Liveblog: Conference Final Game 2 – 3-1 loss drops Canadiens into 0-2 hole

Steep mountain to climb

The Canadiens have two days to think before the Eastern Conference Final resuymes at Madison Square Garden.

There is much to ponder.

The Rangers gave up the first goal, to Max Pacioretty, before Ryan McDonagh tied it a mere 17 seconds later.

Rick Nash scored what proved to be the winner with 62 seconds left in the first period.

Martin St. Louis added an insurance goal on a second-period power play.

Henrik Lundqvist made 40 saves.

Dustin Tokarski faced 30 shots.

The Rangers have won five playoff games in a row by a cumulative score of 20-6.

Never in doubt

The Rangers shut down the third period tighter than (insert your own metaphor).

Him again

With Alex Galchenyuk in the penalty box on a call that enraged the Bell Centre faithful, the great Martin St. Louis completed a tic-tac-toe passing play to make it 3-1.

The Rangers' power play is on fire in this series.

The Canadiens non-fiery PP will start the third period.

Shots were 11-8 for the visitors.

Rough start for Tokarski

The Canadiens dominated early play and got a goal from Max Pacioretty 6:14 in.

The lead lasted 17 seconds.

Ryan McDonagh beat Dustin Tokarski short side on New York's second SoG of the game.

The Canadiens had several good shifts, but Thomas Vanek took a brain-dead penalty during a power play.

And on a rare odd-man rush, Rick Nash beat Tokarski glove side.

Shots were 14-9 Canadiens, who had another six blocked while 10 missed the net.


(Ginette in Nets by the great Josie Gold)

Can your Montreal Canadiens win without their most valuable player?

Is Dustin Tokarski the 2014 incarnation of Ken Dryden in 1971 and Patrick Roy in 1986?

We're going to find out Monday night.

Carey Price is out for the rest of the Eastern Conference final series. Without their star goaltender,  the Canadiens face a steep uphill climb against the red-hot Rangers.

A bit of history: In 1971 and 1986, the Canadiens used goaltenders with no NHL playoff experience: Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy, respectively.

In both cases, the untested goaltenders led the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup.

Dustin Tokarski has no NHL playoff experience.

And he's starting tonight.

•  • •

We learned two things when the series began on Saturday:

• Afternoon hockey sucks, which we kinda knew already; and

• Speed kills.

The Canadiens played the series against Boston at 33 rpm (ask your father).

The Rangers play at 78 rpm (ask your grandfather).

Martin St. Louis is fast. Dominic Moore is fast. Mats Zuccarello is fast. Chris Kreider (known to Game of Thrones fans as Goalie Slayer) is fast.

Heck, all the Rangers can skate.

This quality differentiates the Blueshirts from the lumbering Bruins, and the most sanguine analysis of Saturday's shellacking is the Canadiens needed  a game to adjust. Also, having eliminated the mighty Bruins, the Canadiens probably were a tad over-confident in Game 1.

That attitude is history. Without Price, the Canadiens have become underdogs

Puck drops 8:10ish.

Check back later for live game blogging.

• God knows we need a laugh



  1. Coach K says:

    Hey folks, chill out and enjoy the ride. It’s been a good year to be a Habs fan and the fat lady ain’t singing yet (though, to paraphrase Boone, she’s probably warming up somewhere). So while Les Boys are working on keeping her in the wings and off the stage, let’s highlight the positives shall we?

    1) This team was built to get into the playoffs. Mission accomplished – and accomplished in spades!

    2) We all piss and moan (myself included) about what this team doesn’t have. With that said, we do need to remember something. There are now major pieces in place and the cupboard wasn’t bared to get to that state.

    3) This playoff run will show management where the weakest links are (hopefully that doesn’t just include players) and will ensure that the coming editions are built strong enough to win the whole thing.

    4) Those returning will now have a clearer understanding of where the bar is set and will be expected to return with a sense of unfinished business; knowing full well, what is possible with this core group.

    It’s all about perspective.

