I’m too tired and demoralized to write a fresh About last night … 24 hours after the last one.
So here’s what you should do:
Take the ALN that followed the win over Carolina and run it through a computer program that turns the text into the exact opposite.
That’ll describe your Montreal Canadiens’ loss to the lowly Islanders.
After the Wednesday night game, I joked with Mario Saraceno, the Islanders pro scout assigned to the Bell Centre.
“What a powerhouse,” I said, in reference to the team that had just easily shut out the Hurricanes. “You guys must be terrified.”
I’m not privy to the report Saraceno filed to New York. But I’ll go way out on a limb and guess the scout mentioned Carolina’s utter failure to pressure a Canadiens defence corps lacking four experienced players.
The Islanders didn’t make that mistake.
On L’Antichanbre, Gatson Therrien dissected the not-so-funny comedy of Alexei Emelin errors that led to Jay Pandolfo’s goal:
The Russian defenceman, who played his best game of the season against Carolina, gave up the blue line, played with his back to the attacking Islanders and pivoted too late and too far off his man. Then, with his knee on the ice and his stick on the wrong wide to block a pass, Emelin could do nothing about the Josh Bailey feed that found Pandolfo on the edge of the blue paint.
He was just as bad on the Islanders’ third goal. Emelin made a pass to no one on the left boards, initiating a chaotic zone sequence that ended with Mark Streit pinching deep to score.
Michel Bergeron, who can be caustic in his criticism of the Canadiens, expressed sympathy for Emelin. A unilingual Russian playing with a Swiss defence partner, Raphael Diaz, and a Slovakian goaltender, Peter Budaj, might face some communication issues when scrambling to execute proper coverage.
And Emelin wasn’t unique in his ineptitude. The D was uniformly soft and disorganized, Budaj was weak on two goals and the last-place team in the Eastern Conference collected two points that the Canadiens might find themselves needing in April.
The game provided fodder for second-guessing.
• Should Carey Price, who had a leisurely night against Carolina, have started again, coming off a shutout?
• Should Lars Eller have spent the first 14 minutes of the third period nailed to the bench?
• Why was Scott Gomez, who has not scored since Feb. 5, on the ice after Jacques Martin had pulled Budaj for a sixth attacker in the dying seconds of the game?
• When will Martin realize that Tomas Plekanec can’t play the point on the power-play?
Like I said, I’m tired and emotional.
It was a tough loss against a team that probably won’t make the playoffs.
And now the Canadiens face two opponents who are likely to be playing hockey in late April: the Rangers at the Bell Centre on Saturday night and Boston here on Monday.
Wonder what their pro scouts are reporting …