In their ugliest loss of the season thus far, the Montreal Canadiens were manhandled 5-0 by the Philadelphia Flyers. Mike Ribeiro failed to convert on two early chances, while the Flyers were more opportunistic and took a 2-0 lead. From that point on they pressed the Habs defensemen with an aggressive forechecking style, and intimidated the forwards who kept getting rid of the puck.
It led to endless turnovers, the Habs barely ever had the puck… and they were outshot 39-20, and outchanced by an even wider margin.
– This was the first real loss for the Habs. It wasn’t about how they took too many penalties or how they shot themselves in the foot. The simply got beat to submission, they were physically beaten… and they waived the white flag. It was the first game that reminded me of last year’s disgrace of a team and the pathetic performances they came up with.
– Claude Julien demoted Ryder and put Sundstrom on the 2nd line for this game, stating he was looking for better defense on that line. The fact is whoever you put on that line, Audette & Perreault are just two awful defensive players and demoting the only worthy player of the line was not the answer.
– A couple of games ago we were wondering who would lose his job when Koivu returned, because they were all doing so well. It seems we might be seeing our answer. While I just said Ryder was demoted, it was actually Perreault & Audette who were demoted to Sundstrom’s line… and Bégin & Ward were promoted to Ryder’s line. Perreault’s line played 9-10 minutes, while Ryder & Ward played 15 minutes… and Bégin 13 minutes.
– And while Ribeiro’s two early misses cost this team deeply, the fact is he had his chances at least. Not only that but he was on the ice for only 1 goal against, and was one of the very few Canadiens players to actually fight back after taking a hit instead of just heading to the bench. His coach apparently noticed, he played 19 minutes, more than any other forward.
– We already knew Julien was unhappy with the Perreault line, which is why he switched up Ryder for Sundstrom before the game. But during the game he also switched Audette & Zednik, leaving no trace whatsoever of that former line.
– The defense had a tough game, as against
Habs’ hero: That’s a tough pick. I’ll take Ribeiro, because on a night where the whole team pulled a no-show and were physically intimidated… Ribeiro took his lumps but kept trying, kept battling out there. He was also just about the only player on the Canadiens’ side who would hold on to the puck for more than 2 seconds… all the others would get rid of it immediately, scared of getting hit.
Props to Julien for recognizing it, and rewarding him with a lot of ice-time. This kid has more heart that people realize.
Habs’ zero: Perreault & Audette, again… nothing on offense and just plain ugly on defense. No fight in them, just get rid of the puck as quickly as they can. How long will Gainey put up with it?
And what about Zednik & Hossa? Didn’t notice much from them either.
A good old-fashioned ass-whoopin’… there’s no other way to describe it. It was the Habs’ first no-show of the year, and the timing of it is worrisome. It comes on the heels of bad loss to
The Habs will likely count on Garon to turn things around tomorrow in their 2nd game in two nights, while Koivu still isn’t expected to play vs.