Canadiens match 73-year-old futility streak

Canadiens-SabresHIO

Despite outplaying the Buffalo Sabres for most of the game, the Canadiens dropped another one at the Bell Centre.
They had not lost three home games to start a season since 1938.

Ryan Miller was great when he had to be, making 40 saves.

The Sabres had 22 shots on Carey Price

353 Comments

  1. nunacanadien says:

    The loss of Blair Betts will come back to haunt Gauthier. This is the year we watch Gauthier, Martin and Gainey hopefully get the boot. It is time we stopped watching this tiny tykes of a team being pushed around. Changing the league rules hasn’t helped them at all. If anything, it has helped to fine tune the goons ability to skirt the rules and push around even Cole who is supposed to be one of our bigger players. But really when you put a bunch of little hockey players on the ice, it’s no wonder the habs can’t win for trying, even with the great Carey Price.

    • Tony McLean says:

      Great = never won anything at the NHL level, 32nd in the league in save percentage, had a three year home losing ‘streak’ in the playoffs until game 6 vs. Broons. Sank us against Boston last spring even though the CH gave him a 2-0 series lead and was taken to school by a *real* NHL superstar, Ryan Miller last night.

      Enough hype. Where are the results? The team played well enough to win the last two games with “great” goaltending. Like Ryan Miller delivered. The team did the improbable and gave him that series lead against the B’s and he couldn’t seal the deal. Last season for Scarey, he ain’t no Patrick Roy. This is getting OLD.

    • swannyboy says:

      Martin has to go..period.

  2. 1010 says:

    I’m not one to bash CAREY, and I believe they did the right thing in keeping him, but in my opinion Riemer, Miller, Kipper and the Russian dude have all outplayed him so far.
    How good the other goalie was keeps coming up. We need Carey to become that goalie right now.

    GO HABS…

  3. scooter says:

    Listen Up Habs management….I have been saying this so much my throat is getting dry and it is something you should already know….No top 20 goalscorer…..no Stanley Cup….plain and simple…When was the last time we won?????…What name was piercing the walls of the famed forum ??????….Let me tell you…GUY GUY GUY…..Untill we get a true sniper we will only dream of holding the CUP over our heads..

    • gloveside says:

      Have to agree here wholeheartedly. I realize the Guys are getting many shots on goal and outplaying opponents for the most part, but what we are sorely lacking is a couple of players with the ability to bury it. It’s going to be a very long season if we are constantly saying “we outshot them but the opposing goalie beat us”.

  4. Un Canadien errant says:

    I am being tested to remain consistent when analyzing this game. I have preached patience and that the first half of the season would be trying as the young defencemen learn their craft, and while Andrei Markov rehabilitates. So far, the results make me seem prescient.

    Tonight’s game was entertaining, in that the Canadiens skated well and showed imagination and flair on offence, but frustrating in that there is no tangible result to their domination. 1 goal out of 41 shots. 0 for 6 on the powerplay. Another loss.

    Carey Price was competent in net, but gave up a juicy rebound that led to the first Sabres goal. His stats are okay, but in the end he didn’t make the big save the Canadiens needed.

    The defencemen played relatively well. Alexei Yemelin made me sit up and take notice, he was sound positionally, and distributed bodychecks. Raphaël Diaz scored a beautiful goal. Yannick Weber was effective. PK Subban played within himself and didn’t commit any major blunders.

    Josh Gorges did commit the goof of the game, icing the puck as the period was winding down, the kind of play that would have been a run-of-the-mill bad play, except that the Sabres cashed it in with a perfect play off a faceoff in the Canadiens zone with seven seconds left. We often see coaches furiously diagramming set plays for a crucial faceoff, and I often think of how these are examples of micromanaging and overcoaching, but in this case it actually did turn out just how they drew it up.

    The Canadiens forwards did well, although I’m having trouble which lines did best, whether those formed at practice this week, or those that Mr. Martin re-jigged during the game, or those with four forwards used during powerplays, or those necessitated by powerplays and penalty kills that interfered with the normal flow of rolling four lines, or those cobbled together by the necessity to replace Travis Moen during his five-minute penalty.

    ———————————
    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  5. The_Franchise31 says:

    You can blame the coach, the gm, the forward, the defence or the goalie but what I think this team lacks the most is an energy fourth line. A line that get the crowd and the back in to it. Our fourth line is a buzz kill right now

  6. WindsorHab-10 says:

    At least we’re not the Boston Gooins. What a pathetic display by an equally pathetic team. Julien gets tossed, Chara does what he does best, lose his cool & become violent and Nathan Horton? What a tool.

