A Little Emotion Too Late
Montreal Canadiens 3 New Jersey Devils 5
The Swamp Eats Up The Habs
The Montreal Canadiens blew a two goal lead. The Habs blew a lead going into the third period. The Habs lost their fifth game after leading by two. The Habs gave up four unanswered goals. The Habs lost. After yesterday's devastating set back to the New Jersey Devils the team sits in fourteenth place in the conference. Truth be told, they sit in last place.
The first ten minutes of the game set the tone for what us to be an ultimate collapse. The team got off to a great start with David Desharnais and Andrei Kostitsyn beating Martin Brodeur. It seemed that the team would strut itself to a needed win but the collapse happened quickly as Carey Price let in a soft one from Zach Parise. As a fan, you knew it wasn't going to be as simple as it could have been. With Mathieu Darche scoring early in the second period the team was up by two and then the roof caved in. Brodeur shut the door the rest of the way and the Devils scored the next four to send the partisans into another expletive filled frenzy.
So what can we take out of another loss? Well for once there was some emotion shone from Randy Cunneyworth. He is human. The fourth and game winning goal scored by Parise came off what should have been a penalty on the Devils. Erik Cole was unable to get the puck out of the zone due to being hooked or obstructed or something. Parise pounced on a deflection and the game was won with under three minutes to go. Cunneyworth finally showed some anger. He grabbed Lars Eller's stick and began to hammer the boards. It brought a little smile to my face to see that someone actually cares about this team. In the post game scrum Cunneyworth laid blame not to his players but to the referees. He backed the players saying that they worked hard but it's hard to win when the referees call the game lopsided. Either Cunneyworth has had enough with the referees or maybe his players or maybe the french media but it was nice to see.
Another fact that I can grasp at was the play of Andrei Kostitsyn. He was dropped to the fourth line playing alongside a call up in Louis Leblanc and a defenseman in Yannick Weber. In only twelve minutes of ice time Kostitsyn scored a goal and made his presence felt. He doesn't complain, he doesn't sulk, yes sometimes he doesn't show up but most nights he is there and is usually the hardest working forward. On the other hand there is Scott Gomez who got less ice time than Kostitsyn. Last night was his 57th game without a goal. He only has seven points this year. Sam Gagner got eight points last night against the Blackhawks. Gagner doesn't make seven million a year. Gomez does. If last night's play doesn't warrant a permanent trip to Hamilton for Gomez, I don't know what else does. For all you P.K. Subban haters out there, I understand your frustrations but who else can fill up 23 minutes of ice time. With playing all that time of course you might end up a minus player some nights. Yes we are all waiting for that talent to emerge consistently. One play summarizes Subban. He laid out stud Adam Larrson with a clean Mats Naslund like hip check in the third. Larrson had trouble getting up but as he was skating back to the bench Subban gave him the glove tap. Some fans are livid with Subban for being too nice, for making sure no one comes after him. Some fans love the fact that he plays with sportmanship and has fun all the time. Some fans want him to have that killer mean instinct all the time. P.K. take it from all the other Habs that have come and gone, you will never win with the Montreal Canadiens fans and media.
One last positive can come from last nights loss. The Habs have been in this position before. A couple of years ago they finished near the bottom of the league and had the fifth overal draft pick. Bob Gainey much to the shagrine of the fans and media selected Carey Price. At least one draft pick has worked out.
There are two many other negatives that can be said about last night. The way the team lost was horrible. The play of Gomez, Tomas Plekanec, and Rene Bourque frustrates every fan. Rumors came out of a possible Sam Gagner trade to Montreal. Well after last night that won't be occuring. What else is there to be said. With 31 games remaining the Habs are eleven points out of a playoff spot.
Shahab Khan the Schoolboy