Game 76: Canadiens match unenviable mark

HabsCapsKostitsyn

Canadiens’ Andrei Kostitsyn misses on shot towards Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, while being checked by  Mike Knuble during the first period Saturday night. Pierre Obendrauf, The Gazette

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AUDIO: Scott Gomez | Brian Gionta | Tomas Plekanec | Carey Price | Jacques Martin

• At a Glance: For the first time since 1949, the Canadiens have been shut out for three straight games following Saturday night’s 2-0 loss to the Washington Capitals on Saturday night at the Bell Centre. Marco Sturm scored early in the first period when he knocked a rebound out of the air and into the net behind Carey Price 1:24 into the game. It stood up as the winning goal. Alexander Semin scored off an odd-man rush 16:19 into the third period to end any thoughts of a comeback. The Canadiens managed only three shots on goal in the first period and only 18 overall, giving Capitals goalie Braden Holtby an easy night for the shutout, his second in 14 games. Price stopped 31 of 33 shots he faced. The Canadiens have not score for more than 186 minutes of hockey.

• What It Means: The Canadiens remain in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 40-29-7 for 87 points, the same number as the New York Rangers, who remain in seventh because they have won fewer games in regulation time. The Sabres sit at 85 points in eighth place in the conference.

• What’s Next: The Atlanta Thrashers are at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night and the Canadiens travel to Carolina to take on the Hurricanes on Wednesday for their final game of March.

248 Comments

  1. huge_polar_bear says:

    Just checking this Gravatar thing

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  3. Duke Raven says:

    Speed or no speed, when you have a team that can’t cycle the puck, work the corners and gain puck control, you have a team that can’t win in this NHL

    • Habsfan4 says:

      You would have thought when Bob was in charge, he would draft guys with his hockey character and be able to play in his style of hockey. Tough hard nosed players who can play the game at a high level. Even Fergy used to score 20 goals a season. Now, we have alleged speedsters who couldn’t carry Cournoyer’s jock trap. Gomez, what an embarrassment. The Pocket Rocket was smaller and could skate circles around Gomer and would work the corners and actually come out with the puck! This team is too small, not tough enough and lacks the key ingredient a winning team must have. Guts, courage tenacity and power forwards that will win the small and big battles for the puck.
      To bad, I love them dearly, but, I feel like they’re destined to be in the bottom of the NHL Eastern Division until they make some changes.

  4. WindsorHab-10 says:

    18 shots on net? Way to go JM for having the team ready to play & motivated, not to mention disciplined. You get my vote for the Jack”ass”Adams trophy.

  5. Habby67 says:

    This team will never be anything better than average. Last year was just a fluke. Until they start changing their philosophy we will always end up like this. Its pretty sad when they cannot get motivated enough to bounce back after such a pathetic loss. It really says a lot about the coaching staff and players doesnt it??!!

  6. dre1744 says:

    since they only average 2 goals a game and scored 8 against minny they will be shut out again against atlanta!!!!!

  7. habsindepth says:

    Thoughts on the game:
    umm… hmmm…
    I guess there’s not much to say. The team is playing in the image of their coach really, no fire, no emotions, no heart, no soul, nothing. Flat.
    They can’t handle the puck, it’s like a hot-potato for them, it goes from one hand to the other till intercepted by someone wearing mittins who makes a run towards Pricey.

    Coach Martin mentioned it wasn’t the emotions they lacked against Boston, it was execution. He was wrong then. What the team lacked was emotions. What the team lacked today was emotions and execution. The passes were horrible all night long. The puck was bouncing throughout the night on our player’s sticks, they just weren’t able to put it on the ice and make nice passes or zone entries, or anything for that matter.
    Easiest shutout for Holtby ever? Absolutely.

    I could probably go on in my critique of the team at the moment but I know that they are just plain better than this. Are the players suddenly tired of the coach? That doesn’t make sense, they had a frigging sweet outing in Minnesota. Then what’s the problem? Are the players suddenly unhappy that some veterans seem to be getting a free-pass lately?

    It’s like I mentioned during the game on twitter — What is Pouliot thinking when he got his only shift in the third? Hmm, didn’t Gomer take a bad penalty for holding in the last game and was the first person out on the ice in the third? What’s the problem here with me?