    —When Hell freezes over, I’ll play hockey there too—

    • Ron in Ottawa says:

      I never thought I would say this but: the playoffs are showing that the NHL really doesn’t care bout the skill game. Sure a team needs skill players to score goals, block shots an make saves, but what a team really needs is someone to get nasty. Not a fighter, but a nasty player like Lucic or Neil in Ottawa. Someone to go and take someone’s head off if the get nasty with one of the skill players. For example, when Price got run over and put out of the serine, no one went after e Rangers to make them pay the rice for that.
      Moving forward we all know there will be changes. We have a good core but we still need a goal scoring power forward- Vanek isn’t it. Neither is Bourke. And we need someone who is nasty. It’s not over yet, but the gaps on the team are starting to show.

  2. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I’m hoping for a comeback, but You have to recognise this is a very different Rangers’ team than We have been used to

    …I think they are for real, and a team that came back from a 3 to 1 deficit against Malkin, Crosby et al is no mirage

    …this, except for St. Louis (who plays like he is 25) is a young-legged team

    …Vanek is made for playing a not-so-fast Bruins team, not a hyper-speed team like the Rangers

    …Vanek will not be any more effective against the Rangers than He has these past two games

    …Prust is also the wrong choice over Bournival for the Rangers

    …Weaver was right for the Bruins, but wrong for the Rangers, …Tinordi has the reach to cut down the ice and be more effective clearing the Kreiders and the like

    …I think Budaj should have been given the start of this game and if ineffective then inserted Tokarski because of the risk to Team cohesion most importantly

    …for the third game I would start Tokarski because any damage to Team morale and/or Buddha’s morale is already fait accompli …and, Tokarski will I believe be more comfortable next game

    …therefore, Tokarski plays in New York …Vanek in the press-box …Bournival in …Andrighetto in …Tinordi in

    …out, Vanek, Prust and Weaver

    …I can see through Your monitors and reading Your lips calling Me an idiot, but that IS My opinion …like it or lump it 🙂

  3. The Jackal says:

    Adidess… I feel for Buds and I’d rather have him in than Tokarski, hopefully the move is not controversial in the locker room. Kid played well and I hope he can be better if he returns to the ice, but I’d give Buds a shot for sure. That being said, maybe Budaj’s confidence just isn’t there at the moment, and the kid’s adrenaline and moment in the sun can be a positive factor.

  4. jctremblay says:

    Vanek, when playing like a cousin of Gretzky, transforms this team into a 4 line thing of wonder. When he floats and does his casual “man about town , aloof and unknowable” thing, we go back to being the pop gun offense we’ve always lamented about. I don’t think he’s committed to this team at all..really think he’s in Minny already. Some guys love Mtl and the pressure and the insane, never satisfied fans. I don’t believe he’s amongst their number. Eric Cole realized at one point that he couldn’t take it either. Vanek’s magic is over and so are the Habs chances. Can’t win without him playing at his very top level.

  5. RoySubbanPrice says:

    Looking forward for a better 60 min effort and churn out a win to make this a series. Vanek = primadona should be reunited back with DD and Pax to get his mojo back. MT should put in Bournival in next game, his speed creates havoc.

    Still have a shot at this series, but no more OPTIONAL practices, where only 5 guys show up, and the rest are taking f-in therapy days. We’re a fast skating team w/Price, w/o Price these guys have to skate circles around them and make Lundqvist’s headspin.
    No one remembers those who play average – PK Subban

    • PrimeTime says:

      They did tonight. Lundqvist was always in position to steal the game. Even NYR players are saying so. Gonna be hard to beat them 4 of 5 games tho.

      º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

    • PK says:

      Agree !!

      >>>>> Les Canadiens sont là

  6. fastfreddy says:

    Question for the fans; Do we bring back both Markov and Gionta? One only? None? I’m going to assume Vanek’s gone.

    CH = Les Glorieux!!!

  7. JohnBellyful says:

    What this team’s puny attack needs is SCOAR

  8. deggy24 says:

    Thought the team played well. 40 shots, if only a couple of lasers by Subban had gone in. Our goale got handcuffed on the second goal expecting it to go to the opening rather than near his body. Gallager and Dd were pretty good. Max is comfortable and playing well vanek will play better in ny good comeback game for Yemmy AND markov. WEAVER was good, Beauliea good Gorges not so much. Overall pretty decent game.
    We’ll get a win in new York if we play 2 games that well.
    Habs Win!