    “Hate Bruins like a sickness”

  7. Scoring chance count from Olivier Bouchard:
    Habs – 25
    Sabres – 7

    Ryan Miller is the only reason this was a loss, it might have been the best game Montreal has played in years.

    http://twitter.com/andrewberkshire

  8. Un Canadien errant says:

    So this week I’m playing Hobie’s Ham Hawks in the Habs Inside Out Memorial fantasy league on espn.com this week. Hobie’s team, to his everlasting shame, include one Lucic, Milan. For being a clown tonight, he showed up on the scoresheet for 12 penalty minutes, which garnered his team 3.6 points.

    I hate this scoring system that somehow rewards a team for a player’s lazy play. If a player is lazy and hooks another instead of skating and backchecking, somehow that’s worth points. I know that some people think that a player with high PIM totals is a truculent and bellicose player, and is somehow more valuable than a gentlemanly player, but this is a reflection of how ESPN views hockey, and how the NHL has a long way to go still before it emerges from their self-inflicted Dark Ages.

    ———————————
    How about it NHL? No fighting, just hockey?

    http://relentlessineptitude.blogspot.com/

  9. CJL says:

    Some Perspective people.
    Tonight was a great game. It was a game we should have won, except for one mistake and huge goaltending from Miller. But how many times did Price do that to opponents last year? This is why you can’t afford crap games like Toronto, Calgary or Colorado. You have to play every night.
    I worry about us starting like Toronto, or New Jersey last year and digging a hole so deep we cannot climb out. The east is improved and points will be hard to earn.
    I am angry with PG for being “sold” on both Markov and Emelin.The latter will be a good Dman in the NHL, but not this year. Markov will not be ready for a while and by the sounds of it, he will not be the same. So PG built his entire defense strategy on “potential” and it’s a house of cards. While other teams were trading or signing young, strong blue-liners, we went with “potential”. The end result, a poor PP, and the reliance on the goaltending to be perfect.
    Our depth is taxed and we rely on signing journeymen and cast aways.
    I sometimes wish we go on a prolonged losing spell, so we can clean house of both PG and Martin.
    I hate Burke, but you have to admit, Toronto looks like the real thing this year.

  10. HardHabits says:

    I can understand developing young players and building around that young core but what I don’t get are these long term and locked in with a no trade clause contracts to aging veterans. Does management really think they have a competitive Stanley Cup contending window from now until 2014-15? And if no Cup by then, what? Will it be another rebuild with a new spending spree in the free agent market for limited possibilities and a need to over pay or perhaps another desperate trade for an over priced has been.

    Honestly I don’t care about the next few seasons because I doubt the Habs will be a significant threat to contend for the Cup in that span. My hope is that the Habs start the process of shrewdly managing its assets and building on them. Until there are three forwards that scream first line that come out of the prospect pool forget about a Cup. Pacioretty might be one of them. He reminds me of John LeClair.

    The Good: Gorges (notwithstanding his icing), Desharnais, Eller, Pacioretty, Subban, Diaz, Weber, Price, Kostitsyn, Emelin

    The Bad: Moen, Gill, Plekanec, Palushaj, Engqvist, Darche

    The Ugly: Gomez, Gionta, Cole

    • DickandDanny says:

      So, Hard Head you figure you can rate NHL players after each game they play, eh. Boy what a talent you must possess. BTW what is the Team paying you for your services? It must be nice to be able to sit back in your lazy boy and scrutinize each players performance rating them according to your level of hockey competency. What are your credentials for this if I might ask? Did you play Pro, semi-pro, junior, or were you a coach at a high level of competiton, or perhaps a NHL scout? Someone with your amazing insight obvioulsy was one, or more of the above. Why, I am bothering to ask this question is beyond me, but it’s late and I’m bored, so please enlighten me with what was wrong with Palusahaj performance tonight? How about including Moen in your response also? They both played extremely hard and Palushaj almost set up a goal while making a nice play lying on his back. He was one of the better forecheckers and his line outplayed Buffalo everytime they were on the ice. Moen stood up for one of his teamates, like he always does, and fought the Sabres tough guy to a draw. He also forechecked hard and threw his weight around and did his job . But, you say each were bad. I’ve seen your Good, the Bad, and the Ugly comments before on this site and another one also, and frankly I’m tired of your pompous attitude. You must think your pretty special if you think you have the right to rate anyone on the Habs, let alone any player in the NHL.
      \”A cannoting blast from the wing, by Lafleur\”

  11. dre1744 says:

    Don’t worry people and don’t panic we are only 3 points out of a playoff spot!!!!!! lots of time left in this season

  12. punkster says:

    Tell me again how Gomez or JM can be faulted for this loss?