    Is that the crux of the problem?

    I guess we will just have to wait and see if Thrashers will manage to shut us out on Tuesday as well, not like they haven’t done so already this season. The way it was looking today, they just didn’t know how to put the puck in the net. Perhaps they are ALL just going through a bad stretch, perhaps we are over-reacting, perhaps they will bounce back as they have done often… lets hope so because, as it stands, even the playoffs spot seems to be shaky now.

    Look at NYR, 1-0 against Boston — at least they realized the importance of their game and their position.

    Disappointed to say the least.
    ===================================
    Web: http://www.habsindepth.com – For the Fanatics
    Twitter: @habsindepth
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hidpage

  8. 134 says:

    Listening to these postgame audio and it intrigues me… They know that they sucked, they know what they didn’t do and what they have to do, and they’ve been saying it since the last couple of games, so WHY THE HECK AREN’T THEY DOING IT?! I feel like kicking all their behinds and send them into the outer space, hoping that they get zapped by some supernatural power and come back to earth all enlightened and on fire.

  9. habss1 says:

    Somebody explain to me why JM is still coaching this team……HE SUCKS

  10. Rainrocket16 says:

    Safe to say we are in the playoffs agreed? However, it is not safe for us in the playoffs. We now have lost any possible chance of taking 5th. 6th is now is gonna be a challenge to maintain. Either way we will be playing a great team probably one who wants to avenge us. I am gonna go tomorrow and see if I can get my grips redone on my golf clubs, get an early start. Pitiful week of hockey, March was not kind to us fans!

  11. mike g says:

    If i was jm, id have the whole team get on a bus and drive them straight to my house. Once there, id pop out 20 bottles of cheap vodka, one for each player. Have them on a 2 hour deadline to finish each bottle. Once thats done, id feed them big macs and each a whole bag of sour cream n onion chips. They should be done around 4 am.

    Once theyd all be drunk and feeling like crap after all the food, its back onto the bus straight to brossard. A 2 hour practice at 430 am, with no pucks.

    Theyd all barf and begg to stop, and id tell them that theres no way theyll ever feel tired like that again during a
    game. Tired and unable to perform would be the shape theyd be in during this practice.

    So no more excuses and cheap effort levels.

  12. rogieshan says:

    In retrospect, the Minnesota game was the worse thing that could’ve happened to this team. Martin probably read the riot act to the players and sucked the life out of them.

    • habsindepth says:

      You my friend are absolutely right. I was having a discussion earlier today during the game with someone about the same thing! We were wondering why is PK not carrying the puck much like he did in the game against the Wild and thought, hmm.. he probably got a scolding after the game and said to himself “eff this, i’ll just be a dull-ol guy on defense now”.

      ===================================
      Web: http://www.habsindepth.com – For the Fanatics
      Twitter: @habsindepth
      Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hidpage

  13. habs365 says:

    The direction this team is going….you’ll be waiting a long time for a 25th cup in Montreal. I got knocked all year for saying the Habs don’t have any 1st line players and they were too soft….well guess what it’s beginning to show right now and you can keep on knocking me if you want….they will be gone in the 1st round and they’ll place the blame on Carey.

  14. DLS HAB says:

    Gomez has 7 goals and he makes 7million plus that’s one million per goal?!

  15. CHsam says:

    This team doesn’t want to play for Jacques Martin

  16. bolder says:

    Simple summary. No grit, very soft …. Dull hockey, dull coach!

  17. observer says:

    Matt D’Agostini scored #19 tonight! Well done Gauthier!

    • Everlasting1 says:

      Who would you blame for unloading SK74? Gauthier? JM?..Price? :-P

      ——————————————————————-
      Elohim:”Let us make an Adam in our image and after our likeness.” – Genesis 1:26

      “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

      • observer says:

        the gm- but i dont take them out of context. d’agostini, latendresse S kostitsyn, obyrnne, grabovski, ribeiro, etc. – i am sick of the bs that it is those players bad attitudes. as soon as out of here attitude is no problem. problem is gainey/gauthier -END OF STORY!

