Liveblog: Game 71 – Columbus wins tight one


Winning streak ends

And the race for playoff spots tightens.

Columbus is in a more desperate battle – and they played like it.

The Blue Jackets are big, fast and physical. They dominated play for long stretches.

The spectacular Ryan Johansen scored the third-period winner after a brutal Jarred Tinordi turnover.

Brandon Dubinsky and Derek MacKenzie scored the other Columbus goals.

Brendan Gallagher, on a first-period power play, and Thomas Vanek got the Canadiens' goals.

Columbus outshot the home side 40-27.

One mistake

Jarred Tinordi bobbled the puck in the vicinity of Ryan Johansen.

Not a good idea.

Johansen, who had played a spectacular game, beat Carey Price for the winner.

Full value for their lead

Columbus is winning all the little battles and got the only goal of the second period, from Brandon Dubinsky.

Visitors outshot the Canadiens 13-7, 29-19 over 40 minutes.

The Canadiens' PK killed a two-man disadvantage.

Terrific 20 minutes

The game got off to a roaring start when Carey Price stopped Cam Atkinson on a breakawy eight seconds in.

That was the first of 16 shots the visitors directed at Price. The Canadiens had a dozen on Sergei Bobrovsky.

Brendan Gallagher got the Canadiens on the board with his 18th, a power-play goal from close in.

Derek MacKenzie tied it off a set play: After the Canadiens iced the puck on a power play, Mark Letestu won a faceoff and got off a shot that Price bobbled. MacKenzie crashed the net and batted it home.

Max Paciorett and Ruyan Johansen had a spirited fight that ended with the Blue Jacket on the deck.

Hello, Columbus

The Canadiens have won both previous meetings with the Blue Jackets: 5-3 at the Bell Centre on Oct. 17 and 3-2 at Columbus on Nov. 15.

David Desharnais's Shootout goal in the second game is credited with kick-starting his season.

Well, that and being dissed by Montreal mayor Denis Coderre.

Columbus is desperately fighting for a playoff spot, and the Blue Jackets have garnered 13 points in their last 18 games.

The Canadiens are riding a three-game winning streak and sit seven points north of the cutoff for postseason berths.

Columbus forward lines: Jenner-Johansen-Horton, Foligno-Anisimov-Tropp, Calvert-Dubinsky-Atkinson, MacKenzie-Letestu-Comeau

Puck drops 7:40ish.

Check back later for live game blogging.

Fan brawl of the season


  1. ProHabs says:

    Carey is the man:

    A really special moment after the game I want to share with you. Tinordi was taking his equipment off and there was a lull after Gionta finished. Price saw the media mass was going to converge on Tinordi about the late-game error. Price says “I’m ready. I’m ready.” He still had his equipment on but he wanted to save his mate from the interview. It worked. We all converged on Price. I was just happy to watch it play out. Some moments are more than a clip so I let Tinordi leave and he did. Price watched him go and then answered the large scrum. The only player in the room, then to Tinordi’s great credit he returned to face tough questions about his gaffe. After Tinordi was finished I returned to Carey, still wrapping up with Ron Reusch. I said to Price, “I saw what you did there, trying to save Jarred.” He simply acknowledged I was right, that he protected his mate but like Carey he said nothing more, never looking for praise. I followed with, “If only the rest of the world supported each other like players and teammates in a locker room stand by each other.” Carey responded, “It would be one hell of an amazing world.” That’s your goalie everyone. That’s a man’s man. That’s a character person. That’s someone to look at and admire and that has nothing to do with stopping a puck.

  2. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Tonight’s game lost out to the debate for me. Much more on the line in the political arena here. But nothing will keep me from Saturday’s game. HUGE game. We do NOT want to end up in the 7 or 8 spot for the playoffs. I hope Prust is back.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  3. Just finished watching the game, it was freaking funny from start to finish.

    There are over 75 defensemen in the 2014 draft, don’t stop drafting D until the draft is over, and even when it is over keep drafting until they shut the lights out 😆

    Briere, Gionta, two reasons why the Habs go nowhere in the playoffs.

    Don’t care about Eller not getting people are losing patience on him. the puck deep on the last play because he’ll learn from that or at least he better because

    And as per normal the only player worth watching tonight was Carey Price. Can’t imagine the score if a weaker goalie was in nets.