    ***Subbang Baby!!!***

  13. Mattyleg says:

    I wonder how many ‘fans’ of other teams are as willing to give up on them 5 games into the season?

    Just wondering.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • HardHabits says:

      What are you talking about? I have stuck with them since ’73. I stuck with them when the Broad Street Bullies were winning Cups. I stuck with them when the Islanders and Oilers were. I stuck with them when the Adams division meant Buffalo, Hartford, Boston or Quebec. I stuck with them for the past 19 years of suckitude.

      I am honest when I said that before tonight’s game they would get 3-5 points to round out the remaining games of October. I don’t say it with glee. I say it with a keen eye for realism. I still stick by my team. They are rolling 3 lines where the best line is the least paid one and the worst line is the most expensive one. They have a defensive corps that minus Gill has about 100 games of NHL experience in them. That they’re competing is excellent. That they’re not winning is understandable.

      So be it. I hear that rumbling in the distance and it’s music to my ears.

  14. AndyF says:

    At the risk of looking like that cremated piece of roast beef my mom always makes…

    This Habs team is really dynamic this year. It’ll need a bit of time, and that hockey voodoo doll that’s hanging on some string somewhere will have to be retired, but the offense they’re showing is excellent.

    The Sabres defensemen are gonna sleep for a week after tonight’s game. They did some major puck-chasing tonight, and are lucky they got the “W”.

    Pacioretty, Eller, Emelin, Subban, and Desharnais are terrific. We’re also getting some very good work from Cole and Gomez (yes, Gomez!!). When Cammaleri comes back, Palushaj will go back to where he belongs in the AHL, and we will have at least 3 extremely offensive strong lines.

    Things I didn’t like: Kostitsyn on the point, Desharnais taking key face-offs, and Price giving up big slot-bound rebounds.

    But overall I think the Habs are looking great!
    http://andyfroncioni.com

  15. HardHabits says:

    People relax. We’ve already been to hell and back again with the Centennial Melt Down Blow Up Beat Down. It’s time to fess up and admit it. The Habs are a shadow of their former selves. They can’t sustain the glory simply based on their storied past any longer.

    The whole free agency rebuild is just another fiasco fraud implemented to placate the fans and keep the coffers tills flowing. Fortunately it is backfiring. This team needs to tank. Hopefully twice. It needs to rid itself of the Gomez contract. It needs to start building the kind of talent on the farm that places it in the top 5 when geeky website bloggers make their yearly prospect prognostications.

    Don’t worry people. I will be there as your lightning rod and in full support for these next few years of pain. But the cold turkey will be worth it. Once cleansed of the fixation on making that final play-off spot come hell or high water we will all be happier that we’ve gotten the monkey off of our backs and can live with and simply shrug off a season out of the play-offs as just a blip. So we’re 25th. Whatever. Who’re the top prospects next draft. Awesome. Excuse me while I go sit on my nest egg as it’s growing.

    There’s always next year. Remember when we used to say that. I want to start saying that again. Right now all I see is next year’s next 5 year plan, again.

    • DEANDALLEY says:

      That fine BUT CP & PK won’t be a part of it!

      “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”

      • HardHabits says:

        Let’s assume what you say is true. If they get offer sheets the Habs reap the drafting reward, probably tank some more and truly hit the jack-pot. If the Habs sign them, they sign them. If they sign them and trade them they still get high returns.

        The point is Price and Subban are just players who wear a uniform. To me what matters is the uniform. Not the name on the jersey. I like Subban and Price and I want them to stay along with DD, Pacioretty, Weber, Emelin, Gorges, Plekanec, Eller, Cammy and White.

        The players I am down on are Gomez, Gionta and Cole. It’s not for lack of effort. They just can’t execute. It’s always tic with no tac or toe with those 3.

        • DEANDALLEY says:

          If your Aunt had nuts she would be your uncle…

          If the fox didn’t stop to take a sh!t he would have caught the rabbit …

          “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”

    • punkster says:

      HH, that ain’t no egg. It’s a hemorrhoid and it’s seriously affecting your visionary abilities.

      ***Subbang Baby!!!***

    • BCG says:

      I hate to say this, but it’s becoming apparent that you have some merit.

      Gomez & Gionta have brought alot of character to this team. But character players who cannot provide the necessary offense should not be your top offensive line. Further, these are not young players who will be expected to improve – they are 30-something players who have hit their stride and that stride has not resulted in consistent prolific scoring. And no – Martin does not help that issue.

      It’s time to realize that yes – we can be competitive. And yes – with Markov, we’ll be more competitive. But this iteration of the Habs will not inevitably produce a Cup unless it happens soon, because our top salary players are on a downward trend in terms of scoring – although a consistent trend in terms of character.

