Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Time is but a doorway

If you subscribe to the theory that the Montreal Canadiens are battling for their playoff lives, then last night was a huge game. A must win game. Throw out every adjective in the book to describe the enormity of the game, and it might still not accurately describe the game.

Going into last night's game, the Canadiens were 8 points behind the final playoff spot with 2 teams ahead of them. Their schedule has them playing their next 7 games against other teams in the same fight. Logic would dictate the Canadiens need 10-12 points in those games, and they can't go past regulation time for there to be any hope of gaining ground. 7 teams fighting for 2 spots. The Canadiens loss last night, leaves them 4 teams ahead of them (7th in a 7-team chase) and 9 points behind 8th place Toronto. The road don't get any easier from here.

Carey Price made 37 saves, he was outstanding. The line of Erik Cole, Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais brought their "A" game as usual. Josh Gorges & rookie Alexei Emelin worked real hard...but where was the rest of the team?

Sure, Hal Gill tied up Paul Gaustad on the tying goal - but not enough. Sure Tomas Kaberle made a great defensive play on the side of Price's net with Buffalo pressing and the seconds ticking away at the end of period two. But where was the rest of the team?

Thomas Plekanec was on pace for a point-per-game season through the first 25 games - where has he gone? Scott Gomez looked so good before the all-star break, and yet was invisible last night.

Your leaders are usually the ones who face the music after the game, Erik Cole, Hal Gill, Mathieu Darche and Care Price faced the media last night. What does it say about the future of this team that 2 of those players likely won't be with this team next season?

The Canadiens were angry after the game that Sabres forward Paul Gaustad chirped at Max Pacioretty "Where's Chara?" after Patrick Kaleta scored into an empty net. Perhaps the Canadiens will channel that angry into victories. What's that old saying about the fleetness of time? 32 games till the season ends, 27 days till the trade deadline, better right this ship quickly if you plan to be in those playoffs.

TSN 990's Mitch Melnick posted an interesting blog this morning. If you listen to his show, it's no secret how he feels about the Canadiens current management team. It's no secret what he thinks needs to be done. It's never been laid out as bluntly as this. Do yourself a favour, read it : The Melnick Blog

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