About last night …

For 58 minutes, the Canadiens had the makings of a goaltending controversy.

If Carey Price had shut out the Sabres in Buffalo, who’d get the start against Florida at the Bell Centre on Thursday night?

Well, we’ve been spared that mystery, eh?

Jaro Halak will be in goal as your Montreal Canadiens attempt to bounce back from what might have been the most disappointing loss of a season that has not lacked for heartbreak.

For almost 57 minutes, your Montreal Canadiens played a near-flawless road game.

As Kirk Muller told Renaud Lavoie on RDS after the second period, the Canadiens were executing their game plan: stressing simplicity, getting the puck behind the Buffalo D and forechecking effectively to slow the Sabres down.

As bad as the team had been against Ottawa on Monday night, they were superb against Buffalo: skating, puck support, short crisp passes, aggressive team defence that prevented the Sabres – no slouhes in the skating department themselves – from moving through the neutral zone with any speed or spark.

Then Ryan O’Byrne took the fourth of four consecutive penalty calls against the Canadiens.

And with 3:33 left in the game, Lindy Ruff pulled Ryan Miller to give the Sabres a 6-on-4 power play.

And the roof caved in, a collapse that continued through the Overtime and into a woefully one-sided Shootout.

Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.

What a bummer.

And 24 hours later, we’ll find out whether Jacques Martin is capable of rallying his shell-shocked troops.

There are positives to build on:

• The return of Mike Cammalleri was the spark that Tomas Plekanec’s line needed, as evidenced by the first goals Andrei Kostitsyn has scored in almost three months.

• Marc-André Bergeron played a solid game on the fourth line and gave the power play a point presence that the Sabres were obliged to cover, opening up the ice for the forwards.

• Until the debacle of the final two minutes, the penalty-killers played an outstanding game.

• Brian Gionta was brilliant in every aspect of the game. If the Canadiens had 18 skaters who played with the energy and spirit of this guy … OK, maybe a few them a little taller … they’d go 82-0.

• Benoit Pouliot, MIA for a few games, complemented Gionta and Scott Gomez with his size and forechecking zeal.

• Carey Price, playing his first game in 17 days, was excellent. The kid just can’t buy a break this season. I wouldn’t stand anywhere near him in a thunderstorm.

The Canadiens were a transformed team from the disorganized, lifeless group that lost to Ottawa.

It’s a short plane ride home from Buffalo. I wouldn’t want to be flying back from Dallas and thinking about a loss like that.

The point pushed the Canadiens up into sixth place, past the freefalling Flyers.

But man, that was a tough L to take.

For 57 minutes, a shutout over the division leader and a nice springboard into the final games of the season.

Instead, a dagger into their hearts … and the task of regrouping very quickly, because a loss to Florida would plunge the city into full-on panic mode.

•  •  •

Remember that great scene in Good Will Hunting when the math prodigy, played by Matt Damon, breaks down as he talks to his therapist (Robin Williams) about trying to protect his siblings by taking beatings from a drunk, abusive father.

As the tears flow down Damon’s cheeks, Williams hugs him tightly and repeats: “It’s not your fault … it’s not your fault … it’s not your fault ..”

Know what?

Carey Price needs Robin Williams.

•  •  •


On a particularly hallucinogenic Antichambre, Michel Bergeron suggested MAB was a better Dman than Jaro Spacek and Norman Flynn second-guessed the decision not to dress Maxim Lapierre.

PJ Stock, of all people, was the lonely voice of reason.

I gotta find out who’s catering weed for that show.



  1. Jordio-oh says:

    Someone was obviously taking the dog for a walk when Carey was making multiple key second and third chance saves to keep us in the game….

  2. RJ says:

    An answer and a question. Yes, I have played hockey most of my life. How can Price be “jinxed” as most are sayng on this board in a shootout where he let in 2 or 3 shots? The team sucks in front of both Halak and Price but for some reason Halak is faulted win or lose and Price is always the victim of something — poor defensive play, refs, sitting back, etc?

    “My face is my mask,” Gump Worsley

  3. TitoS74 says:

    BadBalance is absolutely right. Trading him just because he’s had a bad year is a terrible idea. It will show the lack of organization in the administration, and I will also lose respect over the team for that one move.


    If the habs know what’s good for them, they’d keep Price.

  4. TitoS74 says:

    Exactly. If Price goes to Chicago, I can guarantee he will win many cups before the Habs even get to see the playoffs final.

  5. G-Man says:

    Don’t be. If he’s traded, the Habs may get someone decent for him. Let Chicago give up Sharpe for him.

    Price bitches too much about the team in front of him. It’s a sure sign of his lack of maturity. He should have played 2 seasons in the AHL so he could grow up and stop blaming everyone else for team failures. I’ve noticed he whines like a little kid after a loss, and that is not being a “team” player.

  6. Ian Cobb says:

    Jane, you were not alone sleeping poorly after that one last night. But we are being out coached in games lately. Martin is old school and a great hockey man, but the game has changed a lot in the past few years and I believe he has been left behind.

  7. Price_31 says:

    The best position for us to finish is is 6th-I doubt we’ll catch up to the Sabres at this point.If we finish 6th we’ll be playing the 3rd place team which will be Sabres or Sens and Habs can definitely beat them both. Especially after this game vs Buff. The game against the Sens was horribly played(minus Jaro and Gio) but the team’s going to want to redeem themselves against both teams. If they do finish 6th, we will move on to the 2nd round. I 100% agree we can’t beat New Jersey and move on to the second round! It would be easiest to finish 6th IMO

  8. thebonscott says:

    i hope, your right, but still don’t want nj

  9. Top Corner says:

    They wont be swept brotha….no way this year , and if they-WE-  get BUF 1st round , i wouldnt be any happier , they owned them last night , it would be a fun series to watch….i want it bADDDDD.  As for NJ , i would rather not see that either….but it would not be a sweep…..4-3 HABS….

  10. badbalance says:

    We have too much heart to get swept this season. if we face NJ it will go to at least 6 games

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