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On Halloween night at the Bell Center, the Montreal Canadiens continued their Jeckyll and Hyde season with a pathetic effort as they lost 5-1 to the New York Rangers. The Habs came out strong and dominated the first period, yet trailed 2-1 and their play unravelled after that.

To add injury to insult, Jason Ward suffered a broken ankle in the first period while blocking a shot… and early reports suggest he’ll be out 2 months.


Montreal 1-0: On the PP, Perreault is alone behind the net. He spots Ryder alone in the slot, but it deflects off Malakhov’s skate and in. It would be the Habs only goal of the night, and another ugly one after that non-shot by Juneau the other night. The forwards are completely snake-bitten… and it came so easy in the first few games, go figure.


Nrw York 1-1: The defensemen are caught backing up too much, get the puck away from the 2 forwards on the initial rush. But the puck is knocked right back to Carter completely unchecked… he slaps the puck past Theodore. 


New York 2-1: The defensemen are caught backing up too much and giving the Rangers the blue line uncontested. Lundmark says thank you very much, comes in and shoots… and gets one by Theo. José would really like that one back, still shaking his head as the play resumes. 


New York 3-1: NY wins a faceoff in the offensive zone, their D man Mironov slides down and fakes a shot… Markov goes down to block the shot. But Mironov keeps the puck, right around Markov and sends it to the front of the net where Rivet can’t even check Rucinsky of all people. Rucinsky scores his first of the year.


New York 4-1: Perreault gets called for slashing. Kovalev enters the zone, leaves it to Moore and shoots… the rebound goes straight to an open Simon who also scores his first this year.


New York 5-1: As Yannick was coming out of the penalty box after NY scored of the PP, he insults the ref. He then goes right back to the box for unsportsmanlike conduct… if Julien had any hair left it would be turning gray right about now. Lacouture scores on the ensuing PP.




         How can the Habs start off so well in the first then completely disappear. Seems to be the Habs are a fragile bunch right now, as long as the game is tied they’re ok… but the second face any kind of adversity like falling down by one or two they fold like a tent. This team has ZERO on-ice leaders on offense, in that respect they desperately need Koivu to return to the lineup ASAP. A trade for even more new blood wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

         The tide not only turned when NY scored that 2nd goal, but also as Ward and Bulis suffered injuries leaving Julien to juggle his lines a bit. Bulis returned in the third, while early reports on Ward is a broken ankle.

         1-for-8 on the PP won’t cut it, especially when you have 5-on-3 opportunities. Many critics keep lamenting the lack of size on offense, but what bothers me more is the lack of skill and effort.


Habs’ hero: Sheldon Souray. Some fans say we must keep Rivet despite MANY shortcomings, for his physical play. Well Souray is showing us this year what “physical play” really is. He was a true physical presence on the ice tonight, and one of the very few Habs you’d want to go to war with.


Habs’ zero: Rivet for his bad defense plus the incessant dumb penalties… and am I sick of seeing him on the PP or what.

Also worthy of mention would be Markov who really isn’t himself this year, and Perreault who sadly IS himself. Those two bad penalties in the 3rd period turned a bad game into an ugly one. Then you have Audette who doesn’t backcheck and Zednik who is completely useless anywhere other than in the slot waiting for someone to feed him.



Final Thoughts:


Good thing some of the fans came disguised on Halloween night, nobody will know they were there. We know the Canadiens will lose some games, it’s just hard to watch when they just quit after showing us that they can dominate this team when they’re trying as they did in the 1st period.

There are so many no-shows on this team, there are too many to bench. Time to send a message to some of the under-achieving vets, maybe sit a few for a game. Bring up Komisarek and sit Rivet, play Hainsey & Bouillon and sit Markov, when Koivu returns sit Perreault or Audette… or both. Even if it’s just for one game, time to give some of these vets a wakeup call.


Next up, The Edmonton Oilers comes to town… perhaps a few Comrie rumors will start floating. Then again let’s not hold our breath.