Read it and weep:
- Andrei Markov – 0 goals in 30 games
- Nathan Beaulieu – 0 goals in 25 games
- David Desharnais – 1 goal in 25 games
- Torrey Mitchell – 1 goal in 25 games
- Tomas Fleischmann – 1 goal in 23 games
- Jeff Petry – 1 goal in 23 games
- Brian Flynn – 1 goal in 20 games
- Lars Eller – 1 goal in 19 games
- Tomas Plekanec – 2 goals in 33 games
- Dale Weise – 2 goals in 23 games
- Alex Galchenyuk – 3 goals in 22 games
- Mike Condon Save Percentage since Dec 3 (14 starts) – .896
- Mark Barberio. First goal as a member of the Habs was a blast – as if to wake up the coaching staff to the fact that perhaps an offensive defenseman might be able to help a bad power play.
- P.K. Subban. Perfect set up to Barberio. Also set up several other teammates who couldn’t do anything with the puck. Played over 31:00. Nine points (2-7) in his last 10 games. That’s a 72 point season pace. But I keep hearing he’s not playing well. He’s up to 30 assists this season. Only five players in the league have more. And he’s doing this while his regular defense partner is generating next to nothing.
- Michel Therrien. Passionate defense of his oldest player and of his team. His finest post-game moment of the season. But does he still have the ear of his boss?
- Tomas Plekanec – Brendan Gallagher – Max Pacioretty. Forget the shot totals (23). Here’s an example of what’s wrong – Late in the third period, down by two, Subban hits Plekanec with a perfect long stretch pass in the neutral zone. Plekanec skates in, winds up and badly misses the net. Where does the puck end up? Deep in Montreal territory after the Bruins pick up the carom off the boards. The trio was a combined -9. Plekanec should have been -4. It was his lazy give away in the neutral zone as he headed to the bench for a change that led directly to the Bruins third goal by David Pasternak. By the time the puck crossed the goal line Plekanec was sitting on the bench. It’s a rare Montreal-Boston match up which features Plekanec as quiet as he was in this one. Maybe he misses David Krecji. Pacioretty was never a real threat with the puck while Gallagher lost a rare puck battle along the boards in Boston territory to his nemesis Brad Marchand which led to the opening goal by Max Talbot.
- Dale Weise. Is he back yet?
- David Desharnais-Alex Galchenyuk. This is chemistry? How about Galchenyuk-Gallagher-Pacioretty? It can’t get worse.
- Torrey Mitchell-Devante Smith-Pelly-Brian Flynn. Habs 4th line was badly outplayed by Boston’s 4th line of Tabot-Pasternak and Zac Rinaldo. Fourteen minutes into the second period with the score tied at one Mitchell was sent in alone by Subban (see a pattern?) but the veteran Montreal centre was stymied by Tuukka Rask (Mitchell telegraphed his shot to Rask’s glove). Two minutes later Patrice Bergeron scored on a wraparound to effectively end the game.
- Mike Condon. Caught out of position on all three goals. Yes, even the first one when he never got set. It’s Ben Scrivens time.
- Injuries to Nathan Beaulieu and Paul Byron. Beaulieu wasn’t playing very well but the Habs just lost a good chunk of their speed and mobility. In Byron’s case they also lose their second leading goal scorer since December 3. Yep. Byron has five goals since then (21 games). Pacioretty has six.
- Michel Therrien. “It happens to everybody” was part of Therrien’s explanation to how an aging defenseman could look so bad. Maybe he shouldn’t have played him into the ice as often as he did.
- Andrei Markov. The panicked giveaway up the middle of the ice after Condon surprisingly stopped Talbot on a breakaway (that’s a big five-hole shooters see) was a shocker. But the fact is the Habs came back to tie the game. Beyond that it was Markov’s dumb elbowing penalty five minutes into the second that put the league’s top power play to work. It was his constant mishandling of the puck. It was the way he glared at a teammate (Galchenyuk?) after icing the puck. It was his poor play on the power play three minutes after Barberio tied the game when Bergeron was sent off for hooking Desharnais. This was the moment. Game tied. Habs with momentum. The NHL’s best penalty killer sitting in the box. Instead of going back to the keyed up hometown kid Barberio to play the point, Therrien again turned to Markov who predictably handled the puck like a live grenade. Power play over. Wasted opportunty. Three minutes later it’s Bergeron who scores the game winner. The booing? Sad to see and hear. Markov doesn’t deserve it. I booed an athlete once in my life. It was the summer of 1974 at Jarry Park. Willie Davis was one of the great centrefielders in Major League Baseball. He arrived in Montreal from Los Angeles for relief ace Mike Marshall. Willie D played only one season for the Expos. He was their player of the year. But he had off field issues. Many of them. He also had to cover a lot of ground at Jarry which featured the deepest centrefield (420 feet) in the National League. And he had no help out there, flanked by Ron Fairly in left and Ken Singleton in right. I don’t remember the opposition but I do remember Davis, who played a very shallow CF, misplaying a fly ball. It rolled all the way to the fence. Davis jogged after it while the batter circled the basis. In my squeakiest 15 year old voice I let him have it. The fans who were booing Markov know what happened is not through lack of effort. He just took the brunt of anger and frustration from a fan base that’s wondering where all the joy went.
- 10th place. The last time the Canadiens were this low in the standings they fired coaches. Three of them.