Canadiens' road woes continue in the windy city
The Montreal Canadiens have lost again on the road; this time 3-2 against the Chicago BlackHawks. A better effort than Wednesday, a 6-1 loss against the Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Habs were trailing 2-0 late in the second period after goals by Versteeg and Barker, when Mike Cammalleri scored his 6th goal of the season on a rebound to put the game 2-1. About four minutes later, Travis Moen scored hist 4th goal of the season on a very sharp angle shot that beat Huet on the glove side. After two periods the Habs were outshot 27-17 by the Hawks, despite an offensive surge that tied the game 2-2.
Midway through the third period, Patrick Kane skated around Andrei Kostitsyn to feed Patrick Sharp in the slot for the Hawks 3rd, and game-winning, goal. The Habs were never able to get back into the game and never came close to tie it.
Tonight's loss was the Canadiens' 5th loss in seven games on the road this season, where they have been outscored 27-15 and outshot 236 (33.71/game)-183 (26.15/game).
Matt D'Agostini left the game early in the first period after an elbow to the head by Andrew Ladd who got a 5-minute major on the play and a game misconduct. Ladd might be suspended for this elbow to the head. D'Agostini is likely out of ow's contest against Toronto. We'll know more about his status this eekend, but he likely suffered a concussion on the play.
Players such as Guillaume Latendresse, Andrei Kostitsyn and Maxim Lapierre continue to be invisible on the ice. They are not creating anything offensively, are soft on the puck, lose most of their board battles and have problems covering their man in their own end. Jacques Martin needs to shake them up, either by demotion to Hamilton or by making them healthy scratches. The Canadiens need new energy and passion in their line-up!
Even if I don't like what Sergei Kostitsyn did by not reporting to Hamilton after being demoted, he must play with the Canadiens to give them secondary scoring, or at least proving he can play in the NHL and be showcased to other teams in need of offense and spark his older brother Andrei.
Finally, at least Carey Price was solid in goal tonight, making big saves at the right time. Versteeg's goal deflected on M-A Bergeron's skate, Barker's goal was on a bomb on the PP, and Sharp's goal was on a one-timer from the slot.
Expect Gregory Stewart to suit up against the Leafs tomorrow to provide some grit to this hapless line-up in place on Matt D'agostini. Price will likely get the nod for a 2nd game in a row.