Rabid Habs

The (Not So) Lone Rangers

New York Rangers

“I honestly believe I can win a Stanley Cup.” – Carey Price

The Montreal Canadiens, who have been leading in the NHL were looking for another glorious win last night against the New York Rangers. The Canadiens had a 2-0 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday, which gave them a third straight victory over their rivals this season. The Rangers were playing their first game in four days since beating the Philadelphia Flyers 2-0 on Wednesday. The team had been struggling in the early part of the season, winning just eight of their first 19 games, but the team had been preparing to meet their Original Six match-up, while the Canadiens were starting to feel the fatigue that comes with playing six games in nine days.  And with the Rangers only missing Ryan McDonagh, this game was going to be slightly more dangerous than the one that was seen at the Bell Centre in October.

The first period saw the Montreal Canadiens on a drastic fight to get the first goal of the game, but they were unaware of how long the New York Rangers could keep up with them. It all started with the pressure; the Canadiens would put the puck deep and stay in the Rangers zone, but then the Rangers would do the same. The Canadiens sped up their game and stick handle, but then the Rangers did the same. No matter how hard the Habs tried, the Rangers were out beating the Habs in a game of “Simon Says” and came out with a first goal made by Dominic Moore nine minutes and 44 seconds in (assisted by Tanner Glass and Jesper Fast). The period ended with the Rangers leading 1-0.

When it comes to first periods, the Montreal Canadiens are known for having a rough start towards them but they carried their struggle to the second period with not being able to keep up with the New York Rangers. Without Michael Bournival (who is out with a shoulder injury), the Canadiens had seemed to be doing okay despite not having that extra dimension and speed, but last night the Habs needed a boost badly, or they were going to crumble. Packing in two goals (Derek Stepan at 35 seconds, assisted by Martin St. Louis and Chris Kreider, and Martin St. Louis at 15 minutes and 33 seconds which was assisted by Chris Kreider and John Moore), the Rangers had ended the second period leading 3-0.

One minute and 40 seconds into the third period and Carl Hagelin (assisted by Anthony Duclair and Kevin Hayes) tallied up the points for the Rangers, with the Canadiens left desperate and sluggish which the Rangers took full advantage of. Despite numerous hits on the posts of New York’s net, the Habs just couldn’t slip one past Henrik Lundqvist, and only 15 minutes and 24 seconds in, the Rangers were up to five points thanks to Rick Nash (assisted by Derick Brassard and Mats Zuccarello). It was obvious from the second period that the Montreal Canadiens would not be getting the spark they needed to claim victory, and the New York Rangers ended the game with a fourth shutout (21 stopped shots).

Here are my thoughts on last night’s game.

  • The New York Rangers played extremely well tonight (is that actually okay for a Canadiens fan to say?), especially Martin St. Louis who moved two points closer to the 1,000-point mark in his career. They knew who they were going up against, and they took advantage of each practice in order to prepare to face the Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge. Good for them.
  • Winning eight out of nine games with barely any time to practice would make any team exhausted, so I’m not surprised that the Montreal Canadiens didn’t have a ninth win. However, the amount of ice time that Bryan Allen saw had me scratching my head. This is a guy who had just played his first game with the Canadiens on Saturday. The team hasn’t had enough time to see how long he truly belongs on the ice and what his difficulties may be with the team (different team, different chemistry). Yeah, yeah, tight schedules; I get it, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. I’m definitely not missing Rene Bourque though. Nope.

The Montreal Canadiens will get a much needed four day break before playing back to back with the Buffalo Sabres starting Friday.

Find Jessica-Lyn on Twitter: @strucxtures

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Sabres On Parade - RabidHabs.com