like they say..the fat lady has sung and turn out the lights the seasons over

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: