Tomas Tatar – Phillip Danault – Brendan Gallagher
Artturi Lehkonen – Max Domi – Joel Armia
Nick Cousins – Nick Suzuki – Jordan Weal
Ryan Poehling – Nate Thompson – Riley Barber
Ben Chiarot – Shea Weber
Brett Kulak – Jeff Petry
Otto Leskinen – Cale Fleury
Carey Price – Charlie Lindgren
Christian Folin, Mike Reilly
Paul Byron, Jonathan Drouin, Victor Mete, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Matthew Peca
The Canadiens moved from the Forum to 1909 Avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal in 1996. For the past 23 years, fans and media have debated whether the ‘Ghosts of the Forum’, the legendary Fantômes, made the journey to the alcoves of the Bell Centre.
This season the Habs have been any but intimidating at home. In fact, their head coach believes that his team has been soft at the Bell Centre. Following tonight’s loss, Montreal has a home record of 8-8-3. That is just a .421 winning percentage.
These are not numbers consistent with a playoff contender.
The Red Wings are not having a banner year. They are ranked 31st in the NHL and are the only team in the league with single digits in wins. Coming into this game, Detroit had a .188 winning percentage on the road.
Playoff contenders do not have difficulty beating a team like the Red Wings.
As of this evening, Detroit and New Jersey are the two worst teams in the NHL. The two teams have combined to win just 10 games on the road this season. Forty percent of those wins have come against a single team, the Montreal Canadiens.
Is this a statistic that speaks playoffs to you?
At the end of the 2018-19 season, each Canadiens player and management did their own soul-searching wondering where the extra point or two went astray that dashed their playoff hopes. Will the seven points yielded to the 30th and 31st teams in the league in their own building be on the minds of the current Habs players this off-season?
What about Marc Bergevin? His inactivity in the summer and so far this season has left the Canadiens short of the key talent they need. Is he content to stand pat and preach the fallacy of the St. Louis miracle?
Claude Julien is correct. The team is playing soft. He doesn’t have enough scoring and a strong defence to play a speed game. And he doesn’t have enough players with size and grit to play a grind game.
So they Canadiens have to be content with throwing a lot of pucks from the perimeter, hoping and praying that enough will find their way to the back of the net. It’s either that or handing a goaltender with a 3.33 goals against average and an .890 save percentage a first star award.
The Habs rollercoaster season continues.
Following the game, Otto Leskinen was returned to Laval while Lukas Vejdemo was recalled. The Canadiens will have a travel day on Sunday.
Plus / Minus
▲ Carey Price, Ryan Poehling, Joel Armia, Shea Weber
▼ Brendan Gallagher, Jeff Petry, Phillip Danault, Jordan Weal, Nick Suzuki, Max Domi