Something tells me that there’s going to be a lot of hyperbolic outrage about this game. In fact, it might be a good idea to avoid all sports coverage in
- Firstly, you have to remember that we cannot beat the Devils. Just purge your mind of any thoughts you might have had- however tiny, however frail- of coming out of this game with a W. Brodeur hates us with a searing intensity that makes you think he must have been molested by Youppi! as a child (except I don’t think they had Youppi! back in those days). Who knows, maybe it was a love affair gone bad, I haven’t read his biography. But whatever the cause, he will not allow us to win a game in
so long as he can balance on skates. And yes, he does have the power to do that. So any Canadiens-Devils game must be judged on the proper scale, and the proper scale is that the best possible outcome is a 1-0 loss. Maybe a 2-1, if the Habs are on a real hot streak going in. And in spite of the score, this game wasn’t actually that far from being a 1-0 loss, or maybe a 2-0. The Canadiens were sharp through the first 30 minutes, and made Marty work to fulfill his malevolent designs. New Jersey
- That first goal, though, was a heartbreaker. You knew, eventually, that Brisebois was going to have one of those wrong-side-of-the-highlight-reel moments… it happens to everyone sooner or later. Nevertheless it motivated Carbonneau to put him with Markov for the rest of the game, which might sound like a good thing (getting paired with the team’s ‘best’ defenseman) until you remember that Markov is also more or less the Habs’ official babysitter. Bet he thought he was done with that when Souray left.
- In the end, though, what killed the Canadiens was penalties, and not just mere mortal penalties, but freakish mutant penalties that no one should ever take- namely, perfectly simultaneous high-sticking double-minors to Chipchura and Latendresse (two guys who, it must be said, had been playing fairly well until that point). This meant not just 5-on-3, but 4 solid minutes of 5-on-3, and in fact 5-on-3 that continued for another two minutes after
Jerseyscored its third goal. Particularly given that Chupacabra is one of our better PKers these days, it’s not surprising that this whole incident turned a very ordinary 2-0 loss to the Devils into a much uglier 4-0.
- It didn’t help, of course, that Price picked tonight to be Opposite Night and do badly at all the things he usually does well. Getting beaten high glove-side? Check. Mishandling the puck? Check. Miscommunicating with the D? Check. Huge, vile rebounds? Check. Not that he was really responsible for the loss, being as how he was put in a few situations that no baby goalie should ever be put in, but it’s important to remember that skills aren’t fixed traits- just because Price can do so many things brilliantly doesn’t mean he will do so in every game.
- And of course, no loss would be complete without Carbonneau running some really weird lines, including trying Dandenault with virtually every other member of the team. If the solution to our offensive problems is really as simple as getting Mathieu in the right place, then I’m a happy girl. But it’s not.
Look, we all knew there was no getting two points out of this game. If there was any game, all season long, that everyone knew would turn out badly, it was this one. So let’s all just take a deep breath, put away the letter-bombs (pretty sure Brodeur has a guy to check for those), accept our fate, and move on to the much-more-beatable Predators.
Oh, and incidentally, I’ve noticed that our recent run of defensive faux-pas have led a lot of people to suggest that O’Byrne get pulled up from