BLANKED – Edmonton-1 Canadiens-0 (Shootout) Feb. 5, 2017

Feb 5th, 2017 | By | Category: Canadiens, Canadiens Game Story, Latest News

1 edm mcdavid IILet’s face it, no matter how the NHL rules like to sugar coat it, the Canadiens lost their third hockey game in a row.   They survived sixty-five minutes against a team that outplayed them for all but fifteen of them, and they got the “loser’s point” but the cruel reality is the Canadiens have not only lost their last three games but  nine of their last fourteen.

The Canadiens are in the playoffs thanks to their 13-1-1 start. Since then they have won 17 and lost 22. They show a winning record only because they have knocked down seven loser points (17-15-7).

Should fans be concerned?

Damned right they should. More importantly, so should Marc Bergevin.

With their three straight losses the Canadiens have dropped down to 7th in the overall league standings behind Chicago. Their season record against the six teams ahead of them is 2-10-1. If the playoffs were to start tomorrow the Canadiens would face the New York Rangers. Not a confidence building prospect.

1 edm montoyaMAN OF THE MATCH

One group of three star selectors decided Connor McDavid was the game’s first star. Not that it’s all that important in the general scheme of things, the game’s best player was Al Montoya who stopped all 32 shots for his second shutout of the season. Edmonton dominated every meaningful statistic including shots on goal, hits, takeaways and puck possession. Montoya was the only reason this game reached overtime. At the moment he is playing better hockey than Carey Price.

IN ONE BASKET

In deference to Guy Lafleur, this version of the Canadiens appears to have one first line and three fourth lines. The temptation might be to spread out the wealth by moving either Max Pacioretty or Alexander Radulov. The only time the Canadiens threatened in this game was when they were on the ice. It’s been like that for over two months. I can’t imagine Michel Therrien giving in to temptation as he did early in the season.

1 edm mcdavidSHUT DOWN

Containing Connor McDavid is the concern of every team faced with playing against the NHL’s leading scorer. With the last change Michel Therrien was able to get Shea Weber and Alexei Emelin on the ice against McDavid’s line but he still had four shots on goal in the first period. In the second period Therrien added the Plekanec/Lehkonen/Shaw to the checking assignment. McDavid managed only one shot through the second and third periods while producing five shots and three scoring chances of their own.

OFF KILTER –

We’ve talked here about the special teams problems. Part of the problem is the face that, despite their reputation as one of the league’s best skating teams, they can’t draw penalties. The Oilers were on their power play four times in this game; the Canadiens had the man advantage once. At least Canadiens penalty killing was good in this game, after giving up power play goals ion five straight games. The Canadiens have played shorthanded 187 times this season. They’ve been on their power play 29 fewer times.


1 edm pacior
ALSO WORTH MENTIONING

….Andrew Shaw’s game is what it is. The Canadiens acquired him because of the sandpaper in his game and he would be less effective if it was taken away from him. Still, his penchant for taking untimely penalties needs to be examined. This time he took a tripping penalty midway through the third period of a scoreless game. He got away with this one.

….Alexei Emelin continues his best NHL season. With the Oilers looking to cover Shea Weber’s big shot from the blueline, it was Emelin who let the bombs go. He finished with team leading 4 shots on goal on five attempts. That went along with his 4 hits.

….Paul Byron also recorded four hits. Jeff Petry blocked 4 shots.

….Facing off against the McDavid line most of the game, Tomas Plekanec won 11 of 17 faceoffs.

MOVING ON

Travel day Monday for the Canadiens so no scheduled practice. Nothing is guaranteed in the league these days, but the Canadiens have a chance for a confidence build with their scheduled games against the 30th ranked Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday and the 29th ranked Arizona Coyotes on Thursday.

2 Comments to “BLANKED – Edmonton-1 Canadiens-0 (Shootout) Feb. 5, 2017”

  1. Marty Forsythe says:

    Time for Therrien to get his pink slip

  2. Ned Stark says:

    Exactly how much black and white stares you in the face data does Bergevin need to see before he snaps out of his coma and fires Therrien. I know poor Therrien will cry that this is not a reflection of his coaching abilities. Only two things are holding the Team back namely: injuries and that Carey Price is not scoring as many goals as he normally does. No during last year’s meltdown when the GM and Coach quit on the team once Price was injured at Madison Sq. Gardens. Therrien used his injury as the reason why he couldn’t get wins from a rookie goalie(Condon). Bergevin bought it lock, stock and barrel and retained him after the season when everyone else was calling for his dismissal. Now a season later with an improved team he’s not getting it done again. Kirk Muller was brought in to fix a stalled power play that Therrien and his minions had been attempting to run. This year Therrien keeps interjecting himself into the PP with his revamped special play -> pass it to Weber and one time da puck. This of course was really a holdover from previous years special play Therrien used on the PP. See if you can spot the difference. “Pass it to Subban and one time da puck.” But this year the PP has been ragged at times thanx to his meddling but it has been much more successful. Muller has done a great job of using Radulov to QB the unit. They no longer are a one trick pony even though Weber has been lights out on the unit with double digit goals scored. But the unit taking advantage of the down low game with Radulov setting up Capt Max P. and Gally27 as finishers. It been in and just out of the Top Ten all year and currently inside the Top 5. But where has Therrien been with the Team’s cumbersome breakout play and the PK. Therrien has a couple defenders that are quite capable of carrying the puck out of our zone cleanly but Therrien is steadfast against it. So the defensive units end up icing the puck more times than naught. The Penalty Kill unit has been a total failure all season and yet Therrien has done nothing. Actually he did do something. He refused to acknowledge the strength of Lars Eller has a shut down centre and excellent PK defender. His misuse of Eller over the last 4 yrs has come home to roost this year. Therrien has done nothing to instil discipline on this team which is the 3rd most penalized team in the league. If you are going to let your team do whatever they want out there then you better be able to back it up on the PK. But they have dropped the ball all season and still nothing as been done.
    This team fails to take advantage of their strengths namely speed. This team fails to show up in too many games especially when they face a hitting team. Fails to take advantage of home ice. Fails to take advantage of weaker teams leaving points on the table too many times. Fails to stand up more often than not to the league leaders. This team if not for the hot start is an also ran team. So much for all the “leadership” talent brought in to redo this team. Marc Bergevin needs to stand up and do two things he has failed to do in the past which are hurting the team right now. 1) he needs to add that Top 6 offensive centre to the team and 2) he needs to pull the chute on the Therrien era. He is not capable of leading this team this or any year to the SC finals and winning at the very end. Time will tell us if Bergevin’s feet are still in cased in cement or did he move them forward and make the changes.

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