Three and a half minutes into the game you wondered if this was going to be a defeat of historic proportion for the Habs. They had – predictably – no legs following an intense match up the night before in Anaheim, their goaltender looked like a fish out of water and (by the way) their opponent is kind of good. But they got themselves back in the game even though it seemed they were never really in it. Bottom line? 0-3 on the road. One point out of a possible six. Road record since December 5 is 4-16-2 or 10 points out of a possible 44 or .227 hockey. That’s expansion team territory. Which is probably where you ought to be when a pre-season waiver claim ends up with over 16:00 of ice time while playing on the “top” line.
- Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec ended the trip with a demotion to the second line with Paul Byron as their right winger. They earned it.
- EGG line fanatics – how much longer?
- Too bad about the Subban turnover at center ice which led to the winning goal by Derek King. Up to that point he looked like the best defenseman on the ice. “He lost an edge” said Michel Therrien post game. “You can’t blame him for that.” (Translation – I already slammed him for losing a game. I can’t do it again.) Subban messed up but the play actually started in the LA zone when Lars Eller had control of the puck but tried to stickhandle deeper, only to lose it.
- I was wrong about Subban and Markov struggling with all the ice time the night before. There isn’t a lot of brightness about the Habs these days but Markov’s game provides some light looking forward. He’s aging alright (aren’t we all?) but it’s reassuring to the front office to know that they have him back. Since the All Star break, Markov has 13 points in 15 games.
- Greg Pateryn is proving to be a more than adequate replacement for Tom Gilbert. He’s also proving that he should have been in the line up on a regular basis a lot sooner. Too late for that. But not too late to help rejuvenate Alexei Emelin.
- Has Michael McCarron already played with every other forward in his four games? His head must be spinning. While the four games in six days with three of the four on the road in very hostile territory represents a true baptism by fire, it’s actually been 5 games in 7 days for the former first round draft pick. As Therrien pointed out McCarron had played for St. John’s the night before he joined the Habs for their Bell Centre match up last Saturday. “That’s too much” said Therrien. Of course it is. So why dress him?
- Give Ben Scrivens some credit for battling back after allowing two goals in the first 3:33 of the game. But it sure is an adventure for him.
- Jacob de la Rose appears to have all the offensive instincts of a 0 goal scorer. Who compared him to Jordan Staal?