- With this game over, for what it's worth, here's the line after two periods:
- 6-2. Yeah. We're stepping out now. Except that this kind of loss would almost certainly result in coach firings on a normal hockey team. But this is no normal hockey team. This is the Montreal Dysfunctional Canadiens.
- Habs and Coyotes after 20 minutes, Canadiens CF (5v5) is 52.7%. Not really reflective of what we saw on-ice.
- Habs first powerplay, Desharnais sent out the first unit. It goes nowhere, of course. That's 35 straight games and counting, DD hasn't scored a point on the man advantage. First unit or otherwise.
- Alexei Emelin is a tire fire tonight, and yes, all tire fires out there are fully entitled to be insulted by that. Positioning in his own zone, he's all over the place. It's as though he's learning how to play hockey.
- Pateryn is tossed from the game for a cross-check. Hoo boy. Now the Habs down to four defensman, one of them being Emelin. We're hooped.
- 4 on 4, more soft and confused Habs defence, Richardson completely alone in front of Condon, who belly flops and gives Richardson an easy tuck-in. 3-1 Arizona.
- Coyotes donate a goal back, courtesy Dominuge off a weak Gallagher shot that goes right between his legs. Habs undeservedly down just one goal.
- Yeah. Coyotes with two quick goals, Edman-Larsson with a simple wrister that Condon completely whiffs on. Habs defence react accordingly, by simply giving up. Gonnauton makes it 5-2. Canadiens have simply given up. Usually when that happens, the coach is first to go. But with this team ...
- What to say? The team has given up. Playing out the string. Getting spanked by the 56 point Coyotes tonight. Across the board failure - mainly defence and goaltending. Same was it was against the Sabres. Onward and downward.
- If there is vengeful justice in this world, Tinordi tonight with 2 goals and 2 assists. Hockey gods, are ye listening?
- Anders Lindback, who's the backup for Domingue, was hurt before the warmup. Meaning, the 'Yotes are now forced to suit up the guy who back ups the guy who back ups the guy who normally back ups Arizona's starting netminder. Got it?
- Oh yeah. It's Nathan Schoenfeld who's been called in at the last minute.
- Yay. Another wonderful start. Lost faceoff deep in the zone (Mitchell), shot is tipped in by Hanzal off a 60 footer. Habs 4th line not very well structured (running around), Habs do a poor job clearing the crease (Emelin, to be specific, of course). 1-0 Arizona.
- Let's give credit where credit is due. De La Rose got the call, and he delivers, with beautiful puck control and an outstanding pass to Weise in front of the net, for a tap-in goal. Game tied.
- Alexei Emelin, who for some mysterious reason is out on the PK unit, in la-la land off a point shot that's juggled by Condon, Duclair eventually burying a rebound shot and it's 2-1. Scratching Barberio. Great call, coach.
- The vastly overplayed and almost certainly exhausted Andrei Markov gets caught out of position, and Subban is forced to take a penalty to save a goal.
- Arizona lays an egg with their powerplay, whether that will generate some positive momentum for this Habs team in the 2nd period, who knows? Anyway, this 56 point Arizona team pretty much two steps ahead of their opponent tonight, the Habs with some exceptionally shoddy defence, mostly it being in the form of Alexei Emelin. Two more period to suffer through.
HEY WE GET TO PLAY THIS GUY TONIGHT! OH RIGHT. WE GAVE AWAY A GOOD YOUNG DEFENSEMAN TO GET HIM
Hey Jarrad Tinordi! Remember him? Remember how he couldn't get his healthy body into the Habs lineup this season, save for 3 lousy starts? Hey, guess what? He's fitting in well with his new team in Arizona, which is pretty much wonderful news for a good guy like Tinordi, good news for the upstart Coyotes, and yet another piece of lousy news for the team that essentially just gave him away.
Sadly, the player who the Habs traded for, John Scott, won't be in the lineup tonight. He's camped out in boonies of Newfoundland, likely for the rest of his professional career.
So Scott won't play tonight. Who else isn't playing? Well, Devante Smith-Pelly isn't playing, which has gone over the edge of a Newfoundland rigger like a five tonne cod. It's a real shame that Devante is upset about this. I hope it doesn't affect his play next year in St. John's, or somewhere in Russia, or maybe even the Kazakhstan Hockey League.
With Smith-Pelly out, Jacob De La Rose gets a start tonight. So I guess that's something.
Over on defence, Michael Therrien appears set on shaking up the blue line, which means of course, healthy scratches that don't include Alexei Emelin, but instead, will be Mark Barberio, who's been one of the Habs better defenders the past month. Oh well. On the upside, Nathan Beaulieu will get a start tonight, because he's apparently now sitting 7th on the totem pole.
Is there anything else noteworthy relating to the Canadiens? Other than they're 9 points out a playoff spot, and will probably need to win least 17 of their remaining 26 games, which is a near impossibility? Nope. Same old lineup, same old combinations (apart from the scratches).
What's up with the Coyotes? They're having a fine season, given that most assumed they'd finish near or at the very bottom of the Western Conference this season. Dave Tippett, who is arguably the most underrated coach in the League, has found various ways to help his team maximize their potential, even with a somewhat limited roster. Arizona will be playing their 3rd game in 4 nights tonight, which means the Habs might have the advantage of rested legs.
Or maybe not? Veteran winger Shane Doan has been on a tear of late, with 2 goals and 8 points in his past 5 games. In addition to Doan, Arizona has been aided by a pretty decent powerplay, rated in the League's 10 ten. Weak spot? Their penalty kill. Almost ranked near the bottom of the League in efficiency. Which on any given night, would be bad. But tonight, they're taking on the Habs, so their short-handed unit probably shouldn't have much difficulty taking care of David Desharnais fruitlessly doing nothing with the puck.
In nets - it'll be Mike Condon for the Habs (his name was drawn from a hat yesterday, I'm guessing), against
Puck drops at 9:10 EST.