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Tag: josh gorges

GAME #30 – A CLASSIC ROAD WIN – Canadiens-2 NY Rangers-1 (Dec. 6, 2019)

Funny how it goes sometimes.  The Thursday loss against Colorado was their ninth in ten games.  With that record only the most cockeyed of optimists would even entertain the idea of a Montreal playoff berth in the spring.  Twenty four hours later the Canadiens came up with a near perfect road game in edging the New York Rangers 2-1. 

Here’s where it really gets strange. The victory moved the Canadiens into second place in the Atlantic Division behind only the Boston Bruins.  There are teams around them that carry games in hand but the fact they are even close after all of their November struggles is truly remarkable and hardly credit to the rest of the division which was supposed to be the strongest in the entire league.

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GAME #29 – MENTALLY UNPREPARED – Colorado-3 Canadiens-2 (Dec. 5, 2019)

The winning streak lasted one game.  And now the tally is nine losses the last ten games.   

With no wriggle room the rest of the season, the Canadiens cannot enter games mentally unprepared to compete the way their were at home against the Colorado Avalanche Thursday night.

They were beaten badly in the first period and were only slightly better the first half of the second period.  By then a very good Colorado team had put the Canadiens in a 0-3 hole.  A big third period effort against a tiring team that had played the night before in Toronto closed the gap but a three-goal deficit was too much to overcome.  

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GAME #28 – WHAT A RELIEF! – Canadiens-4 NY Islanders-2 (Dec. 4, 2019)

Hockey coaches have been saying it for years: Take care of the defense and the rest will take care of itself.

Five games into their eight game losing streak the Canadiens were a confused mess, prone to bleeding goals at a record rate; at one point fourteen in a two game span.   It wasn’t just a goaltending and defense problem, it was a team problem.  The Canadiens had become a disorganized mess.   

They finally showed signs of snapping out of it in Philadelphia last week. They were better against Boston Saturday and Tuesday night they put it all together in a 4-2 win over what has been a very good New York Islanders team this season.

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GAME #27 – MISERY PROLONGED – Boston-3 Canadiens-1 (Dec. 1, 2019)

Hockey is a game of created-opportunities. Players work hard to produce a scoring chance. But it is what a team does with those scoring chances that dictates a win or a loss. Some teams are simply better at capitalizing on opportunities than others.

Case in point, the Canadiens Sunday night. They had protected a 1-0 lead for two periods. Three minutes into the third period Brendan Gallagher checked a puck loose and raced in on a breakaway with a chance to give his team a 2-0 lead. Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask stopped him.

We’ll never know what might have happened if Gallagher had made it 2-0. We do know that three minutes later the Bruins tied the game and midway through the period they scored the eventual game-winner on a power play. In the end one could point to a failed opportunity that was the difference between a win and a loss.  But that’s the way it’s been going for the Canadiens over the last two weeks.

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GAME #26 – STILL NOT GOOD ENOUGH – Philadelphia-4 Canadiens-3 (overtime) Nov. 30, 2019

In the opinion of the poet T.S. Eliot, April is the cruelest month of the year.

The Montreal Canadiens fan base would beg to differ. November wins. Not even close.

After their 4-3 overtime loss to the Flyers Saturday afternoon the Canadiens finish the month on a seven game losing streak and with a November record of 4-5-4. 

It is said that nearly 80% of the teams who are out of a playoff position on American Thanksgiving fail to make the post season.  With only four wins in thirteen November games the Canadiens have dropped to sixth in the Atlantic Division and eleventh in the Eastern Conference. Of the seven consecutive losses, six have come at home (0-2-4).

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