Quick Hits

Accepted NHL wisdom has 2-0 as the worst lead in hockey.

But maybe it should be safe in a Shootout.

The Canadiens managed to blow two-goal leads in both regulation time and a 10-round SO.

Apprarently, that’s never happened before.

And seven goals in a Shootout tied a league record.

When the dust had settled and a disappointed crowd had filed out of the Bell Centre, the team was tied with Boston at 69 points but relegated to second in the Northeast Division because the Bruins – who got better with the addition of Chris Kelly – have played fewer games.

I’ll have more thoughts on the game in the morning.

But the game turned during its first 20 minutes. The Canadiens should have had more to show for an 18-7 shot advantage than a 1-0 lead.

You knew the Sabres weren’t going to quit. Lindy Ruff teams don’t.

And you knew that late power-play goal by Drew Stafford would swing momentum to the visitors.

Yannick Weber was off for interference. That meant after Roman Hamrlik and P.K. Subban had played first pairing on the penalty-kill, James Wisniewski and Alexandre Picard were out  – and both on one side of Carey Price when Tomas Vanek passed the puck to an unmarked Stafford.

The Sabres needed it more, wanted it more and – against a lineup that included three rookie defenceman – they got the two points they needed to edge closer to eighth place.

The Canadiens head west haunted, perhaps, by the memory of another job unfinished.

Bottom line: At a critical time of the season, they let a point slip away.

More tomorrow.

 

41 Comments

  1. andrewberkshire says:

    I didn’t know that! I wasn’t around for the actual liveblog, just read it after the game.

  2. RJB says:

    Tough loss, but hey took a point. Lets go in to Edmonton and start this road trip off in a great way!!! So pumped for sundays rumble!!!

    “I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.” – Bilbo Baggins

  3. Da Hema says:

    That’s interesting. I thought he is 26, and therefore eligible for unrestricted free agency?

  4. Da Hema says:

    There just never seems a solution for Kostitsyn. He doesn’t score consistently enough to warrant being a top six forward. Yet he will not play physical enough (which he can) to assume some useful role on the third or fourth lines. He cannot, to my knowledge, kill penalties. Even if he plays modestly consistent (i.e., doesn’t fall inexplicably, or gets quality shots off) there really is no place nor clearly defined role for him on this team. He doesn’t appear to add anything that a 1000 other forwards couldn’t provide. It’s too bad, but Gauthier should simply move him now because I just can’t see the Habs re-signing him when his current contract ends and he becomes an unrestricted free agent.

  5. kempie says:

    Agreed on the separation of the comments issue. However, I remember reading somewhere that you could mute the comments so that only Boone’s comments were visible but was too lazy to pursue it.

  6. kempie says:

    Count me as one of the thumbs-down crowd regarding the new game blog. I surely appreciate the effort to improve, but I’ve grown quite fond of the old format. It’s easier to follow along with the play and I’ve become dependent on the old format that allows me to easily check Boone’s thoughts on what I’m seeing just to make sure I’m seeing what I think I’m seeing. Some nights it’s just that unbelievable. It may have helped on a night like this one.

  7. andrewberkshire says:

    3-0-2 this season?

  8. HardHabits says:

    JM’s coaching record versus Lindy Ruff says it all.

  9. andrewberkshire says:

    The different pages for the liveblog kind of messes you up. And I think it’s too cluttered with all the comments from the peanut gallery. If I want to read comments from the HIO faithful (which I often do) I’ll read the comment section. Boone’s section should be for HIS thoughts only. That’s my opinion for what it’s worth.

  10. Propwash says:

    Great 1st period, then the Sabres woke up, and started dumping the puck, and outworking the D in our zone. Thats how they came back.

    Wanna blame Price for the loss? That’s all fine and good, but he did save the team’s arse in regulation, and overtime. Shootouts are a crapshoot at best.

  11. SeriousFan09 says:

    You know what’s really disturbing about Andrei Kostitsyn’s play lately? His shot is worse than ever. Seriously, he can’t even seem to get off that laser of a wrister anymore and if he does shoot, well we know it’s hitting the back of the net.

     

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

  12. bigdave says:

    Inability to keep the pedal to the metal.

    Poor finish around the net 4 on 3!

    Inexplicable use of Pyatt (hands of cement) in the shootout. Who could conceive of that?

    Great night all over the Habs room!

    ANOTHER squandered point which will no doubt come back to haunt later.

     

     

     

    “The Allo Police Media – a collection of bitter ex-coaches, players and wannabees whose collective lack of success accounts for their present positions in Sports’ equivalent of a Jerry Springer Show”

  13. Mats Naslund says:

    what a silly thing to say.

  14. sidhu says:

    An amazing first period by the boys — if we played that way for 40 or 60, there’s no way the Sabres would have been around.  The potential is there, the consistency (or killer mentality) is not. 

