Game 29: Hurricanes drub feeble Canadiens

A penny for your thoughts: Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau watches the action behind captain Saku Koivu, Guillaume Latendresse and Kyle Chipchura.
Shaun Best, Reuters

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Early in the third period, you started checking the NHL rulebook to see whether there’s a mercy rule. Sadly, there isn’t.

The Carolina Hurricanes rolled effortlessly over the Canadiens last night, the 5-1 victory their ninth in a row at the Bell Centre. Nine.

Here’s Red Fisher’s game story, and Pat Hickey’s post-game sidebar.

This remarkable winning/losing streak dates to Feb. 28, 2004; in this stretch, Carolina has outscored the home team 35-13, and now is 13-4-1 against Montreal since the 2004-05 lockout, including four victories in the opening round of the 2006 playoffs en route to winning the Stanley Cup.

The Canadiens dropped their fifth straight game at home last night, and it was a depressingly bad exhibition by a team that seems entirely without a rudder. This streak of "friendly" ice futility is the team’s worst since October-November 2000.

It marked the fourth and final meeting between the two clubs this season, after having met three times in October. The Canadiens won two of those, outscoring the Hurricanes 11-9.

Carolina led last night’s "contest" 2-0 by 12:13 of the first period on goals by Erik Cole and Eric Staal before Andrei Kostitsyn converted a short second-period Alex Kovalev pass from goalie Cam Ward’s doorstep to cut the margin in half, a power-play score midway through the frame.

But the Hurricanes beat Montreal goalie Carey Price with two more before the second was done, first by ageless Rod Brind’Amour, then Ray Whitney’s back-breaker at 19:26, four seconds after captain Saku Koivu was penalized for high-sticking, to put this one decidedly out of reach after 40 minutes.

Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau pulled Price after the second, his rookie netminder having a wholly ordinary game, and inserted recent AHL callup Jaroslav Halak, who’s filling in for the groin-injured Cristobal Huet.

Whitney made it 5-1 at 6:28 of the third on a shot that totally fooled Halak and found the net through his pads.

A 5-on-3 advantage of 92 seconds for the Canadiens late in the third yielded nothing but more frustration and heckling from those who decided to keep their seats until the end.

The final shots were even at 36-36, not that this statistic mattered for much.

The Canadiens are home to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday, travel to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers on Thursday then return to face the Toronto Maple Leafs next Saturday.


  1. MannyR says:

    Habs are playing too soft…never seem to win along the boards.
    No team toughness.
    There is no footspeed.
    Pretty depressing.

  2. saku11 says:

    the thing is, every one of your posts is negative, and not just today. Tonight’s game was probably one of the worst I’ve seen the Habs play this season. However the series is tied 2-2 now. The Habs are capable of playing much better hockey. If the Habs suck then I guess 28 other teams suck as well because the only team that hasn’t really had a big slump yet is Detroit, and even they lost 4 in row. As of today, 4 points separates 3rd in the league from 19th.

  3. mawhockey1 says:

    Where has PRIDE gone?No one steps up game after game.How long until BIG changes surface?This game was another embarrassing one!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. PGHABS says:

    we aren’t close to winning the cup, we aren’t close to the better teams in the east, we aren’t close to winning anything. we can’t handle a forcheck, and our team doesn’t have a forcheck of our own. We try to trap, but we couldn’t hold a lead to save our life. the habs havn’t won one game this year when trailing after one period of two. We have been one of the worst five on five teams for years. The only times the Habs have made the playoffs the past few times was because we had spectacular goaltending.

    I’ve always been a fan of Bob Gainey, but he isn’t aggessive enough. The only good trades he has made was dumping high salary players (theodore, samsonov). He trades Niniimaa…dumping Mike Ribeiro. You’d think Ribeiro would have had a little more worth than a defenseman who couldn’t crack our top six. His summer signing of Smolinksi was bad from the start. A slow medium sized centre, who is average on faceoffs, defense and offense. He plays on a different team every year.

    Even if we did manage to fluke our way into the playoffs, would we really have a chance against New Jersey, Ottawa, New York or Carolina? no

    This team needs to be blown up. Start over. This team has no makings of being a winner.

    …….happy holidays

  5. TradeRyder says:

    Oy! That was one turkey of a game.

    Habs need a new defensive coach.

  6. Rocket Richard says:

    they say honesty is the best policy.

    lets not hide anything folks.

