No, this can’t be happening again.
We saw this movie a year ago: the Canadiens sitting in sixth-place with four games to play and a four-point bulge on ninth.
No, not again .. our nerves can’t take it.
Arpon Basu breaks down the playoff picture, and it isn’t pretty.
As I noted in Quick Hits, your Montreal Canadiens Canadiens play three of their final four games on the road. All are against opponents who won’t make the playoffs, but that’s no guarantee your road non-warriors will play well.
The boys have a day off today while Jacques Martin and his staff try to re-assemble the pieces of a team that was challenging for the Northeast Division lead two weeks ago.
Remember when we were talking about Carey Price for the Vézina and Hart trophies? Martin for the Jack Adams?
Two seat-of-the-pants/I-slept-badly-last-night answers: Injuries caught up with the defence, and they used Price too much.
Plus a lack of depth at forward.
Yes, Cam Ward has played as much as Price. But the Carolina goaltender is more experienced, and Ward doesn;t deal with the pressure of having to be perfect every time out for his team to have a shot at winning.
I’d call the D a train wreck, but trains don’t move that slowly. To the extent that James Wisniewski was a great acquisition, Brent Sopel is a bust. A Band-Aid for the penalty kill is a gushing wound at even strength.
Travis Moen and Jeff Halpern are not and never have been Top Six forwards.
Their potential suggests Andrei Kostitsyn and Benoit Pouliot are top-line talents. AK46 has shown flashes, but Benny breaks out hearts.
And speaking of heartbreak, should I even mention Max Pacioretty?
Lars Eller made a mistake last night, and Jacques Adams nailed his ass to the bench.
I know Price has to be perfect, but is that standard being applied to the skaters?
And if it were, how might the demand for perfection affect the ice time of Scott Gomez, Tomas Plekanec, Brian Gionta and Michael Cammalleri?
Deux poids, deux mesures, as we say in Quebec. Happy Jack likes veterans.
Martin’s Adams Family is in sixth place with four games left.
Be very afraid.
• • •
Views from the Commentariat:
Notes from the game I was lucky/unlucky enough to get seats for:
-our best outlet pass came from Carey Price. That’s not good.
-Subban is a joy to watch. Non-stop energy from jump street. And I think after tonight his PP time won’t be a question.
-Wiz looked SLICK in the neutral zone to draw the penalty. Where’s those moves on the regular?
-on the bench, the team looks deflated from the anthem on. No passion. Cammy and Pleks are pictures of frustration; Gomez looks frustrated, but at OTHER players.
-Gionta wears the ‘C’, but Hal Gill seems like the captain.
-They put up a ‘in memory’ placard for a soldier from the NC area on the jumbotron — Gomez looked up, and started tapping his stick on the boards, then the team followed. I thought that was interesting, and classy.
-It’s a pretty quiet building. They must’ve jacked up the audience mics. Really nice fans, and great Habs support.
-Roman Hamrlik looks YOUNGER in person.
From Matt H:
There’s a mad scramble of the top three teams to face the Habs in the first round. Boston, Washington or Phillidelphia would love to face the Canadiens. Each of those teams made deals at the deadline to bolster themselves for a run at the Cup, while the Canadiens made moves to patch up their shaky defense.
-Washington added a veteran centre (Arnott) and a puck moving defenseman (Wideman). This filled the hole the Caps had for a number 2 centre while adding insurance on the back end. Washington has seemingly found their defensive game, and add to that a few players who can only be described as elite/dominant and the Caps will be very difficult for their first round opponent. Not to mention they might like revenge against the Canadiens for last years collapse.
-Boston added speed (Peverley & Kelly) and a puck moving defenseman (Kaberle). The Bruins play tough and intimidating and have the best goalie in the NHL. Chara is a unique player who is uncomparable in the way he combines size, skill and intimidation. Their lineup is a mixture of youth, veteran savvy, skill, toughness and now more speed. I hate them, but they are better than Montreal on every front.
-Phillidelphia added Versteeg, but didn’t need to make any moves as they proved their run to the finals was not a fluke, unlike the Canadiens run. The Flyer’s have three centres, Carter, Richards and Giroux who are better than anyone the Canadiens have, including Plekanec. The Canadiens have better goaltending, but if you remember last year Michael Leighton had three shutouts versus the Canadiens, so i doubt the Flyers are worried about containing the Canadiens.
-Canadiens added Paul Mara and Brent Sopel, who take Picard and Weber’s place and as far as I can tell the difference is negligible. As far as I am concerned not one of those four should be even playing as Markov and Gorges would add a new top pairing to the Habs. The Canadiens have small, inconsistent forwards, a slow defense and a talented but exhausted goaltender. They’ve sandwiched a three game streak of no goals with blow-outs to the Rangers and Hurricanes with two wins against horrible teams (Atlanta and Minnesota).
If I was a player/fan/coach of the Bruins/Flyers/Capitals (which i am not) i’d be very comfortable playing a small, soft team in the first round.
Whats frustrating here is that the team cant even win a fucking game for the goalie! This guy just saved your asses the night before, so how does the team respond? $%^#ING FLATT!
It must be so frustrating to be Price right now. On any other team with relatively better offence, this guy has easily 5-10 more wins.
Its come to a point where this team just doesn’t win if he has a normal to average game! Hell, the only way this team has a chance to win is if he lets in only ONE bloody goal. That’s pathetic!
I hope PG opens his eyes in the offseason, cuz in all honesty this season is lost. I’ll be VERY surprised if this team manages to win playoff round. Anyways, this team needs offence, and it needs it BAD!
I don’t like blaming JM for loses, but I didn’t like some of his moves in the game. Few things:
1) After Cammy’s goal, he put out Gill and Sopel on D…. SERIOUSLY? easily the two slowest guys on defence.
2)After the second Skinner goal, Eller barely played. I admit Eller made a bad play, but if thats the case, Sopel should have been benched too. What kind of msg is that sending to the young guy!?
“The whole team sucks, but you’re being punished” I just wish that the vets were held accountable for their mistakes too…
I understand we have injury issues, but its the same damn story year after year. I hate always battling for 8th spot, its too frustrating.
I wasn’t old enough to remember the 93 habs championship, but over the last 10 years, this team seems to be developing a loser attitude, where just making the playoffs is an achievement.
Im beginning to loose my patience here, and i’m only 20…