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The Good, Bad and Ugly - Grabovski, Be a man, drop your gloves and stand up for yourself
TSN 690 and MitchMelnick.com
Montreal Canadiens Josh Gorges fought a guy twice his size with his team trailing 6-0 and it's best player nearly taken out by a 4th line fighter, who was Gorge's actual target. Doesn't matter how many punches he landed or took. Better yet was his post - game media session when he said what had to be said about Toronto Maple Leafs Mikhail Grabovski and Colton Orr.
Montreal - February 10, 2013 - That looked a lot like last season, didn't it?
Josh Gorges. Fought a guy twice his size with his team trailing 6-0 and it's best player nearly taken out by a 4th line fighter, who was Gorge's actual target. Doesn't matter how many punches he landed or took. Better yet was his post - game media session when he said what had to be said about Mikhail Grabovski and Colton Orr.
Brendan Gallagher. Led Habs with six shots on goal. Played his game. Tried to get his team going. Got into his first NHL scrap. It won't be his last - this month - unless he has somebody like Brandon Prust riding shotgun.
Everybody else. While many are content to slam Erik Cole (see previous blog from earlier tonight) - and he was indeed horseshit - if you watched RDS Post Game you would have come to conclusion that Cole and Cole alone killed the Habs on this night. Not a single word about David Desharnais, who got thrown out of face off circle, perhaps because he's grown tired of losing them, which led to Cole taking it instead then losing the draw, tying up centerman Tyler Bozak, only to lose Bozak at the last second when the puck bounced to the Leaf forward who deposited it past Carey Price's left pad. As bad as Cole looked, that was the only goal he was on the ice for. Meanwhile, his (former?) linemates, Desharnais and Max Pacioretty were a combined - 6. Following Bozak's goal there was still 53:27 to play. Why didn't Michel Therrien call a time out in an effort to throw some life into a team that had clearly missed it's wake up call? Is Therrien under the impression that coaches get to bank their time outs? Habs were sleepwalking through this one. Beaten to pucks, losing puck battles, allowing the Leafs entry into their zone as easily as men get into Tori Black.
Habs in face off circle - again. Tomas Plekanec was an embarrassing 4-15 (21%); Desharnais 5-11 (31%) and Lars Eller 9-10 (47%). This is an issue that is not going to be resolved in-house.
Grabovski biting Max Pacioretty. "Be a man, drop your gloves and stand up for yourself...you have to bite somebody?" said Gorges about Grabovski. That about says it.
Colton Orr going after Plekanec's knee late in the third period. The Leafs will claim it was in response to Prust running around, but Prust had already dropped his gloves, giving away nearly a half foot to Mark Fraser, in an effort to create some momentum early in the third. There's a big difference between hitting guys - legally - and/or delivering the odd face wash and trying to blow a skilled players knee out.
The Habs simply were not ready to face a Leafs team that is much better in its own end - as we suggested they would be under Randy Carlyle - but also much more physical, from Dion Phaneuf straightening up Alex Galchenyuk, to Nazem Kadri running Alexei Emelin and to Orr letting Rene Bourque know that if he has an issue with him he'd better be prepared to throw them.
Carey Price's worst ever home ice loss as a Hab. The game was over before he allowed a couple of soft ones. He should have been on the bench after Toronto made it 5-0. The last time the Canadiens lost this badly on home ice to the Leafs on HNIC, Alain Vigneault was fired as coach.
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