Accepted NHL wisdom has 2-0 as the worst lead in hockey.
But maybe it should be safe in a Shootout.
The Canadiens managed to blow two-goal leads in both regulation time and a 10-round SO.
Apprarently, that’s never happened before.
And seven goals in a Shootout tied a league record.
When the dust had settled and a disappointed crowd had filed out of the Bell Centre, the team was tied with Boston at 69 points but relegated to second in the Northeast Division because the Bruins – who got better with the addition of Chris Kelly – have played fewer games.
I’ll have more thoughts on the game in the morning.
But the game turned during its first 20 minutes. The Canadiens should have had more to show for an 18-7 shot advantage than a 1-0 lead.
You knew the Sabres weren’t going to quit. Lindy Ruff teams don’t.
And you knew that late power-play goal by Drew Stafford would swing momentum to the visitors.
Yannick Weber was off for interference. That meant after Roman Hamrlik and P.K. Subban had played first pairing on the penalty-kill, James Wisniewski and Alexandre Picard were out – and both on one side of Carey Price when Tomas Vanek passed the puck to an unmarked Stafford.
The Sabres needed it more, wanted it more and – against a lineup that included three rookie defenceman – they got the two points they needed to edge closer to eighth place.
The Canadiens head west haunted, perhaps, by the memory of another job unfinished.
Bottom line: At a critical time of the season, they let a point slip away.