Quick hits

Very quick hits, because there’s nothing much to be said about a game in which the Canadiens were decisively outworked.

Besides, I want to get up to Hurley’s to hang with the Summiteers.

“You have to credit the other team,” Jacques Martin said. “They worked harder, they were fresher and won more battles.”

As he almost always does, the coach talked about special teams, pointing to a disparity in penalties: six to the Canadiens, two to Ottawa … with the winning goal coming on a PP.

Martin didn’t say so, but some of the penalties were not smart.

A frustrated Mike Cammalleri took a slashing call when the Canadiens were on a 5-on-3. Jaro Spacek was off when Alex Kovalev made it 3-1, and Benoit Pouliot’s hook robbed the Canadiens of two minutes in which they might have closed the gap.

It just wasn’t their night.

Ottawa was well-rested and played like it.

While out-hit 32-20 – Andrei Kostitsyn led both teams with six checks – the Senators won most of the decisive puck battles.

With Lars Eller a healthy scratch for the first time this season, Martin continued to juggle his lines. And while there was an occasional flurry of pressure, Brian Elliott had a good view of most of the Canadiens’ season-low 23 shots and his Dmen and backchecking forwards limited second chances.

Carey Price could not be faulted for the three goals that beat him. Ottawa buzzed the crease all night, slapped Price around and generally ran a clinic on the virtue of going to the net and looking for loose pucks.

A bright spot?

Scott Gomez, who became the whipping boy of fans even while the team was winning, skated hard, had three shots on goal and won 9 of 14 faceoffs.

Tomas Plekanec struggled on draws, losing nine of 13, and enjoyed his best moments on the PK. Pleks did set up new linemate Brian Gionta for some good chances but was not on the ice when the Captain finally buried one on his team-high 54th shot of the season.

Some members of the Commentariat don’t like the new defence pairings, and I’m inclined to agree.

P.K. Subban seems to have lost his mojo while playing with Hal Gill. And Josh Gorges’s low-key skills are not a great complement to Andrei Markov’s creativity. Maybe it’s time for a switch-up.

Grizzled vet Sergei Gonchar and young Erik Karlsson demonstrated the value of point shooters who can get the puck on net. With Senators jamming Price, the Canadiens’ goaltender had to pick up those lasers through a forest of white jerseys, and good Senators chances ensued.

I won’t join the Antichambre gang lobbying for MAB, but the Canadiens could use someone who can fire accurate lasers from the point.

Yannick Weber?

The Canadiens will hold their Festi-fan promotion tomorrow.

The players, who usually get Sundays off, will have to smile and kiss babies while not feeling particularly festive.

Division losses hurt, as do 5-on-3 futility and First-Star performances by Alex Kovalev. 

Credit the old dog. He was on his game tonight – especially on Ottawa’s numerous PPs when, Mathieu Darche pointed out, Kovy is most dangerous.

•  •  •

The Canadiens PP is 1-for-26 at home and is dead last in the league overall.

As Chris Stevenson of the Sun newspapers asks: “Were Glen Metropolit and Marc-Andree Bergeron THAT important?”

 

27 Comments

  1. Habscore says:

    Hope the Summiteers enjoyed their time this weekend, regardless. I’ve tried going these last 2 years but the ”Work” schedule did not really allow me to go…Hopefully I can finally put a face on most of you next time!! This is a great HIO family.

    ……………………………………………………………….

    YES HABS CAN!!

  2. Julie H says:

    AGREED! It was more entertaining to listen to JasonM make faces and comments then pay attention to the game in front of us. Still a fantastic weekend and I will definatley be showing up again next year.

    “I know you’re wise beyond your years, but do you ever get the fear that your perfect verse is just a lie you tell yourself to help you get by?”

  3. SeriousFan09 says:

    I second that motion.

    Nice to chat hockey face to face, gets lonely out in Brantford.

     

    - I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  4. HardHabits says:

    Ha. I got to Hurleys 10 minutes after you left. Nice to meet sholi2000, SF09 and Peter from Whitehorse for the 1st time. HIO rules!!!

