Quick Hits

This is going to be quick and dirty.

As anyone who watched the live blog game videos can attest, I need my beauty sleep.

Your Montreal Canadiens have completed their season home-and-away against the 30th best hockey team in a 30-team league.

Edmonton won both games.

The Canadiens have lost:

• Five of their last six – including Ls to the Islanders, Sabres and Oilers

• Ground in the standings to the Bruins and Rangers

• The defenceman who resuscitated their power play.

James Wisniewski was hit by a shot halfway through the first peiod. He did not return, was hospitalized and may not join his teammates on the trip to Calgary. He posted that gruesome pic to Facebook.

Wiz joins Andrei Markov, Josh Gorges, Hal Gill and Jaro Spacek on the injured list.

It is less hazardous to defuse bombs in Kabul than to play defence for the Montreal Canadiens.

Wisniewski’s injury meant Alexandre Picard had to play more than 23 minutes and Yannick Weber almost 28.

P.K. Subban, who logged 29:22 against the Sabres Tuesday night, played 29:29 – including 2:23 of the four minutes the Canadiens were shorthanded –  in Edmonton. He looked gassed by the end of the game.

Brendon Nash, who isn’t ready for the NHL, played 8:30 and was on for the Ryan Jones goal that broke the Canadiens’ backs.

Carey Price was not great on the two goals that beat him within 15 seconds in the third period.

But tabarnac, Price has played more minutes than any goaltender in the league. He’s faced more shots than anyone except Cam Ward.

In a first period dominated by the Oilers, Price kept the score to 1-0. And he was solid after the brief lapse that gave Edmonton the lead.

So no CP-bashing … or I’ll put that dog who was in the videos on your miserable, second-guessing ass.

Nor can you fault the effort of the Canadiens.

After sucking for most of the first 20 minutes, they outshot the Oilers 17-8 in the second period. But just as 18 shots produced one goal against Buffalo, the bombardment yielded only the Jeff Halpern goal that made it 1-1 … and that came off a schmozzle in Nikolai Khabibulin’s crease.

The Canadiens fired 37 Sog at the vintage Bulin Wall– plus 15 that missed the net and 21 that were wide. Comparable stats for the Oilers were 28-19-10.

Jacques Martin shortened his bench – Mathieu Darche played all of eight shifts, David Desharnais and Ryan White saw limited action in the third period. But despite more ice time and some decent chances, the scorers couldn’t score against a very ordinary Edmonton D.

On paper, this was the easiest game of the trip.

But west of Ottawa, nothing is easy.

More tomorrow.

•  •  •

Some glass-half-full Commentary from Hockey Socks:

I, for one, am proud of the team’s effort tonight. No passengers. How can you keep winning when 5 of your top 6 defensemen and elite sniper are injured? How can you keep winning when your best defenseman left is a 36-year-old who is logging 25 to 30 minutes/game? As good as Subban is, he’s still a rookie and its noticeable at least once or twice a game.

I commend the effort level but lets face reality. This team is no longer equipped to make a meaningful playoff run and do more than stumble down the stretch and pray the bleeding stops.

Gomez cares and you can see it when he gets frustrated and forces a play. You can criticize him for his production, but never his effort. Same goes for nearly every player on the team.

It makes me wonder… with all this trade talk – is it even worth it? Why trade assets for short-term fixes? I know management has an obligation to make every effort to win – especially in a city like Montreal – but is riding it out and reloading for next season such a bad idea?

50 Comments

  1. habs001 says:

    we just dont have the forwards even if all of them are healthy to be even a top 15 scoring team…

  2. HotHabs says:

    Good effort, but honestly the Habs cannot and should not lose to bottom dwelling teams like the Oilers.  How depressing!

    Gomez, Eller, PK, Hammer worked really hard all game.

    Price was hot for over 59 minutes, but that second goal will give him nightmares tonight – he cheated a little and leaned away from his post.

    With Mtl’s broken down D corps, it will take a miracle to pull off a win vs. a streaking Flames team on Sunday.  Let’s not even talk about Vancouver.

    Good night all!

     

  3. VancouverHab says:

    Did I just read Mr. Boone featuring a commentor who praised the effort & sinceity of Scott Gomez?

    I’ll die happy.

  4. Chuck says:

    Man, that looks like a morgue photo…

  5. Habnofear says:

    The question is will you die happy after the Heritage  game and  or the Nucks game? I will say this bout you though  ….the Habs could lose every game for infinity and you don’t care,which is cool.

