About last night …

How’s this for a dry spell:

The Canadiens have not scored a goal in a Conference final since May 24, 1993  – five days after Michael Leighton’s 12th birthday.

And the last goaltender to shut them out in consecutive playoff games was Buffalo’s Robert Sauvé in 1983.

They say you’re not in trouble until you’ve lost a playoff game on home ice.

If the Canadiens can play Game 3 at the Bell Centre as well as they played through 40 minutes of Game 2, trouble may yet be avoided.

But crank up the new Histoiry Will be Made segment, the punch line of which is:

What if Brian Boucher hadn’t been injured?

Great line from DownGoesBrown:

“The Montreal Canadiens: Putting the 0 in Olé-Olé”.

He also points out the Canadiens are 3-8 in games when they’re not facing elimination.

The Canadiens won’t be facing a long summer Thursday night at the Bell Centre.

But it’s a must-win, because this team is not capable of doing to Philadelphia what the Flyers did to Boston.

At that, it’s difficult to imagine the Canadiens winning four of the next five.

Oh, and BTW: Philadelphia is 16-0 in series the Flyers lead 2-0.

 

 

 

So what is to be done?

Don Cherry says the Canadiens are making it easy for Michael Leighton. And he’s right.

The Flyers ciuld have put up a highway cone with a warning sign: “Slot closed to visitors”.

But who, on this roster, is going to make Leighton’s life difficult?

Andrei Kostitsyn?

Who was prime minister the last time AK46 scored a goal in the dirty zone?

Maybe Brian Gionta, with Chris Pronger hanging on his back?

Travis Moen? Size … but hands of stone.

The Canadiens started Game 2 well. They had a 16-6 shot advantage and three power plays in the first period. Leighton had to make good saves on Mike Cammalleri during a PP in which the Canadiens had the same players on for the full two minutes.

He’s a career scubeeny, but Leighton is a big galoot who gives the Flyers a lot of net coverage.

And like most NHL goaltenders, he stops the ones he can see.

Philadelphia is administering a very strong and bitter dose pof the medicine they Canadiens dished up to the Capitals and Flyers: great goaltending and, with only a couple exceptions, dominant special teams.

Until garbage time in the third period, the Canadiens outplayed the Flyers 5-on-5. They had territorial and shot advantages.

But Philadelphia was opportunistic. 

It took red-hot Daniel Brière all of 14 seconds to get the Flyers on the board with Scott Gomez – one goal and 25 P{iM in the playoffs – in the box.

On L’Antichambre, Gaston Therrien showed how three Canadiens PK guys – Josh Gorges, who was making the right play, Moen and Tom Pyatt, who weren’t – overplayed Claude Giroux at the blueline, leaving Hal Gill alone and badly overmatched when Giroux found Brière.

I thought Jaro dropped down too soon and showed a sniper too much of the net on that goal.

And he was brutal on Ville Leino’s rising wrister, which ticked in off his glove.

When this series began, Jaro was odds-on for the Conn Smythe Trophy.

Not so fast. Jaro has given up seven goals on 37 shots, and some fans will spend the off-day lobbying for Carey Price to start Game 3.

Forget it.

This team would have been on the golf course a month ago if Jaro Halak hadn’t carried them through two miraculous playoff rounds.

I don’t know what other moves Jacques Martin can make to shake his team up for Game 3.

The Sergei Kostitsyn hunch was a bust: eight shifts, 4:57.

Ryan O’Byrne for muscle?

These aren’t your father’s Flyers. Philadelphia plays tough; but under Peter Laviolette, they also play smart.

The Canadiens were not run out of the Wachovia Center.

And Scott Gomez is taking more dumb penalties than Daniel Carcillo.

•  •  •

A math problem, if only to distract the Halakites and Priceians:

If Nicklas Backstrom is getting $67 million over 10 years, how much is Tomas Plekanec worth?

•  •  •

Chris Pronger played 28:11.

That’s almost half the game during which Canadiens forwards have to be aware there’s a guy out there who, given half a chance, will put a SERIOUS hurtin’ on them.

That apprehension is not something they felt with Mike Green or Sergei Gonchar.

That’s how Pronger is a game-changer and, with all due respect to Duncan Keith, the best defenceman still alive in the playoffs.

 

247 Comments

  1. Chris says:

    Zero chance.  The Oiler’s are not trading a chance at a bona fide superstar player like Taylor Hall.  It’s a non-starter.


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.