– The Habs had been taking too penalties for a few games now but it wasn’t costing them. It always catches up to you in the end. The offensive players could never get in a flow, our 3rd line ended up being our biggest offensive threat by far.
– The Habs only managed 2 shots in the 3rd period, where they had two power-plays. Each of “top 2” lines had taken turns carrying the load so far this season, it just happens they both took the night off tonight.
– If you’re looking for some positives, the PK did very well again… and yes Theo is a big part of that PK unit. Also we still only allowed 25 shots despite being really outplayed… it wasn’t long ago we gave up an average of 40.
– Ok, so Ward’s penalty parade ended up costing us the game. But I won’t dump on the guy while he’s down. The tripping penalty was simply his stick getting caught in Nolan’s skate… bad luck. Then his two high-stick were him slashing at the opponent’s stick and then bouncing right up in their faces. He needs to be more careful, but I chalk it up to being just one of those nights. I liked the energy he brought the game, which is what we need from our 4th line. Now just do it with your stick on the ice.
Habs’ hero: Theodore kept his team in it all game long, and was unlucky on the only goal he gave up. I also have to mention the 3rd line that provided the only offense the Habs could muster tonight… Bulis gives that line an offensive edge and was the best Canadiens player.
Habs’ zero: No, not Ward… he cost us 1 goal. Our offense should be able to score one goal, they didn’t even come close. Our “top 6”, all of them, combined for 4 shots… the Perreault line got none.
The only time I noticed any of them on the ice tonight was when Ryder & Audette collided at center ice… ouch.
The Habs didn’t face a backup goalie or a team playing a second game in as many nights, and it wasn’t so easy anymore. The Habs just kept shooting themselves in the foot all night, the result was predictable.
And yet they were in this game until the final whistle, which is exactly what Julien’s system was designed to do.
But while Theodore and the defensive system did their jobs, the offense pulled a no show. Not scoring is one thing but getting no chances is quite another. The top 2 lines were completely invisible, and now Julien just went from not knowing who deserved a demotion when Koivu returns to not knowing who, if any, deserve to stay.
If Koivu is ready, now ia the perfect time to bring him back. And there’s potentially more good news for the Habs, as Hasek could likely get a night off on Monday… so Montreal might have a chance to go 3-0 vs. backups this year.
Not only that but the Red Wings just lost Derian Hatcher for 4-6 months and lost to lowly Pittsburgh last night in their first game without their bruising defenseman.