Since November 12th they have the 22nd best record in the league and their effort ….or lack of it….against Colorado Tuesday night was merely an extension of what we’ve been seeing on a regular basis over the last forty games.
It’s hard for one to wrap his head around the fact that the Canadiens were flat, unprepared, disorganized, passive and unresponsive against the one of the worst teams in recent NHL memory. That’s four losses in a row now, three of them against teams who are behind them in the overall league standings.
IN FREEFALL –
Can anyone remember the fact that the Canadiens started the season with 13 wins and 2 losses. Since then the Canadiens have won 17 and lost 23 games. At the same time both Toronto and Ottawa have put together winning records and fans are rightly concerned that not only is the Canadiens hold on first place in the Atlantic Division threatened but they may not even be able to hold second.
In another age, when they lost two games in a row fans would start to ask “what’s wrong with the Canadiens?” Those days are long gone. The talk shows and social media have any number of easy targets starting with the easiest of all, the coaching staff. Add to that, in no particular order, injuries, the schedule, lack of talent, slumps, all-of or some-of the above. When it really comes down to it, the Canadiens are short on talent, especially offensively and those chickens have come home to roost as opponents buckle down in the playoff race.
BACK TO THE GAME –
….This was not a great night for Alexander Radulov who buzzed around all night without accomplishing anything of note. And that begs the question, if Radulov has an off game, is there anyone who can pick up the slack? Nobody on this night.
….We’re used to seeing the Canadiens on the down side of the nightly “hit” totals. In this game they had only six – half of them from the newcomer Nikita Nesterov. And absolutely nothing in that department from either Alexei Emelin or Shea Weber.
….This was fifth loss the last six road games. They’ve been held to one goal or fewer six times. In those six road games they have managed one goal 5-on-5.
MOVING ON –
After being buried by the NHL’s worst team, the Canadiens move on to face the the Arizona Coyotes, who are second from the bottom of the league’s standings. If they take that game as casually as they did in Denver, they could be in for another long night. The last time the Canadiens played at the Gila River Center they were beaten 6-2 last February.