If they hadn’t already, the Montreal Canadiens hit rock bottom last night. Coming home from a disappointing four game road trip the Canadiens had a chance to snap out of their funk against a struggling Washington Capitals team.
They didn’t. In fact, they looked as bad last night as I have seen the Montreal Canadiens play since they finished 28th in the standings two seasons ago. A lot had changed since then, or so I thought it did, but last night’s effort stank of a team defeated before the game even started.
When the Capitals scored their fourth goal, to make the score 4-0 and chase Carey Price form the net, the shot clock read 24-3 in favor of the visiting team. If that is not the most pathetic a team has ever played in front of their own fans I don’t know what is.
It was not that long ago the Canadiens were battling for first place in the Atlantic Division, but it seems like a lifetime ago. This team absolutely and totally fell apart against the Los Angeles Kings in a 6-0 defeat on December 10th, and have put together a 8-11-2 record since. Even some of their wins felt cheap.
A 4-3 shootout win after blowing a 3-0 lead against the Nashville Predators. A 5-4 win in overtime against the Ottawa Senators, again after blowing a 3-0 lead and being thoroughly outplayed. A 6-4 win against the Dallas Stars where they played so terrible defensively they were just lucky that the Stars were even worse in their own end. A 1-0 win in overtime against the New York Islanders. Who gets shutout in regulation but still comes away with two points?
It has been a brutal six weeks of hockey for the Montreal Canadiens but what really irked me last night was there was just no effort from anyone. The team was being outshot 27-9 after 40 minutes of hockey. It is like the whole team is just waiting for the game to end so they can get away from the rink.
There is just not enough guys battling and making life difficult for their opponents. The Canadiens are definitely the easiest team in the league to play against right now. At least Brandon Prust got pissed off at a ref last night and showed some emotion. It got him fired out of the game but at least he cares that the season is going into the crapper. Everyone else seemed to be fine with what was going on.
It is at the point now where something has to change. It is pretty clear the players are floating around waiting for something major to happen to shake things up. I can’t say whether a trade or a coaching change would make all the difference, but I must say something has got to give in Montreal.
Usually that means a trade before a coach is removed, which I think is a big mistake. Get rid of Michel Therrien now, and see if a new voice can inspire some better hockey out of these players. They played well early in the year, but have obviously tuned out their coach at this point.
They are already at rock bottom, how much farther do they have to go before Marc Bergevin decides to make a bold move?