  18. Ian Cobb says:

    I know what our problem is folks.!
    We just don’t want to run the score up. Martin’s style of game you know, he demands stopping the opposition from putting the puck in our net at the expense of the players enjoying any offensive hockey.

    Two things wrong with that Jacques, one, playing defensive hockey creates twice as many injuries. And secondly, we forget how to have fun and play offensive hockey.

    No passion, intensity, skating, discipline, passing or shooting, = EARLY GOLF.! and coach moves on.

  19. Everlasting1 says:

    The Blues outshoot Minny 47-16. Dagger buries his 19th. If he remained on the (healthy) MacDonald and Backes line all season he’d be up to 25 minimum. With Vladimir Tarasenko coming up next year, they’ll be solid.

    ——————————————————————-
    Elohim:”Let us make an Adam in our image and after our likeness.” – Genesis 1:26

    “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” – Anais Nin

  20. EricInStL says:

    A source of mine, call her “deep esophagus” says the reason the Canadiens aren<t scoring is a deal that was made by the Canadiens with Cage aux Sports. Seems the are losing money with their 5 goals = free wings promotion.

    Now you understand. Remember follow the money.

    "A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject"–Winston Churchill

  21. Mark C says:

    Brendan Gallagher just got his first of the playoffs. Time to call him up.

  22. BKAK72 says:

    I know there are a number of posts here asking for Martin’s letter of resignation (or firing). If you for a minute pause your emotion and passion consider this is what he has to work with on the top two lines (stats are career averages over full seasons):

    Gomez: 15 G
    Cammalleri: 22 G
    Kostitsyn: 22 G
    Gionta: 26 G
    Plekanec: 21 G

    Martin is working with what he has, a decent 2nd NHL group of FWDs with a fractured defense corp. Time has caught up with this roster as desperate (or very good teams) face them in the stretch drive. What the HABS lack up front they make up with better than average defense who are in hospital: Markov, Georges and Spacek.

    Even a healthy roster is at best a final four (re: 2009/10).

    — HABS INSIDE/OUT R.I.P. –

    • LA Loyalist says:

      The most positive thing I can think of to do right now is to give the kids big minutes.

      What’s the point of giving Gomez 18 minutes? We have $18 million bucks skating around in a doze. Cammi I think is hurt, so get him off the ice. Gio, Kostitsyn and Gomez have no such excuse.

      Let the kids play lots, at least they should have some energy, and it will pay off for us next year.

      I don’t care if Gio, Kostitsyn and Gomez never touch our ice again. Play the Hamilton kids.

    • SlovakHab says:

      Dunno.. Cammalleri was acquired as a 39-goal scorer if I’m not mistaken..
      Gionta has scored 50 in his career.
      Plekanec would probably score heaps more if he wasn’t used as a penalty killer so much.

      And after their departures, Grabovski has 28g and is +14, Sergei is close to 20g and D’Agostini is close to 20g.

      It probably works both ways.

      Since Pacioretty left, the things are going downwards. Could use another winger with size.

      Too bad a player like James Neal or Dustin Penner was not available at the deadline!!
      (although we have no tradeable assets).

      • Mark C says:

        I see Dustin Penner and James Neal have been lighting it up since their trades.

      • observer says:

        Too bad a player like James Neal or Dustin Penner was not available at the deadline!!
        —–

        you figure out a way. but it doesnt help when you had traded away five #2s and a #1 over the previous 3 years and you dont have a roster full of many talented young players on entry level contracts so you didnt have to overpay for other free agents and you had no cap room. TWO OF THE STUPIDEST GMs IN TODAYS NHL!

      • BKAK72 says:

        The FWDs can only do so much when you have deep holes on DEF. Nobody on this roster and few in the league can move the puck 5/5 or PP like Markov. WISZY is good, not Markov great.

        — HABS INSIDE/OUT R.I.P. –

    • observer says:

      so you say in 8 years gainey and gauthier did a terrible job of stocking this team? i agree with you!

  23. Ian Cobb says:

    Hey Martin!
    did you hear what Geoff Molson said.? He wants you and Gauthier in his office, first thing in the morning.!

