Montreal - November 5, 2014 - Usually we show a lot of character. We didn't show it tonight. - Michel Therrien
Happy Birthday coach.
1st Period. Habs started very well. Carried the play. Corey Crawford made some big saves. But the common theme was Montreal's inability to finish. P.A. Parenteau had an open net but couldn't bury the puck. He didn't get all of it, allowing Crawford to move over and make a strong pad save. Later on Alexei Emelin made a nice cross ice feed to David Desharnais who had even more of the net to shoot at than Parenteau but the Habs centreman fired the puck off the goalpost. Moments later Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk broke in alone but Gallagher could not control the bouncing puck and Crawford had an easy time freezing it. When things are going well the Habs would be burying these kinds of scoring chances. Montreal outshot Chicago 11-5 in the period but right now the Habs couldn't spell score if you spotted them the S, C, R and E.
When was the last time P.K. Subban was -3 in back to back games? The Subban-Markov pairing was, ultimately, no match for Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. Subban continues to stumble with the puck, take penalties ( a second period hold after losing the puck which nullified a Montreal 'power play') and is clearly out of focus. How else do you explain his trip to the corner of the ice where Markov already had a Chicago forward covered which left Brad Richards alone in front to deflect yet another shot past Carey Price to give Chicago a 3-0 lead? Strange to say but Emelin actually played a better game alongside Tom Gilbert than he had been when paired with Subban. If Peyton Manning can call himself out after a bad night in New England ("I stank") then Subban can follow suit. And he did. "If people want to point the finger at me, that's fine" said Subban post-game. " I need to be better".
David Desharnais. He looks slow. Not just his skating. He seems to be a second or so behind everything he does resulting in indecision, poor decisions and/or turnovers. If anything he's thinking too much.
Brendan Gallagher. Almost invisible after his 2 on 0 break in with Gachenyuk.
Alex Galchenyuk. His best moment was a body check on Johnny Oduya.
Rene Bourque. Even Bryan Bickell had a two point night for the Black Hawks. In virtually the same amount of ice time (Bourque 11:11; Bickell 11:17) Bourque had zero shots, zero hits, deflected a puck past his own goalie and was -3. Hasn't scored in 13 games and is -9. But just wait until April.
Lars Eller. Seemed spaced out. Iced the puck in the first with nobody around him on three separate occasions. The last time he did it he was flat footed in his own zone and rather than take a few strides he just caromed the puck off the boards in an effort to send the puck to Bourque. Late in the second Eller had control of the puck deep in Chicago territory only to pass it back to the blue line to...nobody. A good possession shift but another example of the puck ultimately dying on his stick. Eller and Bourque had real good chemistry and results in the playoffs last spring. But any hope they would continue to produce was clearly misguided.
Dale Weise. Not his fault he's playing on an offensive line. But that back check on Kane in the third period was awful. He had the speed to stay with the Chicago winger but didn't bother tying up Kane's most important piece of equipment - his stick.
Brandon Prust. Where did his energy go?
Embellishment penalties. Two more. One by Prust who clearly hasn't learned that referees aren't buying what he's selling. The other a borderline call on Mike Weaver of all people who went down hard after colliding with Kris Versteeg who was rightfully called for interference.
Michel Therrien. He did have his team ready to play. But he also saw them sag noticeably after another unsuccessful power play late in the first. By then a second Chicago goal seemed inevitable. Therrien's power play is a disaster ("Momentum sucker" is how Ray Ferraro described it). But he keeps sending out the same formations. While Desharnais and Max Pacioretty continue to lead the forwards (4:09 each) Galchenyuk is almost an after thought. How's this for a first power play unit - Galchenyuk down the middle flanked by Pacioretty and Gallagher? Or start practicing with a forward on the point. Therrien's attempt to give Desharnais more room (if that's the reason) by putting Weise on his right wing might be good in theory but it weakens what is supposed to be an offensive trio. It's not as if the other lines are producing. He finally dressed Michael Bournival who was a non-factor but still stubbornly refuses to dress Jiri Sekac. Therrien tried to lighten the mood after practice on Monday by sarcastically dropping the word panic. He pulled a 360 post game by more or less suggesting his team quit after falling behind 2-0. It'll be real interesting to see how the Habs react in Buffalo. Because while it really is too early to 'panic', it's not too early to wonder why an 8-4-1 team appears to be so uptight.
@HunterZThompson the leadership group needs a leader
— john b (@ajchristi) November 5, 2014