No Scott Gomez?
No Brian Rafalski?
Forwards and defencemen come and they go. New rinks are built.
But as long as Martin Brodeur is wearing a New Jersey Devils jersey, your Montreal Canadiens are toast.
Marc Antoine Godin has a better food metaphor in La Presse today. He writes that when the Canadiens fell behind 2-0 after 40 minutes, “les carottes étaient cuites.”
The Devils have not lost a game they led after two periods this season.
Canadiens have not won a game in which they trailed after 40.
2-0 against Martin F. Brodeur?
May as well load the bags on the plane. That sucker was over.
I thought this visit to New Jersey would be different. Canadiens were all over the Devils early, including an unreal sequence when the puck was in the home end for what seemed like eternity.
Sadly, Time of Possession is a football stat. Canadiens did their usual Sergei Samsonov skating drills around the perimeter, and the guy who answers to the Canadiens’ question “Who’s our daddy?” watched with a certain degree of bemusement and then calmly kicked out whatever low-percentage shots were directed at him. And as is almost always the case when one team dominates early but fails to score, the Devils got the first goal of the game.
Professional hockey players don’t quit. But you could see the fight drain out of the Canadiens as the game wore on and Brodeur stood strong. They are a young team, a work in progress. On the one hand, that means the best is yet to come. On the other hand, their early-evolutionary status makes for very fragile self-belief.
How bad were the Canadiens in the latter hal of the game last night? The RDS highlight reel was a Guillaume Latendresse backcheck … on a night when the official NHL stats credited Canadiens with THREE hits in 60 minutes.
So, in the immortal words of V.I. Lenin, what is to be done?
A few suggestions from the cheap seats (in my suburban basement):
• Move Christopher Higgins back to LW. He’s messed up on the right side.
• Hope that Tomas Plekanec bounces back against Nashville tonight. Pleks was way overmatched against John Madden.
• Pray that whatever ails Andrei Markov will get better soon.
• Pray that the 30-goal scorer, who played nine minutes in New Jersey, finds his game … and soon.
• Keep alternating goaltenders. And watch how Price bounces back from 4-0 … albeit a pasting that wasn’t his fault.
• Think seriously about a couple of call-ups to energize the room. Bob Gainey was in Hamilton last night, and maybe the GM should bring Ryan O’Byrne and Sergei Kostitsyn back to Montreal with him.
• Hire James Bond to get Alexei Emelin out of Russia.
• DO NOT TRADE FOR MARK RECCHI! This is not a drill. DO NOT TRADE FOR MARK RECCHI!!!!