  9. Sportfan says:

    Toker wasn’t bad, the fact Henrik had a horseshoe up his butt didn’t help it isn’t over time for more positive history for the Habs, GO HABS GO

    Sports and Entertainment in the link click and enjoy, clicking is fun!

  10. fastfreddy says:

    I know the series isn’t over yet, but it doesn’t look good at all. And it’s not because we don’t have Price,(it would help alot), it’s because we can’t score.

    CH = Les Glorieux!!!

  11. HairyHabist says:

    Price wouldn’t have helped tonight. They’re not going to win if they can’t score more than 1 goal.

    In all fairness they did out chance (play) the Rangers. But they have to figure out a way to get it by Lundqvist or they’re gonna get swept.

    • Chuck Kept Calm and Carey'd On ® says:

      Price would have helped. Not meant as a dig at Tokarski, but with a healthy Price that game would have at least gone to overtime.

      X X X X X X X X 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

  12. AH says:

    If only everyone on this team busted their arses like Gallagher……

  13. JohnBellyful says:

    Veni, vidi, vanek

    I came, I saw, I conked out

  14. Adidess says:

    I thought MT would put Budaj in for Game 3, but the way he talked about Tokarski in the postgame, he’ll probably use him again in NY. Unless somebody persuades him otherwise… The Toker did ok, but somehow I thought with a healthy Price the game doesn’t necessarily unfolds the same way. Not talking about the specific goals that were scored, but maybe Price would have affected the dynamics of the game more positively, by his mere presence (stopping pucks going behind the net, making people think about where to shoot on him, etc).

    On Budaj, imagine how he must feel. It seems every compliment paid to the kid is an equal knock on Budaj. Like MT said ‘kid’s a winner’, well if you’re Budaj you hear, ‘I’d rather take my chances with an unproven rookie than play this career backup goalie’. Budaj’s resume does say he’s never won a playoff game. Ouch!

  15. PK says:

    Vanek … done
    Budaj .. in net at MSG, No?
    McDonut … Not a Hab .. ’nuff said
    Subban … Glad he is a Hab
    67-51-11 .. not bad tonight
    Emelin .. Is he OK after that hit?


    >>>>> Les Canadiens sont là

  16. JohnBellyful says:

    Some pretty famous people weighed in on who played poorly tonight and should sit the next game.
    Like this guy and this guy and especially this guy

  17. PrimeTime says:

    Can’t wait for Boone’s insightful ALN…”if Habs can’t get goals past Lundqvist, this series is over”.

    • Clay says:

      Truth hurts?

      ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

      • PrimeTime says:

        I didn’t say it was a wrong position. Just predictable of Boone’s summary

        • Clay says:

          Or anyone’s. It’s simply reality. Are you suggesting Boone should ignore it?

          ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

          • PrimeTime says:

            Of course not. I love his insight……especially the early warning trumpets of impending disaster every game. Makes me want to shelter my kids from watching so they don’t become scarred for life. Hope is such a terrible thing – ask your Chinese Communist friends!!

          • Clay says:


            ☞ “The deepest sin of the human mind is to believe things without evidence” ~ Aldous Huxley ☜

  18. HABitat4humanity says:

    Where is the traffic in front of Henrik? We need more tic tac toe passes like the rangers are making. Vanek needs to be with Pac and DD. Where is the physicality??? More hard hits are needed from PK & Emelin. We need to hit kreider & McDummy hard & let him know we can play play physical. Where is the 3rd & 4th line scoring? We have depth, lets show it!!!!!!!!!!

    Prust should b out and Bournival in. I also wouldnt mind seeing crankshaft punish some rangers in our end. Can we crash the met more like kreider did? I thought we would see more of that tonight. Henrik has it to easy. We need to take him off his game.

    I still think this years team is a cup team. We need to get hungrier & want it more like we did in Boston. The rangers are not better than boston. Just hungrier than them. Habs need to step it up next fee games & put the rangers in their swedish summerhomes.

    • VintageFan says:

      if a hab gets closer to Lundquist than the blue line, it will be a penalty

      • PrimeTime says:

        Remember “Big Brother” is watching…,.

        º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º°¨¨¨°º¤ø ¸„ø¤GO HABS GOø¤º

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