  5. Propwash says:

    It’s a simple case of being outworked, and outhustled, and not being able to bury chances.

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  6. ProHabs says:

    What is wrong with Cammalleri. He is sucking big time. I thought Mike Komisarek was terrible to watch but Cammi is right up there with him.

  7. punkster says:

    Most boring game I’ve ever seen live. Well, I was live. The Habs not so much.

    On the other hand, and with rose coloured glasses pushed firmly up the bridge of my nose, the Summit event was great!

  8. ProHabs says:

    Did any of the summiter make it out to Chez Paree over the weekend.

  9. bp says:

    Price has had a solid bounce back season. Halak will be a vezina finalist. 

    And please no false dichotomies about how the choice was Halak or Pleks. Chicago, New York and Edmonton have buried salaries in the minors or in Europe. Gomez could be playing with Sourray for the Bears or Spacek/Hammer could be comfortably ending their careers in Europe.

     

  10. Exit716 says:

    Blah, Blah, Blah. Go cheer for St. Louis then. They need the fans.

     

  11. PureGuava says:

    I’ve actually watched a few St.Louis games this year….it’s better hockey, and exciting too! The young guys are allowed to play their game, and they’ve got one hell of a goalie…a real blue-chipper. I love character guys that play Don Cherry hockey as much as the next guy, but 2 and a half lines, a press box, and a farm team full of ‘pluggers’ isn’t going to win ya anything. JM is doing his best Claude Julien impression with the lines, but i’m starting to think it has less to do with the coaching staff, and more to do with the people that have assembled the line-up. Nah – scratch that….Martin is brutal. He humiliates his young players, and damages prospects.

     

    “Of course I’m crazy, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.” – Robert Anton Wilson

  12. Clay4bc says:

    Agree totally, Don. Price has been OK to good for sure (luckily for the habs and us fans), but I just roll my eyes every time someone here writes how it’s obvious that we “kept the right goalie”. It’s like they are incapable of going to TSN or ESPN’s web sites to look at scores and stats of other games. Halak has been nothing short of amazing, and I predict that he will win the Vezina this year – and likely more than one.

    But Halak’s play is not surprising to you, is it? Me either…

    As for Gomez…you’re preaching to the choir. Stupid move – almost as bad as trading Halak. Actually…maybe even worse.

     

    __________________________

    Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.

    – Bertrand Russell

  13. Clay4bc says:

    What an intelligent and well thought out rebuttal, Rich!

    The debating team is holding a place just for you.

    Seriously though…can you deny the truth of his words? Are you that blinded by the rose colour of your glasses?

    The “Go cheer for the (insert team name here)” argument is the bottom feeder of all comments. It’s just ridiculous to think, let alone write or say. And very childish to boot. Adults can calmly and rationally debate a point of contention without the childishness, can’t they? And does not thinking Price (or Gomez) is GOD disqualify one from being a fan? Forsooth, I say.

    __________________________

    Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones.

    – Bertrand Russell

  14. Castor says:

    I was there. That second period was torture. It got to the point that when the Habs had a 3 on 2 rush, the crowd didn’t stand or cheer because they kind of knew nothing was going to happen.

  15. bolder says:

    JM never has the team prepared to play at the start of each game.

    He’s out to lunch with splitting up the top line, and using third/fourth line winger to play on the wings.

    All the symptoms are there, that he will ruin all the young talent.

  16. Number31 says:

    Nary a red jersey in front of Elliott all night except for Darche. The difference? When the Habs do jam the net, the shots from the point hit their own teammates…

    Weber, Carle, either guys can shoot accurately from the point and their young legs give them the mobility Hamr and Spacek tend to lack. Ryan White jams the net whenever he’s out there…

  17. Xtrahabsfan says:

    The game vs the Canucks is going too be a true test…lets see what we have after that one  eh….

