From Inconsistency to Redundancy: Habs Fall To Blue Jackets
Following Tuesday night's 3-2 shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Bell Centre, the world of the season for the Montreal Canadiens may have changed from "inconsistency" to "redundancy".
You don't have to look too far back in the archives here at TCL to notice that most of the writers haven't exactly been happy with the level of effort the team has been showing on most nights. Win or lose, there always seems to be something major to complain about with every passing game. Either they're barely holding on for win, or simply unable to score any goals or play consistently for sixty minutes.
We understand that the Canadiens can't win every game, but it's starting to get a little ridiculous. To find a Habs win streak, you'd have to go as far back as the last week of October, and the first week of November, where the team went 7-2-1 over ten games following the firing of coach Perry Pearn. It seems as if once Jacques Martin's job was deemed safe once again, the team was right back to their inconsistent ways. If it wasn't a loss, followed by a win, followed by another loss, it was the four-game losing streak the team went through last week.
Going into the game against the Jackets on Tuesday, the Habs may have had a legitimate excuse to lose, thanks to an admittedly difficult road trip they had to go through the week before in SoCal. But in reality, there really shouldn't have been any excuse for the effort the team put forth at the Bell Centre. The Blue Jackets are the worst team in the league, by far, and while the Canadiens have had their troubles, this was the perfect opportunity to send a fanbase that's growing more and more restless home happy with two points and a good effort in the bank.
Instead, the end result was not only a loss to the worst team in the league, but kind of an embarrassment. We really don't need to go through the stats to claim that the Jackets aren't very good defensively. There's a reason Curtis Sanford, a guy who couldn't even make it passed the Hamilton Bulldogs when he was with the Canadiens, has taken over the starting duties for the Jackets. But yet, the Canadiens couldn't muster more than 20 shots on him. The Jackets defense is pourous, that was very well indicated by the two goals the Habs scored. But yet, 20 shots. They simply didn't try. Can you imagine if they even presented a semblance of an effort throughout the night? We wouldn't be talking about an overtime loss.
Sure, it wasn't all bad. Alexei Emelin has his best game in a Canadiens uniform, pouring on the hits all night at the Bell Centre, finishing the night with 9 of them, including several that we're certain you'll find on a Don Cherry DVD someday. He also had an assist, a +1 rating, and two shots, with 22:26 of ice time. While he's been solid these last few weeks, tonight, he concretely proved that he deserves to be in this team's top six defensemen, whether the blueline is healthy or not.
Erik Cole also had a good night, with 4 shots, 3 hits and 18:20 of ice time, continuing his consistent ways even if he didn't put up any points. P.K. Subban also had a great night after struggling in recent games, with 2 shots, 3 hits, 2 blocked shots, a +1 rating, and a whopping 32:17 of ice time.
Your goalscorers for the evening were Brian Gionta, who would have been the talk of the town in a bad way if he missed the open net he had, as well as Andrei Kostitsyn, who dekes several Jackets players and took a pretty feed from Mike Cammalleri earlier in the night.
In fact, I have plenty of good things to say about this team individually. And we could probably isolate plenty of individual plays that were impressive and indicative of what this team might be capable of. But in the end, it's still a 3-2 loss to the Blue Jackets, and it still a night where the Habs only put up 20 shots.
The reason we're changing the theme of the season from inconsistency to redundancy is because we're sick of talking about this team's inconsistencies. There's pretty much no excuse for it, you won't hear many fans, outside of the apologists, willing to accept any of it, yet this team's owner is perfectly satisfied with how the Canadiens are playing.
Maybe it's time that we stopped complaining and sounding like broken records, and just give in to the fact that the 2011-12 Montreal Canadiens are destined for mediocrity. After all, our constant complaints against management have proven to be fruitless.
The Canadiens are back on the ice, presumably to prove us wrong until the next game, on Thursday night as the Vancouver Canucks. Until then, I'll be standing on the the tip of the Jacques Cartier Bridge, taking your question over the sound of corrupted construction.