Montreal - Dec. 7, 2011 - Now what?
Alexei Emelin. A beast on the blue line all night. Best game as a Hab. Nine hits, most of them lethal. First NHL point.
Andrei Kostitsyn. Scoring at a pace a lot of us expect from him. So why'd it take him so long to wrestle power play time away from Mathieu Darche?
Carey Price. Kept his team close enough to "salvage" a point.
Mike Cammalleri. Great interception of Columbus clearing attempt (looked like he might have laid down a bunt or two in his younger days) led to Kostitsyn's game tying goal with 1.5 seconds left in first period. Also on ice for Brian Gionta's goal late in 3rd.
Ryan White telling Sergio Momesso that he'll be ready to play in three weeks. Ryan White said that. Not Pierre Gauthier.
PK Subban. Originally put him in category below but it didn't look right and wasn't fair. True, he spent a good deal of the night stumbling around and falling down. Maybe his legs buckled because he was tired. He played over 32:00.
PK Unit. Led by Price.
Yannick Weber. Badly caught out of position on Montreal killer RJ Umberger's goal in second period. Had ice time drastically cut.
Hal Gill. -2. Not helped by Weber. Gill remains an elite penalty killer but is struggling 5 on 5.
Montreal power play. 0 - 3. Not even a sniff.
Habs now in 9th place in Eastern Conference, sandwiched between two teams with new coaches.
Montreal record in shootouts drops to 1 - 4. Can't pin this one on Price. He allowed a goal by the multi - talented Rick Nash while David Desharnais, Max Pacioretty & Brian Gionta couldn't hit the back of the net. Stoned by Curtis Sanford.
Louis Leblanc playing 4:48. What's the point? You mean to tell me that Jacques Martin couldn't find 3 - 5 more minutes for an energetic kid who was playing his first ever game on home ice?
James Wisniewski's first game back in Montreal. Typical of most of his games since returning from an 8 game suspension to start the season. He played over 28:00 and was -2; now -15 in 19 games.
The Canadiens effort. How many more times do we have to use the adjective listless? Inexcusable to return from a California trip where they barely managed three out of six points to face the worst team in the league and produce that kind of performance. Losing to a team that had managed just two road victories all season and was backstopped by a Montreal cast off (but as we said two summers ago, wasn't the ideal back up for Carey Price somebody like Sanford who's thrilled to be back in the NHL working for less money than they paid Alex Auld and are currently paying Peter Budaj?) at this stage of the season has got to result in something a little more meaningful than benching Yannick Weber.
So back to our original question. Now what?
When the Carolina Hurricanes played like this in Montreal, they fired Paul Maurice. When the Washington Capitals played like this they fired Bruce Boudreau. When the Anaheim Ducks played like this on home ice recently against the Leafs they decided to fire Stanley Cup winner Randy Carlyle (BTW, as I write this, the only team the Ducks have beaten in their last 10 games? You got it - Jacques Martin's Montreal Canadiens). But when asked by RDS what he'd say to those who are calling for the sacking of Pierre Gauthier and Jacques Martin, Geoff Molson responded this way:
Moi, je reponds que la priorite numero un est de gagner. Je pense que nous avons l'equipe en place qui et capable du gagner
Geoff Molson wasn't speaking in Clintonese, was he?