    Hammer dropped the ball (again) — this time he did not have his check on the second goal.  He seems to lack the ability or will to contest players hard in front of the net.  He’s played admirably for us overall during his time in MTL, especially last year when Marky was out, but I can’t wait for his contract to be off the books.

    On the bright side, Max Power and DD continue to b awesome.  Nash had an impressive opening night. He looked more solid and reliable than Spacek (though Spacek of course plays more mins).

    Go Habs Go!

  15. sidhu says:

    Agree, why not use Darche instead?? Pyatt can’t put the puck into the ocean.  Darche has 9 goals!

  16. mbplekfan says:

    The habs let one get away tonight. But when you are using Picard and Wiz as your second defence pairing you have trouble.

    The Gomez conundrum continues and now he’s dragging AK down with him.

    Kostitsyn is likely being shopped right now, so we’ll know in 2 weeks if he’s still with us. My guess is not.

    Pouliot and MaxPac are scoring, Cammaleri is coming back and Gionta and DD are working hard. AK is becoming redundant. I expect him to be moved with a pick for either a big forward or another defenceman.

    Given the performance of the D as of late, we should be looking to next year and not chasing band aid solutions. We can sell an asset or two and still make the playoffs.

  17. J.Ambrose.OBrien says:

    Quick Bits:

    Hammer gets more criticism than is warranted… except tonight. His play in the third was, as Booner aptly put it, “comical.” He looked completely out of gas and ready to surrender. Surely the need for another defenseman before the deadline is obvious. The Wiz is wonderful with the puck, but a nightmare without it. We need a big, tough defensive d-man.

    Surely Pierre is on the phones singing the praises of AK46, trying to court buyers. Unfortunately the other GM’s have televisions, and are acutely aware that AK has the heart of a Belorussian wild boar — that is, a wild boar with Rheumatic heart disease, and chronic lethargy. PG is going to have to offer more than just AK straight up. Lars Eller? Pride would likely prevent that, but it might be just enough to secure what we need on the back end. Not to mention suddenly giving some worth to that bizarre off-season deal.

    Question: were you the coach, would you make DD the second-line center, and team him with Pouliot and Cammy when he’s back? I would. I’d let Gomez center Darche and, well, whomever. With every game, DD reminds me more and more of Saku.

    Speaking of line combinations, why the heck did JM break up the Pleks-MaxPac-Gionta line? They are clearly one of the most potent lines in the league now. Why mess with that? It’s not like we were trailing by 3 or something. We were either still leading or at worst tied when he did it. Bizarre! 

    And that rush by P.K. was sensational. Gee, imagine what he’ll do when he gains some confidence. Lol.

    I remember Dec. 31, 1975

  18. Penneywize says:

    Just wanted to comment on the new liveblog system. Hate it. Makes re-reading Boone’s game notes tedious, exacerbated by the fact that I now have to wade through comment after comment from nobodies I have no interest in hearing from. If this system continues, count me out.

    I suggest having the user comments limited to the chat system, and restore Boone’s live blog back to how it was done before. Disable regular comments for liveblogs only (they have the chat system, after all); at least then people won’t constantly refresh, at least not for the sake of reading eachother’s posts.

  19. 24moreCups says:

    Nice post!

  20. Rad says:

    Hammer had a rough game, but it’s not his fault. Martin has over-worked him, and he’s got nothing left. I warned about this earlier when I said they’re going to run this horse into the ground. Either get another defenceman, or live and die with the kids like Weber and Nash. Weber played 19 mins, Hammer played 23 — it should be the other way around. Bring up Festerling or Henry, or anybody else we have down there that wouldn’t have to clear waivers to play. We did give up Lapierre for Festerling, so let’s use him.

    Subban led all skaters with 29:22 TOI, and finished +1 for the night. He needs to learn how to finish on those solo rink-long dashes of his. More often than not, he ends up with a weak shot on net at the end. He has a good shot, he needs to learn how to get it on net with velocity.

    Ryan White was +1, played 14:49, and led the team in hits (4) and enthusiasm. 

  21. G-Man says:

    The Habs salvaged a point with a depleted lineup that played 20 minutes. Should they have had a bigger lead after the 1st? Sure, but these Habs don’t score all that much or that often and Price had a bit of a loosey-goosey game and all that equals an OT loss.

    I refuse to watch the shoot outs. Besides the questionable disciplinary actions of the NHL, it’s the most stupid thing about hockey. How about play the f!cking game? Isn’t that an idea, resolving the outcome of a team game by continuing to play it? The side show that is the shoot out allowed the Flyers to make the playoffs last season and will reward another team or two this season. Throw the SO in the dustbin of stupid ideas.

  22. Exit716 says:

    He’s still a restricted free agent. So if the Habs keep him, they have to offer, I believe, at least a 10 per cent raise over his current $3.25 million salary. I don’t think there are many $3.5 million 15 goal scorers in the league these days.

     

  23. Jdub1985 says:

    that SO all on Price – he had 3 shots at stopping for the extra point – that point is solely on him.

