Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Canadiens at The First Quarter Mark: Call 911 !!

Is it just a coincidence that the Montreal Canadiens record at the quarter season mark is 9-11? I don't think so.

Saturday night's embarassing loss to the Nashville Predators put an exclamation point on the start to the Habs 2009-10 season.

Playing one of the worst offences in the NHL, the Canadiens allowed 55 Predator shots to get at Carey Price. 55!

Leave it to the typical Price bashers who pounced on him during "live blogs" that the first one he let in was a softie. Jacques Plante could have let in a soft one last night, it wouldn't have mattered, ditto for Dryden, Roy, Vezina, etc.

Price was again hung out to dry by his team much like he was the Vancouver Canucks earlier this season. Only difference is, these were the Nashvile Predators shooting the pucks.

Number 31 kept his team in the game for 60 minutes and the offense never had one seriously decent scoring opportunity.

The Canadiens have now been shutout twice in three games and have six goals in their last five games in regulation play. One of those was an empty net goal Thursday against Phoenix.

The loss of Brian Gionta, prior to Saturday night's game, pretty much nullified the Canadiens top scoring line, not to mention losing their best two-way forward.

So what did the the remaining dozen forwards do out there, step it up? No, instead they just let the Predators do what they wished with the puck. You would have thought that the "Gui" who was to be scratched that night would have been an over-acheivers Saturday, right?

Just imagine what teams like Carolina, Washington and Detroit would do in these situations. I guess we'll find out this week.

You have to wonder if Steve Sullivan gets 11 shots and scores twice, then what could real snipers like Ovechkin or Datsyuk do if given the same number of attempts.

Many of the Canadiens problems lie in their defensive injuries as Jaroslav Spacek, Paul Mara and Roman Hamrlik are becoming workhorses out there. That will only hold up for so long, and Saturday's game could be a sign they are wearing down.

After that, with the exception of Josh Gorges, the defense corps is ECHL quality at the best of times.

In all likelihood, coach Martin will be bag-skating his boys later Sunday morning in an effort to wake them up.

Barring a therapy day, Carey Price will be forced to be right in there with them.

Maybe coach Martin should give them all (except Price) a glass of milk after the skate. That way they'll know how he and his goalie felt after Saturday night.

With his contract going into RFA status at the end of the season, you really have to wonder if Price even wants to remain in Montreal after what he has endured so far this season.

Perhaps the next 20 games will give us some answers.
Photo: Getty Images

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