  6. mbplekfan says:

    We have great scorers on this team. The problem is JM doesnt want them to score. He wants them to keep the other team from scoring.

    An over-reliance on defence is costing the habs wins and keeping our scorers from scoring. The habs rarely have all 3 forwards deep in the offensive zone. Instead one is almost always high in the slot ready to defend the neutral zone at a moments notice. The defending team has two defenceman and one center trying to get the puck back. 3 on 2 manpower and guess who wins?

    No sustained offensive pressure is generated and few goals result.

  7. G-Man says:

    Yeah, lots of fruitless effort against the worst team in the the league. Pleks wasn’t to be seen the 1st 2 periods and has been less and less visible of late. So, how does everyone like Gill and Spacek now? And, yes, Boone, Price was outplayed again. IDGAS how many games or minutes played, that has been happening a lot lately when the Habs should be solidifying a playoff spot and not throwing away opportunities.

  8. CharlieHodgeFan says:

    The difference between a middle of the pack team and a bottom feeder is a few players. Try Markov, Gorges, Cammy and Gill. These aren’t fourth line injuries, and compensating is wearing the others down.

    I still like the team that has been assembled. I think Price is overworked, but that Subban is getting training that you can never replace. Long-term, it looks good. Short term, it’s a wee bit ugly.

  9. Displaced says:

    Yep, it’s hard to win games at this level against ANY team when you can’t ice the team you built. 

    Ask defenseless Vancouver fans how it feels to lose three of five, including one last night to a team that started 15 points behind them.  Ask Pittsburgh fans how much it sucks to lose Sid and Malkin.  Or Boston fans (ok, you don’t have to actually speak to them) what life would be like if Savard weren’t concussed.  Or fans in Colorado or St. Louis, or… well, you get the idea.

    Missing Markov, Cammi, Gorges, Gomez, and Kostitsyn for long stretches (did you like the shots at Scotty and AK?  yeah, I didn’t think so) are legitimate reasons to struggle.  And, it’s nice to see what the kids can do and watch them develop.  It softens the blow to our current psyche and gives us hope for the future.

    Sadly, Arch Bishop Bettman can’t turn losses into wins, even if we say our Hail Gregson’s – although it might help with some fishy calls…

    To paraphrase Arpon, this ain’t our year. Yeh, we’ll make the playoffs and with some luck ride Carey and a hot scoring streak to a series win or two.  For now, watch the foundation of this team mature and enjoy the big Price rebound (year) and his scintillating saves, PK’s Savardian spineramas, cannonading shots from the Wiz (when he returns), Patches playing power forward like a young John Leclair (er, we’ll hold onto this one, unless him becomes Chris Higgins).  Whitney Houston’s, “I believe the children are our future” is playing in my head, so I better wrap this up.  Go Habs!!!

     

     

    Who’s leg do I have to hump to get a dry martini around here?

  10. mjames says:

    Enough with all this team analysis. The real reason why  we lost this game is because of AK46 . He was directly or indirectly responsible for all 4 of the Oilers goals. If he had not played we would have easily won this game. As a matter of fact Gomez would be having a career year if not for AK46. The same can be said for Pleks, Gionta and Cammy who would all be over 30 goals by now. Price’s GAA would be less than 2 if not for AK46. If PG were smart he would trade AK46 to Nashville for one of their pending UFA ( a Moen type player) . If he can’t get an UFA then maybe a 12th round draft choice.

    I am surprised Boone did not point to the real reason why we lost this game  —–AK46

    mjames

  11. claude says:

    Now on to Hockey ,well it is what it is. This situation can only help improve a group of young up and comers to the NHL. Although things don,t bod well for the Habs,in the end the team will benefit a whole lot by theses young guns getting their feet wet. As for the playoffs, we are in tough,but that being said this team is slowly building a layer of sandpaper to its game. Sometimes going through,what the blue,blanc et rouge are experiencing,has to happen to get a whole team to that next level.

    Hope for success at the outdoor game,and it should be fun to watch.

    Claude

  12. claude says:

    Although i understand our Defense is decimated, using the reference more to” It is less hazardous to defuse bombs in Kabul than to play defence for the Montreal Canadiens ” is a bit insenstive towards are serving men and women of the armed forces. I would hope a retraction is made for making this statement. I love my Canadiens and i am passionate,but let,s not blurr the line between a game of very well paid individuals who are inssentially having fun doing what their doing, to a person who puts their life on the line daily for alot less coin.


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