And with a bit more than 24 hours to recover – the Thursday game starts at 9:30 p.m. Montreal time – the Canadiens weill have to figure out how to play a 60-minute hockey game or they will go 0-for-Alberta.
And they may have to rebound without Josh Gorges. The veteran defenceman played one shift in the third period at the Saddledome. Gorges has some kind of knack, which means we could see Nathan Beaulieu on the CH blueline in Edmonton.
With all due respect to the 2011 first-round draft choice (Beaulieu was picked 17th overall), this is not a good situation. He would joining a defence corps that took its lumps in Calgary.
Andrei Markov played 27:23 against the Flames. How much will he have left one night later in Edmonton?
Raphael Diaz played almost 20 minutes and did not take a single shot toward Flames’ goaltender Joey MacDonald. If Diaz isn’t shooting, what the heck does he bring to the Canadiens’ lineup? Rugged physicality?
Aged Francis Bouillon had to play 21:34. Hey, we love Frankie and he’s a gamer. But against young, fast and aggressive forwards, such as the ones we saw in Calgary and more of the same in Edmonton, Bouillon just can’t keep up.
Jarred Tinordi looked bad on the second Calgary goal. But he’s a rookie, and there should have been more effective communication with Gorges on the play.
That leaves the reigning Norris Trophy winner, who spent the end of the game in the penalty box watching his teammates desperately scramble for a tying goal.
P.K. Subban is carrying the team from the back end. He’s capable, but I thought Subban was trying too hard against Calgary.
At least P.K. showed up for the game. That’s more than can be said for Rene Bourque. After two solid, hard-working efforts against the Leafs and Flyers, Bourque disappeared against his old team … and his MIA performance reduced the effectiveness of linemates Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta.
Michel Therrien dropped Bourque to the fourth line for a shift or two in the third period. The coach also flipped Brendan Gallagher and Daniel Brière in an effort to get the Lars Eller and David Desharnais lines going.
DD went 7-1 on faceoffs and about 1-77 in puck battles. He had more even-strength ice time than either Plekanec or Eller.
The ever-improving Great Dane was 8-4 on draws. And Eller continued his streak of scoring in every game the Canadiens have played this season. He’s on pace for 109 goals.
Alex Galchenyuk had five shots on goal – some from ridiculous angles. Max Pacioretty had four.
But until the late-game flurry, MacDonald was rarely troubled by white jerseys blocking his sight lines or crashing his crease. Wee Gallagher seems to be the only Canadiens forward who rushes in where too many of his teammates fear to tread. The physicality Bourque brought against Toronto and Philly was missed in Calgary. There are nights when you wish the Canadiens still had Erik Cole.
Ryan White had ZERO hits in the game … unless you want to count the check he laid on Travis Moen to create the turnover that led to Calgary’s first goal.
Brandon Prust played 10 largely ineffective minutes. I suspect Prust is hurt, because we’re not seeing the player who was a revelation last season.
It’s early, but we aren’t seeing the team that won its division and finished second in the Eastern Conference last season.
On L’Antichambre, Guy Carbonneau suggested the Canadiens were able to surprise teams during the truncated 2013 season. That isn’t happening this fall, and the Canadiens have been back on their heels early in the games against Toronto and Calgary.
Carey Price had no chance on the first two Flames’ goals, both of which were tap-ins to open sides of the net. He might have done better on Curtis Glencross’s power-play tip from close in.
Will Peter Budaj get the call to salvage some Alberta points on Thursday night?