Oh, boy. Coming off of a loss to the Washington Capitals on home ice last Saturday, the suddenly slumping Montreal Canadiens looked beatable. Slow, tired, small and sluggish, it didn’t look like they can beat anyone. They came into this game against the newly eliminated New Jersey Devils hoping for some luck to go their way, and to try to build some momentum heading into the playoffs.
Alas, it wasn’t meant to be tonight either. Going behind 3-0 (again!) behind on absolutely atrocious defence and penalty killing, the Canadiens looked dead in the water by the middle of the second period. Max Pacioretty would get the Canadiens within 2 with his 14th of the season on the powerplay, while Lars Eller would score his 7th with less than a minute remaining in the period. The Canadiens, right after the Pacioretty goal, seemed to be energized and finally taking shots. Despite a strong 3rd period effort, the Canadiens only managed to put 5 shots on the board, and the Devils would walk away the winners. Some encouraging signs, particularly insofar as Price didn’t look terrible, but no finish and they looked sluggish.
- David Desharnais is atrocious. To be fair, he’s been terrible since signing his contract. Maybe it’s the pressure, maybe it’s Pacioretty‘s relatively soft play, but something’s gotta give here. He had two blatant give aways on a key powerplay opportunity and was otherwise invisible (when he wasn’t being muscled off the puck). I think he needs to sit a game.
- Speaking of players who are playing as if they forgot how to play hockey: Max Pacioretty and Andrei Markov. Both players are soft, slow and playing as if they have no idea what they’re supposed to be doing. In Pacioretty‘s case, I suspect it’s all confidence (and playing with Desharnais) but he scored tonight on the powerplay so maybe he’ll start trending in the right direction. For Markov, he hasn’t played many games in the past 2 years and I think the schedule is catching up to him. He needs to sit and let one of the rookies we called up play the rest of the regular season.
- Carey Price was better. I wouldn’t fault him for any of the goals, though he did look nervous in the first period. The D-men were backing up into him, giving up odd man rushes and losing their coverage. He didn’t cost the Canadiens the game.
- How great would David Clarkson look on the Canadiens? Make it happen Bergevin!
The Canadiens face the Winnipeg Jets and the Maple Leafs to wrap up their season. As this is blog post is in progress, the Bruins are losing to the Flyers and hopefully it stays that way. Now, to sacrifice something to the hockey gods for a Maple Leafs loss tomorrow….