Game 33: Habs open road trip with loss

Colorado goaltender Craig Anderson foils Canadiens centreman Tomas Plekanec from close in during the Habs’ 3-2 loss Sunday night to the Avalanche in Denver.
Michael Martin, NHLI via Getty Images

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At a Glance: The Canadiens began their seven-game, season’s-longest road trip with a loss Sunday night, falling 3-2 to the Colorado Avalanche in Denver. The teams exchanged first-period power-play goals, Montreal’s Mike Cammalleri opening the scoring with a pretty one-timer on a pass from centre Tomas Plekanec at 10:50; Colorado’s Ryan Wilson tied it with 5.5 seconds left on a screened point blast that Montreal goalie Carey Price never saw. Canadiens’ defenceman Alexandre Picard pinched in to rap home a power-play rebound of a shot by Scott Gomez at 2:58 of the second, but Avs’ Kevin Porter got that back just 1:03 later, the game’s first 5-on-5 goal coming on a weak backhand that slipped past Price’s right pad. Price made a handful of outstanding saves with the game tied, but poor defensive coverage in front of the net and a bouncing puck off a rebound caromed past the goalie off the body of Avs’ T.J. Galiardi at 16:12 to give the hosts their first lead of the contest. It would prove to be the game-winner.

Key Moments: The weird winning goal and the Avalanche, winners of six straight, resisting good Montreal pressure in the third period, especially in the game’s final minute. It was a triumphant night for former Canadien Ryan O’Byrne, playing his first game against the Habs.

What It Means: The Canadiens ended a three-game losing streak on Thursday at home to Boston but couldn’t make it two straight. The Habs remain two points ahead of the Northeast Division’s second-place Boston Bruins, with idle Boston holding two games in hand.

What’s Next: The Canadiens were to charter out of Denver at midnight Montreal time, flying to Dallas where they’ll take on the Stars Tuesday night. The Habs will wrap up the pre-Christmas portion of their road trip with a game Thursday in Raleigh, N.C., vs. the Carolina Hurricanes.

141 Comments

  1. Chuck says:

    What’s the weather like up there on your pedestal?

    The 2010 Montreal Canadians Christmas Card

  2. nunacanadien says:

    Langenbrunner would probably fit in better with Cammy and Gomez.

  3. LA Loyalist says:

    Yeah, like we have some delusional ones who think this is an elite team sweetly freighted with “intangibles” even when we regularly load the diaper to “lesser” teams than us, don’t show up ready to play many nights, at least in the first period, are unsettled with player combinations and soft on the road, which is saying something given how soft we are at home.

    Shall I go on?

    If you have been a fan “since 1972″ I have a higher expectation of you than of a twelve year old, one would think you would have some sort of standard for Habs higher than planning the parade for regular mid-pack performance. This team is being carried by Price, just like it was carried by Halak last year and is too small, too soft and while it has some talented players is nowhere near ready for the playoffs – and that is the fault of Count Chocula and the Brain Truss upstairs.

    The difference between you and I is I support your right to come on here and express yourself as you please, but it’s highly offensive that you don’t want anyone who disagrees with you to express themselves. Being here on planet earth is not being “negative” – it’s being realistic.

     

    too small, too soft, too intangible

     

  4. MTLForever says:

    Dude, you’re not funny. Never were.

  5. MTLForever says:

    It’s funny how people keep stating Halak this and that, sorry…we would’ve been out first round if we didn’t play the defense we did and block many of the shots. 

     

    No one’s gunna think about this game down the road, why? Because we played well. If we don’t make the playoffs or don’t get home advantage…we will be blaming a game that we played poorly that cost us…not one that we did many things right. 

  6. edgie says:

    I love these responses.  It’s a simple fact that the results aren’t always representative of how well you played.  Feel free to argue that… I don’t care, because you’d simply be wrong.  I can name you easily 10+ games we should have lost last year because we were outplayed.  I can also name you 10+ that we should have won last year because we outplayed the opposition. 

    Oh, and when we make the playoffs by two points or gain home ice advantage by two points, I’m going to be looking back to that game against the Pens on Oct 9th where we were thoroughly outplayed and say, yeah those two points were kind of important.

