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Tag: jeff carter

GAME #22 – GOALSCORING DROUGHT – Ottawa-2 Canadiens-1 (Overtime) Nov. 20, 2019

Is it possible to say confidently that the Canadiens are in a slump?

After their fizzle against the Ottawa Senators Wednesday night, the evidence seems clear. This was the Canadiens third straight loss, all of them against teams who are likely to finish in the bottom third of the NHL standings at season’s end. Jonathan Drouin hasn’t been in the lineup for the three consecutive losses. Neither has Paul Byron.. Can the absence of those two make that much of a difference? Maybe not, but it seems like the domino effect of the necessary forward line shakeup has been felt.

And so much for that favourable November schedule. Yes they beat Boston and Washington. But so far this month they have played six games against teams that were behind them in the standings. They are 2 and 4 in those games, losing to Dallas, Philadelphia (OT), New Jersey and Columbus.

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GAME #21 – WINABLE POINTS LOST – Columbus-5 Canadiens-2 (Nov. 19/2019)

At it’s roots hockey is a very basic game. When on offense a team tries to score goals. When on defense the idea is to prevent goals.

Tuesday night in Columbus the Canadiens offense effort was pretty good although lacking in results. On the defensive side it was not very good. And they gave up five goals to a team that has been having trouble scoring two per game.

I don’t know we should read much into the loss. It was only the Canadiens first loss in regulation time in the last five games. And the game was in Columbus where the Canadiens have lost six of the last seven over the last five seasons. But, it should also be said that this was their second loss in a row against beatable opposition. We can only imagine what those lost points might mean at the end of the season.

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GAME #20 – RUNNING ON EMPTY – New Jersey-4 Canadiens-3 (Overtime) Nov. 16, 2019

I wonder what Vladislav Tretiak thought as he watched this farce unfold at the Bell Centre Saturday night. The former Soviet superstar goaltender must be wondering just what has become of the world’s best hockey league if this is the kind of show they put on.

The Canadiens weren’t bad in this game, they were awful. Even worse than the New Jersey Devils. But we expect the Devils to be bad. They came into the game ranked 29th in the overall league standings but still were able to skate away with a 4-3 overtime comeback win. They probably should have easily won the game in regulation time but for some terrific work from Canadiens backup goaltender Keith Kinkaid.

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GAME #19 – TOTAL EFFORT – Canadiens-5 Washington-2 (Nov. 15, 2019)

We’ve mentioned it before. The Canadiens need to have a good November in order to cushion themselves for the difficult December the NHL schedule maker has presented them with.

So far so good. With their impressive 5-2 win over the league-leading Capitals in Washington, the Canadiens are now on a 7-1-1 roll. Not only have the Canadiens been beating the league’s have-nots, they have also taken on some of the elite. During the nine game stretch, along with Washington they have also beaten Boston, Vegas and Toronto. They now have an 11-5-3 record which has propelled them into fourth place in the Eastern Conference and second place in the Atlantic Division just three points behind the Bruins.

They are going to need whatever November brings them because in December the schedule calls for ten of thirteen games on the road including the last seven over that Christmas Bell Centre holiday ice-show break.

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GAME #18 – FROM THE JAWS OF DEFEAT – Canadiens-3 Columbus-2 (Shootout) Nov. 12, 2019

The Canadiens had the goaltender. In a nutshell that was the difference in the Canadiens 3-2 shootout win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.

Why do teams insist on playing down to the level of their opponents. It’s the unanswerable question asked in professional sport for decades.

Columbus came in to Montreal with only three wins in regulation time this season. The Canadiens played them as if somehow they both belonged in the same NHL sandbox. It’s not the first time the Canadiens have laid an egg against a have-not. Remember Detroit? And Minnesota?

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