  24. Chris F says:

    Where to begin? That was hard to watch. No shots, no scoring chances, Holtby probably can’t remember an easier shut-out, maybe in atom, nope….not even then.
    Plekanecs has to be hurt, he was terrible, he was having a great year, earning every penny. The last four games, terrible.
    Gomez is doing nothing right. Anyone who says he is playing better simply doesn’t know hockey. On his breaks he stick handles into traffic and coughs it up, he never shoots, and his passes are off the mark. Brutal.
    Eller may have been the Habs best player, besides Price of course.
    I’m tired of watching Martin mumble to himself after giving up soooo many penalties. Man, we are slow right now, and we are giving up 6-7 power plays “every” game. Gauranteed. Something is wrong, any other coach would be screaming bloody murder by now. His mannerism’s are simply not getting thru. It’s sad how after we win a few Martin gets so much credit. Don’t you think any other good coach would do the same, and I don’t mean Carbonneau.
    If I was a betting man, I would say were mailing it in to finish in 7th or 8th. It doesn’t look like they want any part of Boston, who are a lock to finish 3rd. Maybe this losing streak is all but planned.
    Cammy must also be hurting badly, he’s been terrible. There were moments in our own end when all five guys were playing the “box” and 1, basically a zone defense. No pressure, just keep everybody to the outside. You can’t go from flat footed to speed with a click of a button.
    THe team right now is lifeless. The coach seems to be always lifeless, we must be hurt, banged up, severely, otherwise, it’s just a tired small team with no push back, no pressure, no forecheck, and basically an easy game for any good team.
    I was hoping for a real push back tonight, especially at home.
    Well……………at least the leafs loss. Way to go Wings!!!

  25. NightRyder says:

    When you pay non-elite players top-end salaries to play elite-level minutes, you are going to struggle to produce goals.

    When you play a rope-a-dope system that allows the other team to control possession (made worse by being poor on faceoffs) you are going to struggle to score goals.

    It’s not rocket science. We’re almost the same team we were a year ago, needing a goaltending miracle to win anything.

    Last year’s run painted over a lot of rust. The holes are starting to show through again.

  26. HabsFansince49 says:

    I suggest the Habs and especially the coaching staff look at the Detroit-Toronto game video. Here you will see how to block the goalie.

    I don’t pretend to be an expert; just a die-hard Habs fan passing my opinion

  27. HabsFansince49 says:

    One person is responsible for this mess and he resigned last year knowing full well I expect that he had inadvertently taken the organization down the wrong road.

    I don’t pretend to be an expert; just a die-hard Habs fan passing my opinion

  28. Keith says:

    So for the Quick Hits/About Last Night picture you should just up a big pile of poo.

  29. TPlow says:

    Either the Habs are suddenly the worst team in the NHL or they’re locked in one powerful slump-o-rama that they’ll soon snap out of in a big way. My money’s on the latter. Some of it, anyway.

    • Fansincebirth says:

      Looks like we picked a bad time to slump…

      Welcome to the new NHL – NASCAR on Ice

      • EricInStL says:

        Looks like I picked a bad time to stop sniffing glue.

        RIP Leslie

        “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject”–Winston Churchill

      • MathMan says:

        Why is this an especially bad time for a slump? Not that there is a good time for a slump, but if one is unavoidable, this is the time to have it.

        The playoffs are all but assured (realistically, need maybe 2 wins in the last 7 games). There’s some fighting with seeding but we’re not likely to drop very far out of 6th. There was an outside chance at 5th or 3rd, but the runway was getting short so it was already a long shot.

        We’re not used to this at this time of year, but the games just aren’t particularly meaningful anymore. A bad time to go into a slump would have been, oh, I dunno, round one of the playoffs. Better now than then.

  30. BKAK72 says:

    re: Don Cherry
    Nobody in their right mind (really) cares about anything he has to say. He is the “WWE” for HNIC i.e. a good laugh at somebody’s expense.

    p.s. Most people are bitter towards somebody when fired and in Cherry’s case it’s the Montreal Canadiens.

    — HABS INSIDE/OUT R.I.P. –


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