Rabid Habs

Achy Shaky Hearts

Habs vs Blackhawks

“You have to stay positive. I kept telling myself that I’d get a chance to play. It’s happening, and it’s up to me to seize the opportunity.” – Michael Bournival

The Montreal Canadiens had put their loss to the Calgary Flames behind them in time for Tuesday night’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks. Last night saw Michel Therrien’s several changes to his lineup, including letting Michael Bournival play his first game of the season and who took Travis Moen’s place. The rest of the Canadiens roster were extremely happy to see Bournival take the ice against Chicago after playing a few games with the Hamilton Bulldogs to stay in game mode. And, it’s safe to say that everyone else was somewhat concerned with the lineup after Sunday’s game against the Flames, which made a lot of fans question; “Are the Montreal Canadiens really ready to take on the a team like the Chicago Blackhawks? Are they mentally and physically prepared to break the 2 loss streak?” Despite the team being dropped into fifth place in the NHL, the Canadiens tried to prove last night that old habits die hard, but they don’t die easily and that led the Montreal Canadiens to a devastating 5-0 loss.

Let’s take a look at the game, shall we?

Michael Bournival going from being a scratch to getting some penalty kill time was a must, and I liked it. I also give much of my love to Carey Price; stopping shots which cannot normally be saved! Priceless. The one problem was when the power play started and Jonathan Toews scored his 200th, with the Blackhawks leading the game 1-0. The Habs seem to have this weird trend where they just give up right after their opposing team gets the first goal. It is mind blowing that the Montreal Canadiens had played so well early in the season but are now downgrading themselves. There was overall a solid effort and a great effort from Rene Bourque as well, and lots of shots taken, but Montreal started the game rough. And when the team is not bringing enough pressure and lacks in confidence and coordination, it’s only fair to assume it’s going to lead the team downhill for the rest of the night.

The second period didn’t seem to treat the Habs as friendly as it should have, or is it that the Canadiens didn’t treat the second period as friendly as they should have? Only nine minutes and fifty seven seconds in, and Kris Versteeg got a tip in assisted by David Rundblad and Bryan Bickell. We also saw two penalties for the Habs; the first penalty for two minutes went to PK Subban for holding Ben Smith, and the second penalty for four minutes went to Tom Gilbert for high-sticking Andrew Shaw. The hardest thing about this period was that Carey Price was the only guy on the ice who was putting on an excellent effort and sadly enough; the score never reflects the effort. The one thing that I really liked was seeing Michael Bournival playing with the Montreal Canadiens. He’s still young and has a lot to learn, but he has so much potential and I would really like to see more of him instead of the coaching staff giving lame excuses to bench him.

Two minutes and twenty two seconds in the third period and Brad Richards gets a tip in assisted by Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad. Ten minutes pass and Patrick Kane assisted by Jonathan Toews and Niklas Hjalmarsson brings the score to an unbeatable 4-0. Just when our hope has almost been fully lost, Kris Versteeg scored his second goal of the night into an open side on Bryan Bickell’s pass, ending the game 5-0.

My thoughts about last night’s game:

  • Michel Therrien’s coaching methods are absolutely garbage. When one line is working out well, it’s time to break them up. When one line is working out poorly, it’s best to keep that line instead of changing it up and seeing what works best for the team. It’s hard to take a coach’s “passion” for a team seriously when he hardly knows how to coach. I know, I know, the man has been with the team for 14 years and that “he’s not the only reason that Montreal isn’t doing well”, but let me ask you this; How is putting together players with no previous chemistry work on the ice? The answer: it doesn’t, not without multiple practices before trying it out even once. And with the Montreal Canadiens’ numbers slightly declining, don’t you think that Michel Therrien is going to end up being the next Alain Vigneault (if he isn’t already) and be fired by the end of December? Part of me really hopes so.
  • The Montreal Canadiens, despite not being able to choose their own lineups need to work harder on the ice. Michel Therrien’s poor, illogical judgement is not an excuse to give up after the team you’re fighting against gets their first goal. The fact that the Habs are now in fifth place in the NHL is scary enough, but the way they’re playing makes me think they really do want to end up taking the Toronto Maple Leafs’ place at number fifteen. And that’s not a diss towards the Montreal Canadiens because I love them, I really do, but a team that plays poorly because they automatically think they’re not good enough after one goal is a team that’s going to bring out the worst in all of us fans. Just look at these tweets:

Funny to think a team’s record could get bad just as fast as it got good.
— Micah Winston (@mt_winston) November 5, 2014

I feel one of these days Therrien will leave Price in to get absolutely throttled. Remember when a coach did that? Was about 19 years ago.
— Mike (8-4-1) (@habitant31) November 5, 2014

The Sabres are gonna beat us aren’t they
— John Pater (@MdnHabs) November 5, 2014

Wasn’t able to watch the game tonight. So I’ve just got one question…WHAT THE F*CK HABS
— Heather Lloyd (@hedleybedley93) November 5, 2014

You see? A Montreal Canadiens fan’s Twitter time should NEVER look that depressing.

  • There are too many fans out there who think that only 2 months into the season is when the team should start trading players. Hasn’t done anything impressive during the whole game? Trade him. He doesn’t do much? Trade him. Whiffed on a puck? Trade him. All he does is get penalties? Trade him. STOP! There is a reason why they call this the “beginning of the season,” since it is literally just the beginning. The Montreal Canadiens have until April to improve and show what they’re made of, and with any luck they could go right into the Eastern Conference finals. Don’t start picking and choosing who belongs on the team until you’ve seen them play for a whole entire season. It was only so long ago that people picked on Lars Eller, only to realize later that he’s better as a defense forward rather than a regular “get a damn goal, you idiot!” forward. Take your time to see the team play a whole season. I guarantee that the Habs will improve by January. You can even hold me to it.
  • The Chicago Blackhawks honestly played well, and I can’t hate them for beating the Montreal Canadiens. They’re like a weird version of the Habs from last season. Their defense and strategy are on point, they have one of the best goalies in the NHL standing in their net (he got a shutout tonight for crying out loud), and their coach keeps the lines the same because he knows they work well together. If anything, Michel Therrien could learn a thing or two from Joel Quenneville.

The Montreal Canadiens face the Buffalo Sabres tonight in New York at 7:30pm.

Follow Jessica-Lyn on Twitter: @strucxtures