Habs Goalie: Scrivens (L)
Opposition Goalie: Crawford (W)
Habs goalscorers: Eller, Pacioretty
Opposition goalscorers: Panik, Toews (2), Kane, Hossa
Max PaciorettyHanging out in front of the net and scoring goals is what Max does best. He's done it again. Our best forward is playing like our best forward but he's going to need some help if Montreal hopes to break out of this slump.
Lars Eller - game puckLars has had another solid game centering the third line. Tonight he was the best we had. When it seemed like everyone else was out of gas the big Dane kept plugging away using his size to cycle and going hard to the net.
Brendan GallagherThe little engine that could; I'm pretty sure Brendan tipped PK's shot that hit the post. Regardless, he shoveled it out in front of the net for Max to tap home. Brendan didn't have the energy he did last night in St. Louis but he was still effective in getting in front of the net and making Crawford's night difficult.
PK SubbanTherrien leaves Subban on the ice for 30 minutes a night so we're just going to leave him in the dome... forever. He's shooting the puck more from the point and because of it our power play is coming back to life. He played well in both ends tonight, the only goal against he was on the ice for was the empty netter. It's unfortunate that the rest of the defensemen tonight we're so careful.
Mark BarberioPlayed a good game in his own end tonight and barring the fourth goal, which was mostly due to Beaulieu racing from where he should had stayed to the corner of the rink, wasn't on for any major defensive breakdowns. He did what good defensive defensemen are supposed to do and that's not be noticed.
Zac FucaleBen didn't play too bad. I thought he was squaring up to the incoming shots well and looked comfortable in his own skin, even after allowing an early goal. That all changed after Toews' first goal. You can argue that none of the goals were really his fault. The fact remains that a 0.875 save percentage doesn't win hockey games in the NHL. I can't put Condon in here after last night. In the dome, as in real life, we want to win and Zac was the only goaltender in the franchise who did that for us this weekend. He led the St. John's IceCaps past the AHL leader Toronto Marlies tonight. At this point, it might be worth calling him up for a game. It couldn't be any worse.
CommentsI pity the players at this point. To show up game after game and not know if everyone else is on the same page. It was the second game for Montreal in two nights against a fresh Chicago who had won 10 in a row coming into tonight. Montreal had played their hearts out last night and no doubt were tired tonight, but the days of being patient for Montreal to break this slump are over. There are no longer any excuses acceptable for their terrible record. As well as Montreal played last night (for the most part) they were awful in their own end tonight.
Not to make excuses but I may have been wrong about the referees being in the Habs pocket after the John Scott trade. Mitchell was called for a Blackhawk high sticking his own player. Toews first goal was offside (not sure why Therrien didn't challenge it), and the second Toews goal should have been icing. I can't see why the linesman waved it off. Still doesn't explain the Keystone Cops act Montreal pulled off on the PK for the first goal. Mitchell, Byron, Markov, and Emelin showed what not to do on the penalty kill. Icing call or not, there's no excuse for such nonchalant play from Petry and Plekanec.
The players have stopped listening to what Therrien is saying. Whatever he's telling the players to do is either not working or not being adhered to. If it's not working he need a new coach with fresh ideas. If it's the players not listening we either need a big trade to scare the players into listening or a new coach that the players will listen to. This ship isn't going to right itself. I fear that even with the return of Carey Price at this point, the culture of losing has crept into the dressing room. Breaking out of a funk like this is obviously not easy to do and banking on a returning Carey Price (who will not be in midseason form after such a lengthy layoff) to singlehandedly take Montreal on his back and drag them back out of the gutter is wishful thinking in my view. The clock is ticking, in my mind, for Marc Bergevin to do something before Geoff Molson does.
If only Jarred Tinordi were still with the team. After tonight's fiasco in our own zone, it'd be nice to have someone capable of stepping in to sit a couple of the blueliners who deserve it. I can only assume Pateryn will be back in next game along with, perhaps, our first view of Tinord's replacement, Bartley. The only way Bergevin can even remotely redeem himself for this fiasco of a trade is to get Scott back up in the NHL so he can make an appearance at the all-star game. Even then, that only saves face and shows some class short term. I will never understand why Tinordi wasn't used more and why he was traded away for such pittance. Speaking of trades, brace yourselves. Putting Galchenyuk on the wing has not improved his game. Putting Desharnais as the second line centre has not improved his game. Eller has played well the last two games as the third line centre but I believe that to be a fortunate coincidence. I believe Chuky on the wing is a precursor to losing him to a trade for Drouin. I'd love to get Jonathan in the lineup but Desharnais is NOT a second line centre and he will NEVER be a first.
We're beyond the point where something needs to happen soon. Something needed to happen yesterday. There is no upside to the Tinordi trade. Is Bergevin's wall beginning to crumble under the pressure of a failing team or is it a glitch in an otherwise impressive resume as GM? I worry that this is the trade he makes going into talks with Yzerman (who is no slouch himself) on Drouin, especially when another one of our young stars (Galchenyuk) is obviously involved. I know sometimes trade talks can disrupt a team's flow and chemistry so let's hope this Drouin saga is over sooner rather than later. Home we go to face the Bruins to begin a week ripe for breaking out of slumps. Fingers crossed that we do before Bergevin does something out of desperation that we all regret.