  16. zozotheclown says:

    In the first we took a lot of mediocre shots, generating only 1 or 2 real scoring chances, but after that we seemed to smarten up and actually get better chances. Didn’t change anything however, Miller was on fire tonight.

    Still, it would be nice if we didn’t warm up the opposing goalie for 20 minutes, especially if its Ryan F. Miller, who is arguably (imo) the best goalie in the world.

    Special teams are the main worry right now, what we used to do so well we’re now doing poorly, and that has to change if we want to make the playoffs.

  17. From NHL.com’s shot charts, which don’t count missed shots or blocked shot scoring chances, Montreal out-chanced Buffalo 17-6. Pure dominance.

    http://twitter.com/andrewberkshire

  18. DEANDALLEY says:

    Someone give me a good reason why PK & CP will want to resign in Montreal next season?

    “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”

  19. lavie says:

    JM sucks; Price (almost) sucks.

    At least we need Kirk Muller alike Assistant Coach.

  20. sonnycorrleone says:

    at the risk of being labeled a whiner and a knee jerk reactionist….am i the only one that is getting increasingly frustrated by the lack of sandpaper on this team? it was nice to see moen pushback in the second….but it just seems as though this team is content to try the fancy play and shoot from the outside…no net presence in front of their net, looking for rebounds screens etc….none in front of our net either, no one being put on their ass etc….but again this isn´t a new problem is it? to put a positive spin on things there were moments of creativity once in the zone, albeit from the outside, and a lot of shots, just no finish…seems as though the young guys are bringing it more than our supposed veteran leaders…..just have to try and right the ship soon, you dont win the cup in october yes, but you can sure piss away alot of points that get you in the dance……..

    beat the bruins

    • HardHabits says:

      The Buffalo feed at the 2nd intermission had Physical Play flash across the TV screen and then alluded that McCormick’s tilt with Moen changed the momentum of the game. Then they interviewed McCormick and he concurred.

      So the hockey broadcasters are saying it but the ostriches here are still paddling upstream in Egypt.

      • Mattyleg says:

        You’re kidding, right?
        You ARE kidding.
        That twenty second fist-swing party changed the game?
        Not from where I was sitting.
        But I suppose that Buffalo had to take a positive from a game that they scraped through on the luck of every penny they’ve ever collectively tossed into a well.

        —Hope Springs Eternal—

      • savethepuck says:

        A bad rebound by Price in the 2nd changed the momentum of that game. The fight had nothing to do with it

        “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
        Carey Price

        • Chuck says:

          And don’t forget the trailer that forgot to pick up the shooter on that play. You didn’t overlook that, did you? Of course not.

          • savethepuck says:

            You’ll have a hard time finding a bigger Carey supporter than me on here, but I can admit when he makes a mistake. .

            “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
            Carey Price

  21. sampson12 says:

    Scary hit on Joe Stejskal of the Bulldogs. Looked harmless at first but his head hit the ice hard.

  22. HabCez says:

    Habs played better game thats for sure..

    Emelin was the best D out there.. i think he is the real deal..
    DD P K line are really clickin..

    disappointed with Gorges performance(not just this night)
    I think he plays better hurt.. either that or not playing with Hall Gill exposes his weaknesses..
    on another note Sub played solid Def and Off..

    PP sucked.. next time just put DD’s line out there (Pac/AK) and Sub/Diaz(Web)
    and Pleks/Gio/Cole and leave Gomez off(or why not try him at the point)

    I understand putting AK at the blueline for the PP cause of his passing abilities but Buf didnt let them set up on the early PP’s..
    but it think should be only when behind late in the game..
    still rather see him with DD/Pac up front..

    Eller was thinking too much when he had the puck..
    Cole played a lil better.. but needs a goal to break the ice..
    he looks depressed and his body language shows everytime gets off a line change

    No luck with the rebounds though even when that habs were crashing the net..

    im not too sad or angry..

    but i still want that ‘Suit” JM out..

  23. LA Loyalist says:

    I have 2 words for tonight: Kirk Muller

  24. MannyP says:

    is it just an illusion but enthusiasm for the opening of the hockey season was not as electric this year as it’s been in recent past. I don’t think it’s a coincidence the Habs are having one of the worst home starts in team history. Wtf was that opening ceremony? Was Ray Lalonde THAT crucial to the Bell Centre party? C’mon, man! Has anyone noticed? I think the empty seats speak for themselves, anyway!

    -sick and tired of Plekanec-

  25. ProHabs says:

    Anyone have a link to the Bruins gooning it up against the Canes tonight.


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