Which version of the Canadiens will we be seeing in the month of December? Will it be the one we saw in October or the current one which now has an active four game losing streak and eight losses in thirteen games?
The home ice loss to Boston was a tough one to swallow. The Canadiens came back from 0-2 in the third period to tie the game only to lose on a four-minute Boston power play with just under three minutes remaining.
We had the schizophrenic Jonathan Drouin in full bloom in this game. Through the first 45 minutes of the game he was the Canadiens dominant offensive force. He started the Canadiens comeback with a terrific rush that resulted in their first goal. It came on his seventh shot on goal. And then came the bad Drouin. With just over five minutes remaining in a tie game he cross checked David Backes in the face and was handed a double minor. While he was sitting it out the Bruins won the game.
It’s the second time in 24 hours that one of the Canadiens go-to scoring threats lost his cool and cost a game.
Jesperi Kotkaniemi made the rookie mistake of handling the puck in the middle of the ice with no defence to back him up. Backes picked his pocket and skated in alone to score the Bruins first goal. To his credit, Kotkaniemi shrugged it off and had a fairly useful night.
1:41 later it was the Canadiens defence at it’s wandering worst. David Schlemko chased behind the net leaving Brett Kulak outmanned in front.. Jake Debrusk found himself alone behind Kulak to make it 2-0.
We’re told that Shea Weber will play for the first time in almost a year Tuesday night against Carolina. There has been much discussion about who will be his defence partner with most of it centering on either Mike Reilly or Victor Mete. Each has had his ups and downs over the past month but, with Reilly again a healthy scratch, and based on his performance against Boston Mete has earned the opportunity. A skating, puck moving partner is the ideal partner for Weber which is exactly what Mete brought to this game.
….This game was reminiscent of some of the Canadiens/Bruins battles of the past. Physical and chippy with post whistle scrums and plenty of stickwork.
….There will be the usual segment of the fan base that will find a way to pin the loss on Carey Price but in reality he had a good game. Thanks to glaring errors in front of him, he had little chance on the three goals he gave up.
….Andrew Shaw was named the Canadiens star for good reason. He assisted on Tomas Tatar‘s game tying goal and was around the puck the entire night. In the nine games since he was promoted to the Domi line he has six goals and eleven points.
….Charles Hudon has always been mis-employed in the role of a fourth line checker. He had a very effective night on the Kotkaniemi line. His stat line included an unreal 13 hits, most of them as a forechecker. He also had three shots on goal.
….Jeff Petry spent four minutes in the penalty box and still managed 27:22 ice time.
…..The Tomas Tatar tying goal was a rare power play goal. but their penalty killers also gave up a goal for the sixth straight game. Six on the last eighteen times shorthanded is not good.
The Canadiens will attempt to snap the four-game losing streak against Carolina Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. The second of a five game home standing. Shea Weber is expected to play in his first game since December 16th of last season. After Carolina there will be home games against the Rangers, San Jose and Ottawa.