Smart, passionate and somewhat biased commentary about the Montreal Canadiens (HABS) from a lifelong fan now living in Toronto (LeafLand).
Nov
27
2011

Mired in Mediocrity

1 out of 4 possible points over the weekend is just not good enough.

Not when the Canadiens keep losing ground to teams in the Eastern Conference.

Not when they are about to embark on a tough western road trip and needed to take 2 points at home.

The Montreal Canadiens are mired in mediocrity, teams have games in hand on them, and if they can’t come out of their upcoming western swing with a minimum of 4 points, the team will be in serious trouble.

The Philly game on Friday afternoon, I knew from experience that scheduling didn’t favour the Habs.

But last night, the team should have been rip-roaring to go, show Crosby et al that they were ready, and take the 2 points in their building. AND IT WAS MY BIRTHDAY TO BOOT!

So what happens? They give up a goal 21 seconds in to Malkin.

The Desharnais – Pacioretty – Cole line has been the team’s best and most consistent line so far this year. But it’s not enough. Photo: Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images.

And to be completely frank, even with the Canadiens within minutes of taking 2 points last night against Pittsburgh, for all intent and purpose they had no business doing so. Many turnover, many breaks, many great saves by Carey Price and some timely shooting by the Habs’ best line of Desharnais – Pacioretty – Cole carried the team to at least one point.

But the game wasn’t without controversy. Max Pacioretty, the guy who should know better, clocks Kris Letang with his head down and snaps his shnozz. No penalty was given. We’ll see what action the league takes, but I didn’t like the hit.

Two Pens goals called back — both the correct calls. But did that affect the referees’s non-call in OT when the whistle should have blown when Carey Price covered the puck up, only to have it stripped from him by Kris Letang and put into the open net for the 4-3 OT winner???

How many times have we seen a Habs goal called back because the referee lost sight of the puck? On plays where the puck was clearly loose???? Last night, there’s no way the referee could see that puck.

Kris Letang checks his marbles after getting clocked by Max Pacioretty last night. The Habs lost 4-3 in OT to the Pens. Photo: Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images.

But let’s focus on what’s really wrong here:

Why is Letang standing uncontested in front of Price with the opportunity of doing what he did?

Why does Coach Martin not furiously argue the non-call on the OT winner? Why is there no pushback?

On the first goal called back, who is taking Kunitz in front? On the second goal called back, why is Kunitz on a shorthanded breakaway???

Why aren’t the Canadiens scoring on the powerplay?

Why is Brian Gionta MINUS 4 on the night??? And the Plekanec line a combined minus 9???

What the hell is wrong with Michael Cammalleri??? His voice was cracking in the pregame interview with Chantal Machabee of RDS and the first goal of the game came off a Penguins rush after an extremely soft and weak forecheck by the sometimes sniper.

Methinks changes are a comin’. Rough night for Gill and Weber. And honestly, I like Cammalleri but his play of late is starting to get me mad. Either he’s not 100% or he’s not happy. Because if the guy isn’t scoring, get him off the ice. Because that’s his job, his only job and he’s not doing it at all. When a guy like that has less goals than Travis Moen, you know something just ain’t right. And nothing against Moen, he’s playing great and giving us more than we should expect from him. His goals should be the icing on the cake.

Gionta has on nights been one of our worst forwards and last night — boy that’s a game I’m sure he wants to forget. And now the two are bringing down Plekanec who is our best player. That line was in the shit all night.

The group has a few days to think about it and for Gauthier to work the phones. Giddy up Habs.

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