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In what was a pretty boring affair, the Montreal Canadiens came away with 1-1 tie vs. the Columbus BlueJackets. Steve Bégin opened the contest by dropping the gloves on his first shift, but it failed to spark the Habs who got number of power-play opportunities but failed take advantage yet again. Then the game settled into a slow paced dull game with neither offense generating much of anything until an entertaining OT period that solved nothing.


The Habs best moments came in overtime, where they had several good scoring chances… namely a one-timer buy Rivet in the slot that Marc Denis impressively managed to get a glove on.


Montreal 1-0: Ribeiro passes it to Ryder in the slot, Luke Richardson pokes at the puck on Ryder’s stick and it somehow deflected in the air… over Denis’ shoulder and in. Yet again our forwards do not score a goal with an actual SHOT, but some weird bounce of the puck. The only forward who has scored on an actual shot in the last few weeks was Kilger vs. the Sabres.


Columbus 1-1: Juneau takes a hooking penalty. Bégin gains control of the puck in the corner and slides it behind the net with his skate, but it goes past Souray and doesn’t get to Brisebois behind the net on the other side. No, instead it’s caught half-way by Vyborny and since both defensemen were behind the net he finds Nash waiting alone in front… and easily beats Garon to tie the game.





         So Perreault ended up playing, inserted into the lineup 15 minutes before the game. Jacques Demers speculated that when such last minute changes are made it’s often at the request of the GM. He mentioned that it happens quite frequently that when two teams are talking trade, they send their scouts for a final look before pulling the trigger. If it’s true, I hope they liked what they saw.

         The shots were 36-31 for Columbus, but this was not an offensive game. Most of those shots were not very menacing, although each goalie did makes a few nice saves along the way.

         Bulis is starting to get on my nerves. He’s skating well, and is solid defensively so no problem there. But offensively, he creates a few good chances just about every game barely ever manages to get off good shot. He needs to focus more on finishing his plays with at least a good shot. He seems content to just try a little and then head back, comfortable in his 3rd line role where offense isn’t really expected. Time to move him back to one of the top lines, put some pressure on him to start scoring because he can score… and put the struggling youngster Hossa on the 3rd line instead, where there will be less pressure on him and he can find his way again as they did with Bulis a few years ago.



Habs’ hero: Garon was the first star, but really wasn’t that great. He did make a few good saves on breakaways and such, but on a whole he looked shaky… often losing track of the puck after a save and having many communication problems with his defensemen.

The trouble is nobody really did anything special, the goal was a fluke as well. Ribeiro made a few absolutely beautiful passes that gave the Habs two of their best scoring chances. Both times he’d enter the zone with the puck, put on the breaks, and then find the player coming in late… but of course they failed to convert.

Koivu is trying out there, but playing Audette & Zednik is a real death sentence right now. And I salute hard working Steve Bégin who tried to spark his team by dropping the glove against 6’3” Richardson… but to no avail.


Habs’ zero: Speaking of Zednik he again managed to diffuse any potential offense his line tried to create all night, he’s so ice cold right now I think his body is being artificially preserved like Ted Williams only they didn’t wait for him to actually die first. Joking aside as long as he keeps this up the Habs will continue to struggle.

I shouldn’t forget Hainsey, who looked so slow out there it was hard to watch. His decision-making and execution is still at AHL speed, if that… he showed us tonight why Bouillon is being dressed as often as he is. The kid is having as really hard time, that last step to reach the NHL seems really high for him.

And of course there’s always Rivet, who was again beaten 1-on-1 more than once. And remember how Shaeffer had completely fooled him and scored, a few shifts later he took a penalty on the same player that humiliated him… effectively compounding his mistake. Well today he didn’t even wait, went straight to Nash and cross-checked him in the neck and gave Columbus a PP chance… it’s just sad.



Final Thoughts:


After an inspired effort against the Sabres, the Habs couldn’t keep it up. It actually started well, but when despite four power-plays in the period they only finished with 2 shots, it really broke their rhythm… as well as their offensive confidence. From that point on they got the shots away, but most were from a distance.


The Habs really needed a win before going on the road, a tie tonight is a lost opportunity. Now they’re off on a road trip that will end in Edmonton, and for the good of the sport I hope the 60,000 will be treated to a better show than what tonight’s fans were forced to endure.