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The Wayback Machine

Regular season game #9

Once in a while, old demons come back to haunt. Tonight’s game very much resembled the Habs team from years past, where they’d grab a paper-thin lead while playing some decent hockey, only to wilt in the face of opposition for the rest of the way. It only took the Bruins a couple of minutes at the start of the third period to take a 2-1 lead that looked as close to¬†impenetrable¬†as it gets.

Tonight would be a good reminder that the Canadiens, despite their 6-3 start, are less than a year removed from the worst season in memory. They’re moving in the right direction, but they just aren’t there yet. That said, the outcome could have been different. The first line had a rough night. Plekanec can generously be described as being absent minded on both Boston goals, Erik Cole looks like he has lost half a step, and Pacioretty alone can’t carry them.

As for the old bugaboos of turnovers and faceoffs, the Canadiens actually did pretty well, considering they normally suck in both categories. The tale of the faceoff tape, though was a very two-sided story. While Plekanec and Eller combined to go 18 for 31, Desharnais and Galchenyuk combined to go just 8 for 29.

There’s no sense in dwelling on this game, as there is another engagement in less than 24 hours from now in Buffalo. The story is simple: the Habs charged hard at the start, wasted their chances, or were stoned by Rask and often that comes back to bite. The good news is that they did generate quality chances…they just need to bury them, starting tomorrow against the Sabres. And for further silver lining, the Bruins actually stuck to hockey and left the thug antics back in Boston for once. Hockey is a lot more enjoyable when teams stick to hockey. Who’d have thought?

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