The Canadiens lost for a second consecutive time in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight. They held leads of 3-1, and 4-2, but the Canadiens couldn’t hold off Malkin and the rest. Erik Cole and Andrei Kostitsyn had 1G 1A each, while Max Pacioretty and Lars Eller provided the other goals.
I think the defining moment of the game was actually in the shootout. I couldn’t think of a better summary to this season than Andrei Kostitsyn breaking his stick on his attempt. That’s the year its been folks. Truth be told, the Canadiens should have been able to close this one out in the third [how many times have we heard that this year?] but Malkin was able to tie the game up with only 2:43 left in regulation.
Cunneyworth opted to go with David Desharnais, Andrei Kostitsyn and Scott Gomez in the shootout. I’m not going to second guess these choices whatsoever, but predictably, none of them scored. The Canadiens have not been able to consistently score in the shootout this season at all.
Two things stood out to me though. As you can tell by my previous blog, I’m a P.K Subban fan. I love his energy, his skills and think he was great potential. But sometimes, Subban loses his composure and makes completely ridiculous plays. Most of the time, it can be chalked up to youth, or being played half the game, or some other variant on that. But slew footing is becoming a part of his game that I’m definitely not a fan of. He did it to Brandon Dubinsky. He’s done it a few other times as well, James Neal comes to mind here. And again tonight, he slew footed Chris Kunitz. I imagine he will get a call from Shanahan, as this one is pretty blatant. If he doesn’t smarten up, he’s going to be a marked man, both with other teams and by the refs. This play is all kinds of dirty, and the fact that he has a newfound habit of turtling when faced with tougher players is getting to be a tired act. He’s a smart, good kid. He doesn’t need to slew foot guys all over the ice.
A second play is the one where he and Randy Ladouceur, assistant coach, were visibly yelling at eachother on the bench. Cunneyworth did comment on the issue in his post-game presser, commenting that they were discussing a play where Subban‘s man was left open and scored. According to the guys on Antichambre and 25stanley, it got so heated that Cunneyworth had to step in. This happened during a game. Again, here Subban needs to learn to pick his spots. It’s disappointing to see.
That being said, he’s in his second full season of being a pro and needs to learn some lessons still. I just hope that Habs management doesn’t heed the calls of various media outlets [Antichambre!] and trade the young d-man before he gets a real chance to grow into a good player. We’ve done that before [anyone remember Chris Chelios?] and the Habs would be best not to repeat it. He’s a young guy learning to play in the center of attention in a city like Montreal. Give it time, but these two incidents tonight are sure to inflame parts of the fanbase. Just search his name into Twitter to get a gist of what’s being said out there.
However, I think there’s a high chance that Subban will be the one sitting out the game tomorrow. I don’t know if its a good decision, but I have a suspicion that the coaching staff will want to send a strong message here.
We’ll see if the Canadiens can put together a consistent effort tomorrow against the Leafs. Carey Price should be in nets tomorrow.