Just like Eric Gagné waved to the crowd in a pre-game presentation, the Habs waved goodbye to a win in the game’s final minute.
Against a Florida Panthers team that is just behind them in the standings, the Montreal Canadiens came up with another uninspired effort and in the end came out of it with only a point. It could have been worse, thankfully Theodore gave them a chance to win by making a few clutch saves down the stretch… but Jose would have to wait for his 100th win.
The Habs let the road team keep it close, by playing an emotionless game… yet somehow they looked like they were headed to an undeserved 1-0 win thanks to a 3rd period power-play goal. But Rivet was called for holding with 2 minutes left, and the much maligned PK unit couldn’t kill the penalty with the game on the line.
This is going to be a short recap, because frankly nothing much happened.
The Koivu line, who has been getting the job done on the PP since they were put together, did it again. Ryder comes out from behind the net, hangs on to the puck an extra second instead of going for the short side, and surprises a solid Luongo between the legs.
And they’re lucky they didn’t lose it in OT, as
– With Quintal was back in the lineup and Markov out, the Habs had themselves a pretty tough defensive corps tonight. Quintal, Souray, Rivet, and Komisarek gives you pretty good size and Bouillon likes to hit. And yet I didn’t see them punish the opposing forwards as they could have. And now the question is what happens when Markov comes back?
– Souray was the key to another PP goal for Habs tonight. His shot from the blueline beat Luongo but hit the post, then Breezer got the rebound to Ryder behind the net and he put it in before
Habs’ hero: Hero… are you kidding? Well ok, there was Theodore who kept the Habs in it with some terrific saves… namely a few breakaways. He was on his way to a shutout and win #100 until the Habs’ lack of passion caught up to them in the form of a bad call. Komisarek was used on the left side with Markov injured, and though he only played 9-10 minutes he looked very comfortable… it would be nice to see him get some more minutes as the season progresses.
Habs’ zero: Not Rivet, for once. He didn’t deserve that dumb penalty call… and at least he cared enough to be really pissed off about it. I looked at the bench all during the game, and I’d see guys looking down, even some having a laugh… that bothers the hell out of me. There’s no pride on this team, Gainey must be on some mighty heavy medication not to be losing it right about now.
This team has no leadership, Koivu might be a guy who gives all he has on the ice every night… but he’s not captain material. A captain’s job is to rally a team together, and he’s been unable to do that from day one. I even think he’d be better off without that burden, and just keep showing the guys how it’s done on the ice. If he could volunteer to give it up, that would be ideal.
Well who then some of you may ask? It has to be someone who is respected in the room, can talk because he performs on the ice, is old enough that he’ll be taken seriously but young enough that he’ll be here for a while longer. And he has to be able to rally this team together. We might not have this type of player in
He’s one of the few players who have come to play this year, and I think the captaincy would actually motivate him to be an even better player. Quintal is too old, Komisarek too young… forget the forwards on this team and a goalie can’t be captain. To me Souray is the only candidate among the players we have now.
While the Habs continue their inconsistent play, one has to wonder how patient Bob Gainey can be. The team looks like they’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, despite Gainey saying just last week that a trade was not imminent and they should focus on figuring out how to win with the players they have now.
There are still some positives if you look hard enough. The first line has stayed together and they are playing pretty well, the 2nd line has had it’s moments the last few games, Souray is the leading scorer among defensemen, even Brisebois has been surprisingly effective, and now Komisarek has looked good since being called up. And even if his numbers don’t show it, Theo has been pretty solid this year… he’s just not getting much help. You could even add Higgins who is looking great in
As bad as things look right now, there is reason for hope. As Thanksgiving weekend in the
It’ll be Tuesday night vs. the impressive Tampa Bay Lightning, and it’ll be Andrei Markov bobblehead night… isn’t that exciting?
Actually Theodore didn’t play last year when it was his bobblehead night, Quintal missed his bobblehead night earlier this year because of his irregular heartbeat and the birth of his child. So now the suspense continues, as we’ll see whether Markov’s ankle will improve enough for him to be in the lineup on his big night. There seems to be some kind of bobblehead hex going on with the Canadiens, if I were them I’d stop that silly practice all together.