  24. larisalapointe says:

    I still don’t expect our team to win 82 games. It was a respectable loss. Buffalo is a good team with strong forwards. Most of the games our team play can go either way. They almost never receive a drubbing. (and no 8-6 is not considered a drubbing).

    Our team had a 2 goal lead only because Buffalo was asleep in the 1st period, and some chances were not converted by our veteran forwards.

    Price, PK, Pouliot, Pacioretty, and DD. Wow

    On the other side of wow:   AK, Gomez, the D, JM’s love of Pyatt, certain fans’ inability to see or admit to the huge difference Carey Price makes to this team.

    The veterans are soon going to be edged out totally by the Kids.

  25. showey47 says:

    How many shots did the shooters have to give us the extra point? Alot more then 3. But keep blaming the goalie,who put us in the position to even get the extra point in the first place.

  26. ManApart says:

    Or the Islanders

  27. RS says:

    Could have been worse. Could have lost to the Leafs on home ice.

    DD and MaxPac score. Three rookie D playing. Wow.

  28. andrewberkshire says:

    Agreed 100% Mike.

    This game was decided for the most part by bad luck, and too many injuries on the blueline, against a team that is way better than their record indicates.

    I only have two complaints about the game; Picard sucks and is 100% responsible for the 1st goal against and the momentum of the Sabres comeback, and Tom Pyatt in the shootout was probably JM’s worst decision this season.

  29. MikeMcLaren says:

    Here’s my bottom line: Our Montreal Canadiens are 7th overall in the league.  If Boston loses their game in hand they move into 3rd place in the conference.

    Things could be worse.  Much worse.

    The sky is not falling.  I repeat, the sky is not falling!

    /\\ike
    GO HABS GO!

  30. Da Hema says:

    Choosing Pyatt at that point in the shoot out is inexplicable. I’d use Price before Pyatt.

  31. andrewberkshire says:

    Like I said earlier on twitter, I’d have chosen anyone on the roster before Pyatt. Even Picard has more goals. Even Nash has the advantage of being completely unknown. Pyatt makes Moen look like Brett Hull.

  32. Just A Guy says:

    Wiz and Picard on the PK with Weber in the box said it all. I wonder who was the #2 pairing even with a full compliment to choose from. Thank god they only took 2 penalties, which kind of makes me think in retrospect they were playing tentative after they were sorely reminded of the fact their Penalty kill is seriously compromised with the injuries.

    “Tell him he’s Wayne Gretzky.” – Oilers coach Ted Green, after Shaun Van Allen suffered a concussion and couldn’t remember who he was.

  33. SeriousFan09 says:

    Big thumbs down on the night goes to the new Liveblog format, not fun to follow at all.

    The game was lousy, but damn that D-core is a sorry state of affairs. If we don’t get Gill and Spacek back for the Heritage Classic I think we’re going to end up dressing Chelios and Ludwig from the Alumni.

     

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

  34. itpf says:

    About the new blog format…

    I liked that I didn’t need to refresh – I could keep the blog on in the background while I watched the game, and the little ‘blip’ let me know when it was updated.

    Would be nice if there wasn’t so much scrolling involved, and if it didn’t automatically scroll around when something was added – I’d loose my place! Also, it would have been nice if the Habs won.

    I like the look of the old blog better, and I kind of dislike the look of the new one, but the fact that refreshing has gone the way of Peter Forsberg is a plus,. Given the choice, I’d choose the new format, but only for the refreshing improvement.

  35. Naveed says:

    I say two-three minor additions make the Habs a strong contender for the Cup… the league is so wide open. A smart transaction here and there will create a stronger dynamic for the team to succeed.

  36. Clay4bc says:

    For what it’s worth, the new chat format is not as good as the old one…and that’s despite the many flaws of the old one. Perhaps just fixing what was wrong in the old format is a better answer?

    About the game…tough pill to swallow, but see MikeMcLaren’s comment below for a sensible approach to what happened. Almost 3rd in the conference is not too bad, especially given the myriad of injuries this team has.

    __________________________

    The only interesting answers are those which destroy the questions. ~Susan Sontag

  37. ooder says:

    why is it that everytime DD is on the ice he creates something…

    he`s fun to watch and is very creative.. while also being responsible in his own end

    Gomez on the other hand provides 0 offence, has been terrible in his own end as of late (once again finishing a minus due to him not backchecking) and the little offence he does create is quickly killed by ak (WTF IS UP WITH THIS GUY) and moen…

    sad but true

    oh and lets cut out this doom and gloom bs

    this team is missing a huge chunk of players.. and not support crew either

    and still remains competitive

    ——————

    GWG = game winning gionta!

  38. Cool Ice Price says:

    PG needs to stand pat at trade deadline. No use to trade our youth for rentals cause the Habs will go no where in the playoffs this year. Move the dead weight over the summer

  39. JIMVINNY says:

    The terrible ending to the game aside, the new blog format sucked.  That is all.


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