Well, that was terrible. Coming off an emotional win on Friday evening, I expected a convincing win from the Montreal Canadiens. Instead, they got Pageau-ed by the Senators to the tune of a 6-1. To add insult to injury, they got pasted during a line brawl in the third, losing in all 5 fights. Ryan White, in particular, got pasted by Jared Cowen. For the Canadiens, the game was a nightmare. Not too much of a point in overstating it’s importance, since neither team has won 4 games yet. They got humiliated, but they have the luxury of moving on and getting ready for Game 4. My initial prediction was Canadiens in six, and I stand by it.
The Senators would jump out to a lead courtesy of Habs killer Daniel Alfredsson, and Rene Bourque (who is having an absolutely fantastic series) evened it up in the third. Jean-Gabriel Pageau would put the Senators ahead 2-1, and the Senators would score 3 more unanswered goals in an utterly dominant period. Most of the Canadiens defensemen would be thrown out of the game, and the game would end with several more powerplays being handed to the Senators. The most notable part of this game was how the suspect the defensive coverage was (though most will probably blame Carey Price) and the fact that Senators fans had a particularly creative Pageau-chant going. The Senators goals were scored by Pageau (yes,a hat trick), Turris and Silferberg.
– The Canadiens need to tighten up defensively if they want to win this series. I still think it will be a long series and that the Canadiens have the depth to pull through, I just think it will be difficult if they keep parting like the red sea every single time a Senator breaks through.
– The refereeing is atrocious. This is a common theme in every series I’ve watched, but enough with the inconsistency. It’s an absolutely joke and I’m often unable to tell from one period to the next what will be called and what won’t be. If you want to be lax, do so consistently.
– Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais have been terrible. Time to split them up permanently. Pacioretty can’t be playing on the perimeter if he wants to be effective, and David is quite simply ineffective. That contract is looking pretty terrible.
– I’m not sure how I feel about Carey Price‘s play. He was spectacular on Friday, mediocre on Friday and he definitely let in a softie tonight. He’s not getting any help from his D, but I think the Canadiens need more from him. You can’t give up 5 goals the way he did. It’s demoralizing.
– The playoffs are a grind and I don’t think anyone thought that the Senators would roll over. They’re a good defensive team, and supposedly had a pop-gun offense. The Canadiens need to get back to basics – active forechecking and tight defensive team play. One thing that’s stood out to me is that the forward support has been lacking – see Galchenyuk‘s puck watching on the Kyle Turris goal for an example of what not to do on the backcheck.
– Paul MacLean has to be the most disrespectful coach in hockey. Calling a timeout with 18 seconds left and your team is up 6-1 is bush league. Totally, totally classless.
– One thing I want to say about fans on both sides – don’t get too high after a win, and don’t get too low after a loss. Winning 4 games isn’t going to be easy for either side. Winning 1 game doesn’t mean anything until you’ve won four. Helps with controlling your blood pressure as well…
All in all, there’s more hockey to be played. Might as well throw out the tape on this one and focus on what to do better (read: everything) on Tuesday.