Tuesday, 3 February 2015

It doesn't matter

The Montreal Canadiens lost to an inferior opponent... again

But it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. 

Including tonight's 3-2 loss to the Buffalo Sabres at the Bell Centre, 46 per cent of the Habs regulation losses have come to teams outside of the playoffs. 

"At the beginning of the game, in the first period, we weren't alert," said Canadiens' coach Michel Therrien

For whatever reason, Montreal can elevate their game when they play optimum opponents, however they're just as capable as dumb-ing things down and coming out flat when the competition is inferior. 

"It's unfortunate we didn't do it for 60 minutes but it's not like we were horrible the rest of the game it was just a couple of bounces here and there," said Canadiens' forward Max Pacioretty.  

Here's the thing. In the playoffs when it matters, the Canadiens won't be playing against inferior opponents and every game will have a high intensity. 

It would be much more concerning if the Canadiens were beating up on the poor teams but couldn't keep up against the top teams, specifically in the East. 

Everyone knows the identity of this team by now. They need to get good goaltending and timely scoring or they don't win. Game in and game out, they get both and that's why the team is a contender for the Stanley Cup.

Tonight against the Sabres, they didn't get either of the two ingredients to their recipe of success, so it's not shocking that they lost. Carey Price was sub-par and up front the Habs didn't challenge a vulnerable Buffalo defense. 

"Sometimes, some teams just give you trouble and they (Buffalo) are one of them," said forward David Desharnais who was the Canadiens' best forward on Tuesday night. "We're having a tough time and we got to prepare better and be ready." 

With three days off and another weak/non-playoff team, the New Jersey Devils coming to the Bell Centre Saturday, one would expect them to show up with a valiant effort.
So long as they don't look ahead to the Bruins, who they play on Sunday. 

- Mitchy

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