    Stop being so negative. Also, since you apparently know how to count, why don’t you help out us less fortunate people and tell us how far we are down in the eastern conference…don’t have to count very high now do you?  We’ve been in worse spots, get over it.

     

     

  7. HabFanSince72 says:

     If only the team could trade supporters.

  8. sholi2000.com says:

    This game should have been won by the Habs.  We missed too many opportunities to destroy their will in the first and second period with shots that missed the net.

    Then the defensive mistakes really killed them in the third.

    Oh well.  You’re allowed to lose.

    They Call Me Shane

  9. The Cat says:

    None of the D or the goalie should get any blame…The offense couldnt get 1 even strength goal, and IMO if you dont get 2 even strength goals -you dont deserve to win the game. Lots of blame goes on AK but the whole top 6 forwards should be held responsible. I mean if the 3rd line (Halpern) doesnt produce, things seem to get complicated quickly.

     

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  10. Chuck says:

    Cool… look wht the mailman delivered yesterday:

    2010 Montreal Canadians Christmas Card

  11. kmachabs27 says:

    kostityn for langenbrunnner.

  12. light_n_tasty says:

    You know that Markov, who happens to be a d-man, was one of our leading scorers, right?  

  13. rocketsglare says:

    The D is not the problem on most night’s. It’s the lack of scoring from top to bottom. There is too much inconsistency

    with not enough even strength and PP scoring. This team is winning solely on goaltending, tough D, and opportunistic

    scoring. That’s it. Every game is a grind for this club and it may eventually catch up to the team later in the season.

    It would be nice if the Habs can score in bunches in most of their games and win going away. But, this team does not

    have the type of personnel nor system that permits for endless scoring. Hopefully, that will change with time.

    Go Habs Go!

  14. Timo says:

    Nothing is stopping our guys venturing into the other goalie’s crease and cause some interference. I bet Cammilleri doesn’t know what goalie’s crease looks like. 

  15. Timo says:

    But really… imagine if we had Richards instead of Gomer? Maybe, I mean maybe he would have potted one tonight. It’s a wild thought, I know, but what the heck.

  16. Timo says:

    I am sorry… I am sorry. Did you not watch Hall Gill, A Picard and Co tonight? Better D in what universe? 

  17. Timo says:

    Tonight’s game demonstrated why we kept Picard and traded that bum O’Byrne. Losers of 4 out of 5 games. It just keeps gets better and better. The System is just getting warmed up though. Come April, when we squeeze into the playoffs via a lousy losing OT point, watch out NHL. 

  18. LA Loyalist says:

    Hey, I’m an illiterati, too, but i can add and subtract. We lost two points, and somehow, at the end of the year, when we don’t make the playoffs, or lose home ice advantage by two points we’ll all go. Oh crap, that road game in Colorado, when i was thinking about whether or not to buy my wife a new personal appliance, oh crap, those two points were kind of important, like those other two points we lost to Atlanta, Leafs, Cleveland Barons, New Jersey and other supposedly “crap” teams.

    Guess what – good teams don’t lose very many of those games, even on the road. We are just not as good as we think we are. Price makes us look better than we are, just like Halak did last year.

    It’s a problem, but the bigger problem is you can’t count. P.S. Hire someone else to do your taxes.

  19. LA Loyalist says:

    Dude, we lost. Check it out. It’s on the internet. TSN, ESPN, HIO…

  20. LA Loyalist says:

    Well, you know what? On the road there is very often at least one garbage/weird bounce/homer call goal — that’s why it’s the road and why it’s nice to be home where you know the boards and have the crowd.

    We need to be mentally prepared for this 7 game road trip and manage the games – that’s count chocula’s job.

    If we can’t beat Colorado at home we are not an elite team, just another mid-pack pontiac – with a goalie who’s better than the team (just like last spring, deja-voodoo all over again).

    At least Cammy is showing that the caffeine is working. And I am not worried about PK, yeah he’s going to make expensive mistakes, but when was the last time we had a stud like this to be excited about? Let him skate through the fire.

    Next up Dallas, no walk in the park, amigos. 12 max possible points left on the table in this roadie. I think we need to come out of this with 8 of the 14 original points, which means 8 of 12, or .666 — the sign of Gary Bettman…

    And in other news, we have a basketball doink running the NHL for how many years now? And a new baseball doink running the players association… does that bother anyone else? Does anyone else hate parity? A hundred dollar word for mediocrity..

