Quick hits

Joël Bouchard said it would be “un match de coach”.

Jacques Martin had made some assertive moves.

How would his team respond?

For an assessment, let’s climb into the Time Machine and set it 10 hours forward to the practice the Canadiens will hold in Dallas before this year’s version of Napoleon in Russia moves on to Carolina for – gulp! – a crucial Dec. 23 game.

Over to you, JM:

“Good morning, ladies. As you can see, there are no pucks on the ice.

“Excused from this bag skate: numbers 67, 11, 21 and 52.

You too, number 44. You played 24 minutes last night, and I don’t want the United Nations Human Rights Commission on my ass.

“Hey 46, you’re excused, too. You didn’t play last night. You realize that, right?

“As for the rest of you, start skating. And I hope you enjoy this video we’re watching after practice.

Coach Therrien has a message for you:

 

agL3NHgb8Rk

Thanks, coach.

Now let’s have a look at some stats:

• The Canadiens had 29 shots on goal. The Stars blocked 20 and there were a mind-boggling 24 misses. Comparable numbers for the winning team: 17 SoG, 11 misses and the Canadiens blocked 10.

So a 73-38 possession margin means the Canadiens dominated right?

Uh, wrong. The stat is totally misleading and indicative of the Canadiens firing away from the perimeter and from impossible angles while Dallas did a superb job of protecting the dirty zones in front of Kari Lehtonen … not that anyone other than Max Pacioretty or Mathieu Darche was inclined to go there anyway.

Yes, Lehtonen was good. But how many second chances did the Canadiens get?

And where were the finishers?

One was in the pressbox, but you’d have a hard time convincing me AK46 would have made a difference … although he might have buried the 2-on-1 chance that Benoit Pouliot screwed up.

• The Canadiens have yet to win a game this season when trailing after one period (they’re 0-9) or after 40 minutes (0-12).

• Carey Price over his last six games: GAA of 3.67 and save percentage of 88.0. Price had not given up more than three goals in regulation time until the Flyers beat him 5-3 last week. He’s given up five twice in the last four games.

• The team has slipped below .500, to 7-8, on the road. The Canadiens are 4-4-1 against the Western Conference.

As the guys on RDS said, the Canadiens need miraculous goaltending to win.

Jaro Halak ran out of miracles against Philadelphia in the playoffs.

Let’s hope Carey Price has some in reserve.

Hey, every team goes through slumps, and better now than in late March.

It’s late and I need my beauty sleep.

More doom and gloom tomorrow.

 

14 Comments

  1. MathMan says:

    Uh, wrong. The stat is totally misleading and indicative of the Canadiens firing away from the perimeter and from impossible angles while Dallas did a superb job of protecting the dirty zones in front of Kari Lehtonen … not that anyone other than Max Pacioretty or Mathieu Darche was inclined to go there anyway.”

    Look at the shot chart on nhl.com. I don’t think that’s a very fair assessment of what happened.

    In general I’m very skeptical of “they kept shots to the outside” arguments, it’s pretty rare that it happens in practice. It was bogus when the Habs claimed to do it against Washington in the playoffs and it’s pretty bogus now.

    As the guys on RDS said, the Canadiens need miraculous goaltending to win.”

    This is a new problem, because the Habs have been good enough this year not to. Still, Price has been providing sub-par goaltending lately (let’s be honest — although to be fair, it was more bad luck than bad play). But Price’s importance for the team is overstated.

  2. PeterD says:

    Pretty clear from tonights game…the Habs are not a team that will be able to compete and win against bigger, more talented and motivated teams like Dallas, Philly and who knows…but in order for this team to get out of our conference we will have to beat Philly, Penguins, Boston and Washington…Hey, we have a hard time beating Toronto…TORONTO?…REALLY???

    I am not convinced we have the players to get past those teams…very simply we do not have players willing to pay the price and go to the net and make a difference when they are there by finishing the play by putting the puck in the net. 

    It is clear to me we need to move some players and add some big bodies up front that have proven they can score nad take the punishment it takes to be in fornt of the net…we need defense that moves faster than an oil tanker adrift (Gill)…Seriously is there a Habs fan out there that thinks this is a Cup contender…I don’t think so.