    When Big D is done in Columbus, the Habs should hire him on. He’s built a great team in St Louis, and now working on a great team in Columbus. He knows hockey, and I god darn guarantee you he would have moved Gionta at the deadline, and Briere never would have been singed last summer.

    Yeah I’m upset. I don’t mind losing when you work hard, but they were out shot, out hit, and were second on the puck all night long. Crist, the first ten seconds of the game said it all.

    They were lazy and they sucked, and if they go into Toronto Saturday like they were tonight, they are toast because the Leafs are due to blow someone out and that’s just the way it goes.

    Someone should tell Weaver that our blue line is not a line where you automatically stop while skating backwards, lord I never seen so many stupid hockey players in one game in all my life. I could pick every single player and rip him but I’m tired now. 🙂

    Good Night my pretties, I’ll get you and your little dog too!! 😆

    Shane Oliver
    Twitter @Sholi2000
    Custom Sports Figures
    Congrats Carey Price and PK Subban, Montreal’s Gold Medal Members!

    • jimmy shaker says:

      Don’t agree with your take on gio and briere…..gio was a bit invisible tonight, but he did lead the comeback vs the sens. Very serviceable on the third line. Danny B had been playing very well over the last month or so, just in time for the playoffs. He’s been generating offense and he and pleks are working well in my opinion. But the overall game and the D……I totally agree with you. Just a question on the third goal…..I know eller and tinordi and weaver all sucked on the play, but don’t you think Carey wants that one back? Not bashing or blaming, he was solid and a big reason they were close…..just asking.

      Shaker out!

    • CH Marshall says:

      Who is Big D? Just wondering

    • CJ says:

      Very good post. Davidson is excellent. He had the balls to move his UFA Gaborik. I like Bergevin, but he’s not got the moxie to make the moves that were necessary.

      Instead, we put a fresh coat of paint over a 2004 Chevy cavalier and are now trying to win the race.

    • jimmy shaker says:

      That is why Price is such a great 26 year old stud of a person and tender and teammate. The habs, us and Angela all have a good one there. Props to his parents!

      Shaker out!

  4. CJ says:

    Final thought before turning in….

    Fingers get pointed at our young players, Tinordi, Chucky, Eller, but I had to check the game log to confirm that Briere even played. With 10 games remaining, should it not be the veterans who are leading the way? Where was Briere tonight? What about Gionta?

    IMO, there is a silver lining. We have been living on the edge for two weeks. We have given up breakaways every game, odd man rushes and are lost in our zone. We can blame the loss on Tinordi, but IMO, that’s the same thing as the Senators blaming Saturday’s loss on the refs. Sure, it was a contributing factor, but there were underlying issues. I think sometimes there’s comfort in finding a singular point of contention. We lost tonight because we weren’t prepared to match Columbus’ intensity. They outskated us, outhit us and out worked us.

    We have gotten lucky getting points with Weaver and Bouillion in the lineup. Up front, we have been carrying veterans who are not consistent. Against the Sens Briere has three goals on his stick in the first period alone, tonight, I didn’t see him with the puck on his stick period. Candid, but telling.

    So, that silver lining I was talking about. Now is the time to reintroduce Bourque. Last chance to wear the CH. He played his best hockey, his most physical, following a benching in January. Sit Briere. On defence, change it up;

    Tiny PK
    Beaulieu Markov
    Emelin Weaver

    Unconventional? Sure. As noted, other teams, better teams, have young defenders in the lineup. What do we have to lose? Might we be worse, yes. Could we be much better, yes. Emelin and Markov need a vacation from each other. They got burned tonight the exact same way they got burned against the Av’s. Right up the middle, split the D and walk in for an uncontested chance. Price has bailed them out. Budaj couldn’t. Put Emelin with Weaver so he gets better (advantageous) match ups. He can’t handle top minutes right now. It also puts him on his proper side.

    If we continue to do the same thing and ice the same lineup, we are going to see similar results.

