Canadiens mess the bed vs. Maple Leafs

That kind of night: Toronto’s Nik Antropov splatters Canadiens’ Josh Gorges along the glass.
Bruce Bennett, Getty Images Sport

TORONTO – Guy Carbonneau didn’t hold back when he was asked about the Canadiens’ 6-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight.

“It was the most embarrassing game I’ve ever been associated with,” said the coach whose team has back-to-back games for the first time this season.
There was plenty of room for embarrassment here.

• The Canadiens, who were playing without defenceman Roman Hamrlik, were outshot, 41-20.

• The Leafs scored three of their six goals on the power play. The Canadiens were shorthanded eight times in this game and have faced 38 power plays in the last five games.

• Montreal was upstaged by castoff Mikhail Grabovski, who scored a goal, added an assist and won a key faceoff which led to a goal.

But Saku Koivu said this game wasn’t about Grabovski, who was traded to the Leafs in July for a prospect and a draft pick.

“We know he has skills but this game wasn’t about him, it was about the way we’re playing,” said Koivu.

“I think for the first 10, 11 games, I don’t know if it’s human nature that, when you win, you kind of forget about your mistakes. But I don’t think we’ve played as well for the last four or five games. We’re fortunate to have the points we have and now we have to get back to playing a team game with defence first.”

That might be difficult if Hamrlik’s injury is serious. He was hurt Friday night in Columbus but finished the game. He was scratched after the pregame warmup tonight.

The defence was found lacking tonight. While the Canadiens kept the score close for most of the first two periods, the Leafs had the better of the play.

The Canadiens’ found themselves back on their heels after Tom Kostopoulos shoved Mike Van Ryn into the end boards at 7:06 of the first period.

Kostopoulos was assessed a major penalty and a game misconduct for attempt to injure and he’ll face the possibility of additional discipline from the league. A suspension seems possible, especially since Van Ryn suffered extensive injuries which will keep out for at least a month. He has a concussion, a broken nose and a broken finger.

“Those are the kind of hits we talk about all the time,” said Toronto coach Ron Wilson. He said there will be those who claim Van Ryn left himself vulnerable on the play but said the players delivering hits from behind have a responsibility to let up.

But Kostopoulos said he hoped that Van Ryn didn’t think it was a dirty hit.

“I was just trying to get the puck,” said Kostopoulos.

Niklas Hagman scored the first of his two goals during the five-minute major. Grabovski set the play up after going around Andrei Markov.

Grabovski made it 2-0 early in the second period and helped set up the go-ahead goal after Robert Lang and Tomas Plekanec scored power-play goals.

You won’t see Grabovski’s name on the scoresheet for Hagman’s second goal but he won the faceoff to get the play rolling.

The Canadiens tied the score a second time when Koivu fired over a diving Carlo Colaiacovo and beat Vesa Toskala to the far top corner.

But Nik Antropov took over as he scored before the second period and then assisted on insurance goals by Pavel Kubina and Alex Ponikarovsky in the third period.

Carey Price gave up six goals on 41 shots but Toronto coach Wilson said the count would have been much higher if Price hadn’t played an outstanding game.

The Canadiens will be back home Tuesday night to face the Ottawa Senators for the first time this season. They are in Boston Thursday and then play back-to-back on the weekend against Philadelphia Saturday and in St. Louis Sunday.


  1. says:

    I’m embarrassed that I cheered for the Canadiens last night.

    ALmost every HNIC that the Lafs and Canadiens play, we have a get together here with a bunch of Leaf and Canadiens fans. It was a very long night of getting geered.

    The Leafs are considered bottom feeders. Well last night they made the Canadiens look like atoms out there. Where on earth is our defense?
    God Bless Our Infantry

  2. The M says:

    although i don’t like Fraser, he was the least of the Habs worries last night. Montreal sucked all be themselves

  3. Robert L says:

    Leafs Hand Habs A Hockey Lesson, And Expose Carbonneau’s High Wire Risks In The Process

  4. RudeMood19 says:

    meh, the “40 years since the last Cup” line is still powerful and holding up strong.

  5. Habboss says:

    Worst effort In years. The Habs of this year though have the power to turn It around quick.

  6. sam says:

    a few who, while we were winning, were weary because we weren’t playing our best hockey? check.

    we don’t see Carbs behind the scenes but i hope he keeps as much of the blame for himself as he heaps on his players with the media.

    is there a system, and will it take another month-long dirge to get a new one? thanks.

  7. knucklesnilan says:

    That was an embarassing display last night for sure. We have got to stop taking so many penalties and losing so many faceoffs. That PP goal those idiot Leafs scored, in what 3 seconds. Come on you don’t have to win the faceoff but don’t get clearly beaten like that, ridiculous.
    I’m in no means blaming the ref’s but we have got to petition the league to ban Fraser from our games, he has had it in for us since Carolina in what 2005? We get high sticked and hit to the head, nothing. We do it and get 17 minutes every damn time, and the guy jumping TK gets 2 minutes, criminal.
    Anyways this is a wakeup call, better to lose this kind of game in November than March. So everyone take a deep breath. One thing that is clear we need a 4th D, asap.

    Go Habs Go !!

  8. jkmorris says:

    I would not be surprised that one or two ‘Dogs get called up, even for one or two games. A message has to be sent that hard work gets ice time, otherwise you sit and let someone else play. Teams are not going to roll over just because you are favored to win the East.

  9. bigdave says:

    This game was awful!

    To get pushed around by TO is just revolting at the best of times but with the team they(TO) have this year is even more painful.

    This funk has been ongoing for two to three weeks luckily up until last night it didn’t cost anything!

    Looks like the team that started the year (when so many were injured) was a lot hungrier and hardworking than the present “full lineup”

    Looks like decision time on some other team members as well. Do Lapierre and Latendresse, play a sufficiently “skilled and fast paced game” as Bob likes to characterize his team to justify their roster spots? They look out of their league in the NHL.

    The lack of a 4th solid defense man was highlighted and when they play Brisebois two games in succession exhibits some desperation.

    What on earth does Brisebois have on Gainey and Carbonneau? Must be huge. There can’t be any other justification for his being on this team no less taking up bench-space. He’s a waste of oxygen! He is soft in his own end and and those blind up the middle are historic.

    No impassioned speeches by Gainey defending Brisebois will ever change my mind on the subject.

  10. bigdave says:

    Inconsistent referees?

    With Fraser and Mcreary?

    You must be kidding! That pair are the two most biased in the NHL.

    Everytime MTL sees Fraser it is a debacle.

  11. jamieboy333 says:

    I’d say this was a bad effort, but I can’t because there was NO EFFORT. Definitely the most embarrassing game of the year.

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