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Tag: mike richards

GAME #58 – BLOWN OPPORTUNITY – Arizona-3 Canadiens-2 (Feb. 10, 2020)

Nothing comes easy in the current parity-driven NHL but Canadiens fans might have felt odds were on their side for a win over the Arizona Coyotes Monday night.

They didn’t get it and another nail was driven into the coffin of Montreal’s rather quixotic quest for a 2020 playoff berth.

There’s always something to complain about when the Canadiens lose a game that fans think they should win.  With them, the list includes lack of depth and top level offense, a weak defense, goaltending issues and, that old stand-by, injuries.

In this game the finger of blame can be pointed directly at special teams.  The power play to be precise.

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GAME #57 – KOVALCHUK!! – Canadiens-2 Toronto-1 (Overtime) Feb. 8, 2020

First impressions are hard to erase.

For instance I (and many others) were of the opinion that Tomas Tatar had some hockey skills but they were not on display every night, which was why he was thrown into the pot as an afterthought in the Max Pacioretty deal.  In his 137 games as a member of the Canadiens nobody has in fact been more consistent.

Similarly, there was this feeling that, great as he had been, Ilya Kovalchuk was a me-first type of player who had abandoned his team and contract to return to Russia for five years. Despite endorsements from his former teammates, that impression was a hard one to shake.

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GAME #56 – HOPES FAINT, BUT STILL ALIVE – Canadiens-3 Anaheim-2 (Overtime) Feb. 6, 2020

The Canadiens are dead but quite simply won’t lie down and admit it.

Thursday night against Anaheim was a lame-duck game in what has been pretty much a lame-duck season. Shea Weber joined Jonathan Drouin and Paul Byron on the injury list and more than a few members of the Canadiens struggled with a flu virus.  Somehow the Canadiens prevailed.

The Canadiens now have a two-game winning streak and have won eight of their last 11 which gives hope to the ‘cup half-full’ crowd of the fan base.   And to their credit, it should be pointed out that following their recent eight game losing streak it was mentioned that the Canadiens would have to play over .700 percentage hockey the rest of the season in order to come close to landing a playoff berth. Taking sixteen of the last twenty-two possible points is .722 hockey.  

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GAME #55 – FROM THE JAWS OF DEFEAT – Canadiens-5 New Jersey-4 (Shootout) Feb. 4, 2020

The two worst teams in the NHL’s Eastern Conference are the Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils. Combined they have won 20 of 106 games this season.

Going into Tuesday night’s game in Newark the Canadiens one quarter of their combined wins had come against the Canadiens.  The Habs had lost all three against the Wings and both meetings versus New Jersey.   Halfway through the game against the Devils they appeared well on the way to making six losses in a row………..

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GAME #54 – BREAKDOWN – Columbus-4 Canadiens-3 (February 2, 2020)

They might refer to it as a ‘magic number’ but believe me there is nothing magical about the elimination number hanging over the Canadiens after dropping a 4-3 home ice decision to the Columbus Blue Jackets Sunday afternoon. 

 Whatever you want to call it, that number is seven.

Most seem to think that 97 points will be the cutoff for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth. If that’s true, the Canadiens can afford to lose only seven of their remaining 28 games.

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