    I better check my brackets before bed. Good night all. Best wishes, CJ

    • jimmy shaker says:

      Team defence is porous! I actually think briere gets snubbed from MT way to much. I think he’s been playing very well now for at least a month now maybe longer, but MT is quick to move him down for one reason or another. I think him and pleks can do the business, he is creating and getting chances…..can’t really ask for more. I agree that bourque is going to get one more shot, it probably will be at brier’s expense which i think is wrong……i would give eller a rest and let bourque play with pleks and gally and let danny b centre bio and chucky. And on the D, I’m okay with any combination. PK/Marky and gorges are the only sure things for me and maybe emelin. The other spots can be filled by anyone left over. I’m open to anything!

      Shaker out!

  5. chilli says:

    Let Tinordi make mistakes. He’s in our future. Frankie Boo and company are not. Plenty of greats took a year or sometimes 3 to make the jump…. Guy Lafleur anyone?

    Gally27 has been disappointing this season. He’s had a few twisted writers but has not shown any no puck control or speed that I was expecting. 27 pts and -12, not what I was expecting but boy does Montreal stifle players.
    Pleks has 37 pts…. now, I love Pleks, but he has as many pts as Ryan McDonaugh, Brent Seabrook, one less than James Wisniewski…..
    And what to say about Bourque: 8 goals and FOUR assists. Four assists – how is that possible?

    I really hope we can keep Vanek. Montreal needs a guy that scores goals. Win or lose, we need a guy who is scoring goals. And Montreal needs a forward to be leading the team in PTS. Not a defensemen.

    But I am happy to let this season go by. If we lose in the first or second round – fine – how can any intelligent fan expect more unless we get on the lucky roll…. but we have players to build on. Keep Vanek.

    I’d also like to keep Eller. He’s a mess, but he can skate and is strong. He needs to get off the poutine and stick to a danish breakfast.


  6. Ozmodiar says:

    Considering how the Habs played and the penalties they took, the Blue Jackets still needed 2 ridiculous goals to get the win.

    • jimmy shaker says:

      True, but they worked for those breaks and deserved the 2 points…..I just thought we kinda deserved at least maybe 1 point. Na, probably not! The PK was great but……….

      Shaker out!

  7. Ozmodiar says:

    PJ Stock predicts a 4-2 win for Toronto on Saturday.

    This is good news, indeed!!!

  8. SC-24 says:

    Big game Saturday in Toronto.

  9. Bim says:

    Habs have too many players right now. I just don’t get the coaches philosophy. He had a lineup that played great the other nite and what does he do? He changes the lines up. What was White doing out there? Where was Prust? I’m going bald just scratching my head! Set some lines and stick with them MT! Brutal!

  10. Plekasuares says:

    Good point someone mentioned
    I echo this: can you compare a turnover in the o zone to a turnover when your the last one back? Good point!

  11. Bim says:

    When they were skating Habs dominated. That’s their strength! Too bad it was only once in a while. Do these guys really want it?

    • jimmy shaker says:

      Hate seeing team dictate the play….c-bus skated, hit and worked…..they were rewarded for it, even if it was a softy. Even though Vanek is a big time floater in his own end, he only needs a fraction of a second to change a game. A real threat out there and can rescue points on nights they are not deserved. Almost like tonight! Step it up Saturday boys, it’s got so much on the line. Taranna and bernier are going to be ready…..will the boys be?

      Shaker out!

    • wings says:

      tinordi had a solid game.. i question why he was on the ice at that time in a 2-2 game..with his partner who couldn’t cover him..I don’t think he should be in that position… that is on the coach! Eller has to do better ..

  12. habs-fan-84 says:

    I can live with Tinordi’s mistake as he’s a rookie, but Eller is just too much.

  13. SC-24 says:

    Briere has to be demoted to the 3rd line and Galchenyuk promoted to the 2nd line and that is about as good as it gets regarding line combinations for the Habs. Win or lose the lines will not be better. Take a look for yourself and see what winning combo’s you can put together.

  14. DipsyDoodler says:

    Earlier today I said 5 teams need to pass us for us to miss the playoffs.

    Well 5 competitors won tonight.

    Apologies for the hex.

    Moving. Forward.

  15. ProHabs says:

    When I see a young high draft pick with talent center like Johansson (and Mackinnon the other night) play the way they do and dominate a game because they are given the ice time and chance to do it, I wonder why Galchenyuk is not being given the same chance.

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