    December 1,2007 – rise and fall of the 2007-08 Montreal Canadiens

    Rocket Richards Moltivation for winning games, “You Must Hate To Lose”

  7. saku11 says:

    that’s true

  8. 4everhabfan says:

    someone will be traded or fired real soon. if heads don’t roll after tonights performance than they never will. what a joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Rocket Richard says:

    Pretty hard to find positives. Can’t even score on 5-3 powerplay.

    Way the habs are going, they may not win until 2008. (Perish the thought)

    Someone needs to get fired or traded or something to shake things up.

    December 1,2007 – rise and fall of the 2007-08 Montreal Canadiens

    Rocket Richards Moltivation for winning games, “You Must Hate To Lose”

  10. TradeRyder says:

    We got nice sweaters!
    Habs need a new defensive coach.

  11. saku11 says:

    cournoyer12 and DTD are head-to-head in a race of who can be the most negative habs fan

  12. PGHABS says:

    You ARE a Leafs fan, You’re in the wrong forum.

  13. TradeRyder says:

    We suck.

    Habs need a new defensive coach.

  14. Rocket Richard says:

    5-1 canes and almost 6-1.

    This game is getting ugly.

    December 1,2007 – rise and fall of the 2007-08 Montreal Canadiens

    Rocket Richards Moltivation for winning games, “You Must Hate To Lose”

  15. saku11 says:

    yeah he looked great on the shot that beat him fivehole. When we lose this game, it won’t be either goalies fault.

  16. 4everhabfan says:

    price pulled and halak starts the 3rd. about friggen time!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. saku11 says:

    I hear you’re a credible source.

  18. gumper says:

    Box score says we have the edge in faceoffs!!! Man, how can that be true? We’re chasing them for the puck all night after the draw. I’m counting faceoff loss after faceoff loss. Anyway, like Detroit, we are being schooled, and it just plain looks like we don’t have the horses to play with the big kids. Hope Halak gets the call in the third. What other option do we have to try to get les boys going tonight? A bit soon to write off Price, though, DTD. Oh well, let’s look for some spark of hope in the third. Man it can be tough being a diehard Habs fan.

  19. 4everhabfan says:

    4-1 end of the second. should be 7-1. montreal doesn’t deserve to be in the building let alone on the ice. price is showing he’s not ready. down way to early. 2 goals tonight over his shoulder blocker side. anyone who thinks there isn’t a problem in hab land is blind!!!! sad to say but i’m getting sick of this crap. if carbo’s not the problem than he sure is hell not part of the solution. price looks weak at best. pull him for god’s sake after 3 weak goals. send a message. do something!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! sorry for my rant but enough is enough.

  20. saku11 says:

    wow, doesn’t look good. Kinda hanging Price out to dry. The way we’re playing tonight, we wouldn’t win with Luongo or Brodeur in nets. Hopefully they wake up to play the third.

  21. Higgins21 says:

    It’s easy to rant about Price, But the whole team sucks so far. But the 3rd period is still to come.

    Go Habs Go!

  22. LTHF says:

    OUTWORKED, OUTSKATED, OUTHUSTLED—plain outplayed— or just plain out of it!

  23. Rocket Richard says:

    ” I only wish that Habs lose every single game from now on ”

    If this happens, their won’t be a Canadiens franchise to root for.

    Doesn’t look good right now.

    December 1,2007 – rise and fall of the 2007-08 Montreal Canadiens

    Rocket Richards Moltivation for winning games, “You Must Hate To Lose”

  24. Rocket Richard says:

    Frustrations are mounting.

    Your right on this point ” anyone who thinks there isn’t a problem in hab land is blind!!!! ”

    Habs needed to show up for a full 60 minutes, not 6 minutes?

    Hopefully they can turn this around.

    December 1,2007 – rise and fall of the 2007-08 Montreal Canadiens

    Rocket Richards Moltivation for winning games, “You Must Hate To Lose”

  25. Higgins21 says:

    Go Habs Go!
    My friend and I are having a discussion before the game.
    This is the question. Who was Bob Gainey’s first choice as GM? We’re thinking it’s A. Kostitsyn.

  26. hhl says:

    also boullion reminds me of m.roberge when he fights.

  27. hhl says:

    i could see lapierre n begin play on the same line in the future. mtl future energy line? also want to wish begin a speedy recovery.hope that its not well as smolinsky. go habs go.woohoo

  28. hhl says:

    i hope ryder shows up

  29. hhl says:

    i hope mtl makes a statement see ryder get mad.
    start pushing his weight around.start a ward the crack of his with a chip on his shoulder.tie his skates.crash the net.keep his stick on the ice.take one for the team!!!

  30. saku11 says:

    i hope Ryder breaks out of his slump with a natural hat trick

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