The Boston Bruins beat the Canadiens 7-0 last night.  That’s a hard fact.  The Canadiens beat the Bruins 4-1 at the Bell Centre March 8th.  Another hard fact.

The Canadiens have beaten the Bruins 9 of the last 12 times they’ve met.  Another statitistic you can take to the bank.

Not so easy to pigeonhole is the Canadiens confused  performance last night.  The importance of the game was clear.  And yet the Canadiens overall performance could be politely termed “flat”.

The talkshows and the internet are busy trying to apportion “blame” for the poor performance.  Of course there is a lot to go around.  There was a host of passengers.  The Canadiens’ game was messy, undisciplined and unemotional.  Would it have been different if the Canadiens had scored the first goal instead of the Bruins.  Maybe.  But…..I doubt it. 

And so we move on.  This wasn’t the first stinker the Canadiens have played this season.  We can only hope it’s the last.  In professional sports you can’t afford to dwell on `yesterday`.  The Habs have finished with the Bruins and now have to worry about the Washington Capitals tomorrow night and then Atlanta, Carolina and New Jersey next week.

The Canadiens have this disconcerting habit of tailing off at the end of the season.  Last season they won only three of their last ten games and got into the playoffs on the heels of a shootout loss to Toronto in  the final game of the season.  Two years ago they were winless their last four games and again backed into the playoffs.  They’re not walking that tightrope this season, but they do need to get their house in order.  They haven’t scored a goal since last Sunday in Minnesota.  The defensive side of their game has come apart.  The Bruins didn’t do that to them.  They did it to themselves and it’s up to them get it back. 

The Standings After Games Thursday March 24th

                              GP    Pts.                   Next Game

1st  -Philadelphia   73    98**                 vs. Boston Sunday

2nd –Washington  74     96**  –              at Ottawa Friday

3rd – Boston          73     92**                 vs. Rangers Saturday

4th – Pittsburgh     74     94                    vs. New Jersey Friday

5th – Tampa Bay    73    89                    vs. Carolina Friday

6th –  Canadiens    75    87                   vs. Washington Saturday

7th  – NY Rangers   75    85                   at Boston Saturday    

8th –  Buffalo           73     81                    vs. Florida Friday

9th –  Carolina         73    78                     at Tampa Friday   

10th-Toronto           75    78                     at Detroit Saturday