  18. SomersetVII says:

    Forgot the third, your stereotypical comments

  19. Shiloh says:

    Excellent points as per usual. Price has been good this year – his savepercentage is 9.03. Halak’s is 9.71 – and have a look at the teams he’s played. But on HIO, Carey is akin to a deity. Three or four times an hour some crush-addled buffoon will gush about how we “kept the right goalie.” Fine – I get it. Stats don’t matter and we shouldn’t believe our own eyes either, Carey is the best no matter what. I still believe that we shipped out the best goalie – and the guy we got back was watching from the press box tonight.

    I have disliked Martin’s coaching for years – from when he was in Ottawa. He coaches boring hockey – sometimes it wins but it’s often less exciting than watching paint dry. He doesn’t handle young players so well either. It seems like he’d be in heaven with a dozen Halperns winning 60% of the games 2-1. It’s why our guys often do well when they leave and play for a team that unleashes the hounds.

    Gomer – 7.4 million – any team that would bail Sather out of that idiotic contract deserves a decade or so of misery.

  20. Propwash says:

    Jdub, if a reputed sports journalist says Price isn’t at fault, chances are, it ain’t his fault.

     

    Goalies in Montreal have two roles, netminder and scapegoat. 

  21. mbplekfan says:

    With a distinct lack of forwards willing and or able to muck it up down low we will have to rely on speed and movement to score goals.

    Our defence seems to lack the ability to hit the net with their shots and outside of PK and Markov there really isnt a genuine threat to score back there. Weber cant play NHL defence and we dont need another small, soft forward taking up icetime.

    Back to back games should mean Gill sits the second in favour of OB or Picard. He’s just getting too old, as are Spacek and Hammer.

    I fully expect Eller back next game. It was his time to sit and observe. Usually a good learning experience to see the game from the press-box. It did wonders for Ryder’s paper airplane making.

  22. Timo says:

    So… now it’s finally revealed. Gomez gets paid 8 mil per to have shots and win faceoffs. 

  23. Timo says:

    Oh, don’t be snappy, doggie. He is not wrong. We haven’t played any good teams yet this season. And crappy ones we beat were hardly convincing wins. Habs are not built to play physical hockey, and lately they are showing they are not built to play puck possession, speed, defensive or trap hockey either… Unless there is some other “the system” that will work for them I think JM’s playbook is running out of options.

  24. Chorske says:

    Here’s what flabbergasted me tonight. Habs get a deep o zone faceoff, down by a goal, 90 seconds left. I’m sitting with YatheHabsrule and TC, and we’re all like, yep, pull Price, get Halpern and Pleks in there to take the faceoff, and put the one line that had generated any sort of pressure: Pouliot and Darche and Halpern.

    Not only does JM put Gomez and Gionta in there- he leaves that line one for a whole minute, with no timeout, and they end up getting so gassed Marky has to ice the puck. Price has to come back in with 20 secs left, and its game over.

    Cammalleri has absolutely SUCKED this year. What he was doing out there, flubbing passes and skating circles, is beyond me. Eller shouldnt be sitting- Cammy should. He is awful to watch.

  25. Timo says:

    Did you guys enjoy it as much as those of us who watched it on TV? I guess not… you didn’t have a privilege listening to Brunet’s commentary.

  26. habs001 says:
    habs001's picture

    nothing to worry about ..the habs are not an elite team and many of the delusional posters have to realize this…the goal is to make the playoffs …makes no difference what position we finish as we are capable of beating the top teams in a series but just as easily losing to any team …yes even the hated leafs would not be a easy series…we have at least 10-12 players that are on the team that the majority of posters would laugh at if they were on the leafs or any other team…..this is a 500 team that thru sheer effort and guts can be better and upset top teams … management knows that this team need some major upgrades and hopefully some of our junior talent will do that but will take time…we are loaded with forwards that just do not have offensive abilities……BOTTOM LINE DONT EXPECT A PORSCHE PERFORMANCE WHEN YOU HAVE A TOYOTA


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