    We need a bona fide goal scorer…currently we have none.  We need a PP quarterback…currently we havve none.  We need a Power Forward that goes to the dirty areas and can finish with goals…currently we have none.

    Carolina next…wonder what that will bring…tomorrows practice should be interesting…

    Pierre G. ..get on the phone man…we need help!

  3. yukonhab says:

    Sucks to lose….like any great Habs fan a tough pill to swallow!

    However……..Carey stood tall and will be great through out the year. Losses are gonna happen believe it or not. I would rather have some dilemas now than later. Killer instinct wins games! Few can deliver night after night. Pleks and Carey are probably our exceptions. Hammer and the D’s are good…but get pressured on any givin night. Pac is good to go and that is refreshing along with our expectations we will be just fine.

    optimism is on sale down at your local grocery store….its just a matter of picking it up now or later

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Support your local indian – Price 31

  4. yukonhab says:

    Sucks to lose….like any great Habs fan a tough pill to swallow!

    However……..Carey stood tall and will be great through out the year. Losses are gonna happen believe it or not. I would rather have some dilemas now than later. Killer instinct wins games! Few can deliver night after night. Pleks and Carey are probably our exceptions. Hammer and the D’s are good…but get pressured on any givin night. Pac is good to go and that is refreshing along with our expectations we will be just fine.

    optimism is on sale down at your local grocery store….its just a matter of picking it up now or later

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Support your local indian – Price 31

  5. Habnofear says:

    Therrian is a fans coach and tells it like it is …..You listen to this guy and if you think he cares about anything but giving it your best ……Coach Martin and his system on the other hand is an emotionless pit of????????

  6. HabFarmer says:

    I didn’t see it all ’cause I had to go play hockey but the best part of what I did see was the guy rocking the Anvil T-shirt behind the Canadiens bench.  Awesomely awesome……….. .

     

    A man’s attitude… a man’s attitude goes some ways. The way his life will be. Is that somethin’ you agree with?

  7. Mr.Hazard says:

    Dat smell like a slump!

  8. HardHabits says:

    Really. Therrien gets dumped and Bylsma takes them to a Championship win. No comparison.

  9. Lafrich says:

    I’m very disappoint with this team too..

  10. RJB says:

    Boone said it right, all teams go through a slump, this is ours. We will get over it and bounce back.

    “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

  11. spos080808 says:

    You look at the 5 goals tonight and the minimal amount of shots on Price.

    But (1) A deflection off a glove, (2) A breakaway, (3) A scrum in front of the net where the pucks get dug out of Price’s pads, (4) A deflection off Gorges stick, and (5) a deflection from the slot.

    I have a hard time faulting Price on any of these. I want, I want to say he let the team down just like they let him down. But he did everything he could tonight, including a sick save when the score was 3-0. 

    Sure maybe he could have been better on the breakaway, but a breakaway is a crapshoot. Then you have 3 deflections and a scrum in front of the net.

    Some are saying he is tired?

    I think this game tonight proves nothing. Based on the goals scored, it would not have mattered if this was his 15th start or 50th start in a row.

    A fluky night in terms of the goals scored on him and you could tell he was pissed off. Yes, the team did not deserve to win, and yes the team played very poorly in the Dzone and nuetral zone, but those goals tonight, you do not see those go in on the vast majority of nights.

    BUT when you are playing well, you make your own luck, like against Boston. When you are not playing well, like tonight, those bounces go against you.

    HUGE game v. Carolina because a loss inches Carolina closer to the 8th spot which could soon enough make Boston or Montreal out of the playoffs!!

  12. Habnofear says:

    The Habs will beat the Islanders and a few others on  this road trip so I don`t  think tonight game was anything but a reality check to what is needed for a legitimate play-off run.  The list is  a big one….

  13. BC HAB says:

    Was Coach Therrien by any chance a drinker. HAHAHA !!!! He seems drunk in the video. I love it.

  14. ManApart says:

    Surprise! For you maybe, but not for me. Look at the lineup and you’ll understand


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