Montreal - Oct. 21, 2011 - The Bruins, after losing their collective minds in a home ice loss to Carolina bounced back big time against Toronto with most of the guilty parties from Tuesday - including Chara, Lucic, Horton and Kelly playing big roles. The Lightning, leaking like Westmount sewers after a hail storm, got their act together allowing just 17 shots on goal in a victory over the Islanders.
Roberto Luongo - TRADE HIM TO TAMPA BAY FOR VINNY LECAVLAIER screams a Vancouver Province Editorial - rebounded, making 25 saves in a win over Nashville. The NY Rangers, after a tough start in Europe, win back to back road games out west including an overtime thriller in Calgary. Even the expansion-like Ottawa Senators manage to do something the Habs have done yet this season - win a second game.
Naturally, they beat the only team the Habs have beaten - the Winnipeg Jets. So everybody, it seems, who's been scuffling picked Thursday night to right themselves. Except your Montreal Canadiens.
I thought the loss in Pittsburgh was almost as bad as that 7-0 humiliating loss in Boston last season but for different reasons. Still no push back - there never will be with a Gauthier/Martin team - but no energy, no drive, no desperation for a team that should have - with the host team missing three of the NHL's best players - smelled blood. Spare me the Markov injury factor at this point. Kris Letang might be better, not to mention Malkin and Crosby.
No, the stench from this one might linger. Whatever good will had been built up in that loss to Buffalo evaporated on yet another key lost face off. Maybe the Leafs on Saturday provide the cure. And/or the Panthers on Monday. Montreal has to win its first game of the year on home ice against one of those teams, don't they?
If not, with a Flyers - Bruins back to back looming, and yet another match up against Boston before the end of the month, Jacque Martin might be wishing he had a Kirk Muller mask to wear on Halloween.
Hal Gill's 1,000th game and the wonderful reception by the fans in Pittsburgh.
As usually the case against the Penguins, Carey Price played his ass off.
The Habs weren't shutout. And neither was Elliott Price in his first broadcast of Montreal Canadiens hockey on TSN 990. He'll always remember the otherwise meaningless goal by Brian Gionta.
The injury to Scott Gomez?
Oh those face offs. Pittsburgh wins 61% of the draws compared to just 39% for Montreal.
The game changer, the first goal of the game, like the critical second goal by Buffalo on Tuesday, came following an icing call and a badly lost draw (Thomas Plekanic) while Eric Cole could not contain shooter James Neal.
Energy level exhibited by Canadiens after their first three scoring chances were turned away by Marc Andre Fleury.
Scott Gomez is now on pace for a 14 point season.
PK Subban is now on pace to end the season at -82.
Jacques Martin's bench management skills. His offensively challenged team is trailing most of the night and Travis Moen (nearly 15:00) ends up with more ice time than Cole or Andrei Kostitsyn.
Alexei Emelin's rookie mistake - a terrible give away - that resulted in Pittsburgh's second goal by Joe Vitale.
Montreal's power play went 0-4. PP efficiency rate six games into the season is at 8%. Somebody's going to have to come to the rescue. Maybe it's the same guy who can win a key face off.
The mood of Montreal hockey fans right now. Kind of early for an ugly mood, no?