     

    too small, too soft, too intangible…

  21. keepthefaith says:

    You are this years HH tanking talk. This team needs Gomez. If you think the team isnt better with him then you are not even watching the same game as i am.

  22. SeriousFan09 says:

    Dallas will be annoying, if anything only to read about “we could have Brad Richards instead of Gomez” posts in gigantic frequency. Habs will have to be better on D and not give away all those odd-man rushes and watch out for Loui Erikkson, probably the best-kept offensive secret in the NHL right now.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  23. LA Loyalist says:

    I agree  +/- isn’t everything, though longer term I think it’s useful, sample size is pretty important in stats, but you know that.

    Worried about the start of this road trip, Dallas is no walk in the park. They keep coming.

  24. HamiltonHabs says:

    Yeah we would be so much better with Chris Higgins or Kovalev, do you notice how every player on the Habs gets the puck to Gomez when he’s on the ice and he is the only one that carries the puck down the ice?  Don’t forget Cammaleri and Gionta only came to Montreal because Gainey had already gotten Gomez.  Where was Pouliet, Kostisyn, Moen, Lappiere (another stupid penalty)… did they touch the puck tonight?  yeah Gomez is the least of our problems.

  25. LA Loyalist says:

    existential moment. sorry.

  26. SeriousFan09 says:

    Jeff Schultz was +50 last year, I don’t recall him being useful for WSH against MTL in the playoffs.

    AK46 is +9 right now as well… not that it’s doing much for us.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  27. SeriousFan09 says:

    Cam Barker? Not seeing it Mike, the guy was traded out of CHI because he wasn’t as good a two-way D as the rest of the team on the road to the Cup and they didn’t end up getting much for him either as I recall from MIN or that he’s really doing that well there. 4A in 28 games and this guy is supposed to be an offensive defencemen? Not sure what’s going on with him but I don’t think the Habs need to work any more reclamation projects right now.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.

  28. HamiltonHabs says:

    Subban loses the puck at the blue line, then backs into the zone instead of taking the guy with the puck then pushes two guys into his goalie?  Put him on right wing on the fourth line and use him on power plays, and hey PK put two hands on your stick.  Darche the only guy the Habs can put in front of the net?  He’s a career AHL player, hands of stone.  Gomez and Eller still impress me how they carry the puck down the ice and hold on to it in the other teams end, so to the Gomez haters, would you rather have Chris Higgins, really…

  29. LA Loyalist says:

    Isn’t he +8?

  30. mike g says:

    Agreed… He got burned tonight the same way as he did against philly, and both times it cost a goal. If im the opposing player and i see him o , im lcking my chops and going around him right away.

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  31. habs365 says:

    I’d say….subban and Hamrlik….Spacek and Georges….Gill and Picard.

  32. mike g says:

    Once again, ……anyone else see AK on the ice tonight??….me neither. On another note, can we please trade for Cam Barker, so he can play with PK and the “easy to burn” Picard can sit. Either get Barker or find a way to get Langenbrunner….

    “These head movies make my eyes rain” -Simple Jack

    I got AK at under 64.5 pts, with Triple X and Tom Nickle.

  33. habs365 says:

    I thought both teams played well tonight…all I can say the better scoring team won…the team with the better defense lost…maybe it’ll be the other way round next time…you’re gonna see a lot more games from the Habs like this…they don’t have the scoring on most nights…if they ever get the 1st and 2nd line scoring steady…they’ll be hard to beat…everything else seems to be working good.

  34. SeriousFan09 says:

    Picard’s pass was worse than PK’s giveaway in the game, it was the on the level of the giveaway by PK against PHI that had people howling for Subban to sit again or yell that JM had ruined him with the benching previously. He had time to make a passing decision and made the worst possible decision he could have.

    Subban needs a partner who can work with him and clean up his mistakes, not set an example as bad as what he’s doing, he scored a PPG but undid it with his own mistake, had enough of that when MAB or Souray were around.

     

    – I shall always remember Captain Koivu. Habs and Hockey.


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