Nothing has the sting that losing big has, absolutely nothing, and when it happens to a major division rival it makes it that much worse. That game last night was like that movie Twilight, you just wanted to change the channel or run and hide until your daughter is done watching that atrocity of a film. It had been such a good day as well, PK was signed at an absolutely terrific price and would be back within a couple games which is a great addition to the PP which has been very effective so far, 8th best % in the league at 27%, and 4th in overall PP goals with 8. Subban last year was 12th in the league among defencemen in PPG with 5, which was all but two of his goals. Also word that Spezza was out was more good news for a Montreal win, he so far this season was averaging a point a game and since 2005 has been in the Top 2 in scoring each season for the Senators. Unfortunately this one totally didn’t work out well at all for the Habs.
Ryan White’s fight was great early on and just added to the energy of the game, as if you had to considering Ottawa is always got a small chip on their shoulder whenever Montreal comes in considering that there were more red, white and blue sweaters in attendance than ones with a big O on it. Then the power play where Plekanec punched it in was a thing of beauty, just great rotation with the puck, then were able to get it in front of the net and punch it home to take the lead. But in between powerplay chances, Ottawa’s O’ Brien punched it home on a rebound skirmish in front of the net to tie it up.
The problem was that goal was just a precursor to the night that was to happen for the Canadiens, especially Mr. Budaj’s performance. I wondered if maybe he needed glasses or something considering the fact he lost the puck in each of the 5 goals. Look and see the replays if you want, but after every goal he had no clue whether the puck was in the net or not, thankfully however there is a giant red light and loud horn signaling that it had. Still at that point the game wasn’t lost at all, or momentum. No that was lost on double minor on Smith, which in turn led to a couple powerplay goals by the Sens and a 3-1 deficit. Watching the goals it was obvious Budaj is terrible when he’s being screened, on the first 3 goals of the game he missed the puck by a good second or two. The defence has to take some of the blame too, every goal scored were second chance opportunities that they couldn’t get out of the zone. Overall however I would say Montreal was weak offensively, sure shots were about even, and yeah Anderson robbed a couple away but usually an NHL goalie will do that at least once a game, but Montreal seemed to struggle getting shots in front of the net, everything seemed to be taken at poor angles last night. Overall though Montreal’s even strength offense has been solid this season, 7th in the league in 5 on 5 scoring ratio at 1.25, unfortunately though they ran into the best right now in Ottawa at 2.5 per game and they proved it last night. Phillips slapper through a 90 seconds later was the icing on the cake however, again failure to clear the puck out and Budaj’s inability to keep track of the puck put the game out of reach. The 5th goal was a micro chasm of the game, couldn’t clear the zone and Budaj lost it behind the net, once again sliding over too slow to make the save. I know I sound like a broken record in those sentences, but last night was like watching a game on a broken record. Also it’s just one game, big losses happen from time to time
Price will be back for Saturday afternoon thankfully, as will Subban as the boys begin a 3 game home stand, however it’ll be a challenging one with Buffalo on Saturday, Ottawa on Sunday afternoon and Boston on Wednesday night.
Any questions or comments can be sent to my twitter account at tjschulte19