Montreal - Nov. 6, 2011 - This was a night that cried for an early meltdown behind the bench by the top guy. Lindy Ruff would have made sure the calls started to go his way long before the obvious sense of guilt had seeped into Tim Peel and Dean Morton. Same for Peter Laviolette, Claude Julien, Dan Bylsma, Mike Babcock and of course John Tortorella. But we're told by Mister Gauthier that a head coach cannot be analytical and emotional at the same time. So the Habs get a mutter here, a mutter there, everywhere a mutter, mutter when what they really need is a mutter of a much different kind.
I'm not blaming the loss on Jacques Martin. But who knows what happens five minutes into the first period if he lets everybody inside the new MSG know exactly how he felt about the inept officiating.
Thomas Plekanic. A tireless two way effort all night.
Brian Gionta. Ditto.
Jacques Martin finally putting Andrei Kostitsyn on a power play.
Kostitsyn scoring on the power play. Pretty good production on the PP last night - 32 seconds played; one goal.
Erik Cole. A strong presence all night with four shots on goal - not including a goal post late in the second period that would have tied game - and six hits.
Max Pacioretty. Back on the score sheet. Seven shots on goal. But still not driving on his skates the same way.
Montrealer Joseph Kaiser belting out both anthems on Broadway.
Michael Blunden belting Brandon Dubinsky. Nothing wrong with the hit.
The little guys who had been playing so well - Yannick Weber & David Desharnais - struggled big time on the back end of the back to back.
Carey Price. Can't be blamed for first three NYR goals but whiffed on the Brad Richards shot moments after Cole hit the goal post. Terrible momentum swing.
Mike Cammalleri. Awful back check job on the third NYR goal by Del Zotto. A couple more efforts like that and maybe Cammy would consider taking back his recent comment about not needing to work on his cardio.
Habs in the face off circle. Again. Just 38% including a loss by Plekanic at center ice with Price on the bench for a 6th attacker.
Referees Tim Peel & Dean Morton. An Abomination. What the hell were they doing huddling at the penalty box with their two linesmen after calling a penalty on Blunden (for interference??? Dubinsky had the puck) and/ or a too many men on the ice call (Erk Cole was on the bench). No instigator penalty to Ryan Callahan for going right after Blunden and starting the entire melee?? A two man advantage for the Rangers? 33 seconds later Erik Christianson scored and the entire tone of the game had been changed. Chintzy penalty calls to Desharnais (especially the one behind the net on Brian Boyle - 3 times the size of Desharnais who got his hip out and Boyle went flying like through the air like he had been fired out of a cannon), an obvious non-call on Andrei Kostitsyn who got hauled down behind the Rangers net after beating his man. This was horrendous officiating at its finest. And if the Habs had a nastier edge, the league might have an embarrassment to deal with. As it is, it's merely a "fatigued" Canadiens team ambushed by the Rangers. Nothing else.
What's a calm, cool, collected executive like Mister Gauthier to do? Maybe when he's done analyzing the game he can call Mister Campbell or Mister Murphy or Mister Gregson and invite them to the Bell Centre for a cup of tea and a bowl of soup.