Saturday, October 21, 2017

Kings Crown Habs in Third Period Blowout

Date: 18/10/2017
Opponent: Los Angeles
Location: Staples Center
Loss: 5-1

Montreal Goalie: Montoya (L)
Los Angeles Goalie: Quick (W)

Montreal goalscorers:  Byron
Los Angeles goalscorers: Kempe (3), Cammalleri (2)

Pre Game

Coming off a 5-2 loss and heading into Los Angeles to face the 4-0-1 Los Angeles Kings for the second game of back-to-back games was a recipe for embarrassment.  I just hoped Montreal could keep this close.

I had no blind optimism going into this.  I didn't see any promise in any way, shape, or form for the Canadiens to have even a chance of winning this game.  I just hoped they could keep this close.

Dome hockey team

The 6 players we're playing in a no changes, do or die contest in the dome


Paul Byron - Game Puck

The one shining spot in this game was Paul Byron's goal.  My jaw dropped when the Canadiens drew first blood and it was the effort of this line and Paul Byron in particular than got them there.  It wasn't just the goal but it was preceded by a good forecheck and followed up with a full game that saw Byron finish even on the plus minus.

Andrew Shaw

For his part on the goal He did well to retrieve the puck and fire it on goal.  He might have been on the ice for three even strength goals against but at least he contributed to a goal which is more than our multimillionaire "superstars" can say tonight.

Phillip Danault 

That was a good shift for Phillip too.  He led the play with a tandem forecheck with Paul.  Then he got free from a defender and quickly fired Shaw's rebound back on goal.  He didn't have a strong third period but we need goals and I'm not sure the forwards are to blame for the third period breakdown. 


Shea Weber 

Shea has been, pretty much, mister consistency so far this season.  He's been invaluable for his stalwart play and mentoring whoever is lucky enough to be his defence partner on the night,  Tonight he did his job again and while the rest of the team was rubber necking, watching the puck zip by them into the back of the net, Shea was working hard and keeping the puck out.

Victor Mete

This young man is one of the few bright spots to an otherwise abysmal start to the season.  Another solid game yesterday alongside Mr. Weber.  I do wonder, though, how much of his success is due to his linemate.


Al Montoya

Two periods of solid goaltending, only being beaten by a very good piece of hand-eye coordination from Mike Cammalleri.  None of the goals in the third period were realistically savable.  I think a good starting goaltender might have had one or two of them, but we don't have a good starting goaltender anymore so we'll leave Montoya in and take our chances.

Post Game

Christ almighty.  When will this stop?  I know we're not 10 games in yet and there's plenty of time to turn this season around, at least one team does this per year and maybe the Canadiens are the team this year, but holy moly.  For a team that Marc Bergevin built to have a run at the Stanley Cup this year I think the man is delusional.

The Good News is that for two periods the Canadiens played good hockey.  Up 1-0 early they gave up a late goal on the power play and with a second period played to a scoreless draw, you couldn't help but wonder if the Canadiens would hang around long enough and get a late one in the third, could they actually pull this one off.

The Bad News is that they have a lot of issues right now and I mean a lot!  Max Pacioretty is not only not scoring but he is playing uninspiring hockey which is more worrisome seeing as how he's the captain and supposed to lead by example.  Carey Price is not playing like the Carey Price signed to the richest contract by a goaltender in NHL history.  We've got a player, in Alex Galchenyuk, who's been mismanaged, demoted to the fourth line and now playing like he's lost the ability to even care.  When you have two thirty goal scorers and the "best goalie in the world" not playing well enough to be in my beer league, you've got a problem.

The ugly third period is a manifestation of the seriously ugly problems the Canadiens have on the blueline and with their player personnel management, or lack thereof.  Karl Alzner and Jordie Benn have been awful so far this year.  I don't know what happened to the players that these guys were last year.  I think we can all agree that Benn was a pleasant surprise when he came over from Dallas last year and Alzner was part of the Washington Capitals who were a seventh game victory away from an appearance in the Stanley Cup finals last year.  Where are those players this year?

Two periods of solid hockey followed up with that?  How does a team even manage to turn their game around into something so miraculously poor?  It's mind blowing really.  I wonder how much longer Marc Bergevin has before Geoff Molson steps in.

With a day off between games I'm not optimistic that Claude Julien has any sort of magic elixir to turn this thing around before they head into Anaheim.  I'm going to assume the Canadiens will have one more loss before limping out of California.  The only bright side is that Friday night won't be any worse.


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