Habs Bedevilled In Jersey

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I'm starting to think that it is pure fate. Each time the Canadiens put a little victory string together, tease us with some solid all around games, the bottom falls out. Losses rarely seem catastrophic, but are just dismal enough to slash through promise.

It's like the brain gets stuck between "they'll win the next one" and "what the hell can go wrong next?"

So the Canadiens last night, did the minimum number of good thing last night to be in a game for 58 minutes. In fairness, they were far from horrendous, quite honestly. But maybe it is just the way this season is meant to be, because with just a few minutes left on the clock, there was more of a sense of looming doom than there were prospects of overtime heroics.

Discipline again, ate away at good intentions early into the game. Four first period penalties - a bench minor and a delay of game call to Carey Price included - gave the Canadiens penalty killers ample icetime to flex their muscle.

Fortunately, this not only didn't knock the wind out of their sails in this game, it actually helped in providing a lead, as PK stud Travis Moen backhanded a softie past Martin Brodeur than could have been stopped by Terry Sawchuk's ashes. 99 times out of a 100, Brodeur makes that save.

After 20 minutes the shots are 8-7 Devils, the score 1-0 Montreal, and I'm counting horseshoes and rabbit ears. The Devils aren't on their game it seems and the Canadiens are playing hungry at times.

A win in Jersey, such as this one in Jersey in 2008, could really boost this team, but hell's pitchfork found a way to do the Habs in once again, coming in the form of the weirdest goal I've seen scored on a Canadiens goalie in ages.

 

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Some fifth stringer Finn with too many "K's" and vowels in his surname beat Price over the head actually, with a shot whose trajectory couldn't be tracked by the goalie. It's my guess only that defenseman Marc - Andre Bergeron's stick helped the shot to flutter, as it wasn't obviously apparent why it turned into a knuckle ball. The shot came in at Price arms length over his head and Price went to trap it with his catching mit with his arm forming a 210 degree arc from left to right. In visual terms, his left hand looked to be behind the right side of his head when the puck bounced off, hit the corner cross bar, then the back of his leg, all the while Price having of idea of its whereabouts as his skate heel pushed it past the red line.

What damned luck!

A strange goal that remended me a bit that one playoff goal Brodeur surrendered that caromed in off his dropped stick and through his legs a few years back.

My first thoughts, other than crying, were of the goalie's mit I put on my hand a few weeks back at the Bell in the event of a Habs used equipement sale.

If you haven't had the chance, put a modern goalie glove on some day. I don't know how a goalie is supposed to catch a puck with such a bulky contraption. The things seem to weigh about 15 pounds and are more designed to protect the wrist, palm and backside of a hand than it is to catch a puck. The padding is chunky in places inside the mit itself, as if to ensure that a puck caught at high speeds is not dropped from a closed hand. But of course, the makers might not have created it with the intention of goalies catching bloopers behind their heads at weird angles.

The goal didn't sap the Habs, but it did give some momentum to Jersey with about four minutes left in the second period. Price had played well to that point and afterwards as well, but the Canadiens began being outmanned and outchanced.

The third period was all Devils, as they limited the Canadiens to three measley shots. With less than three minutes, Bergeron and his mates were caught up ice, giving Patrick Elias a clean path to Price, who made the first save but couldn't prevent the second as it was lifted over him as he sprawled.

The Canadiens may have lost Roman Hamrlik in the process, who injured himself in a fall as his feet were caught up in Price's pads.

A strong game, I felt, was played by Scott Gomez, who battled hard and more often in places that he's rarely seen doing so. It was a strong effort by him on a night when the Devils tossed a blanket over Tomas Plekanec and Mike Cammalleri.

In the end, it all feels so despairing, as the Canadiens, while hardly being able to do enough to win, did just enough to lose by the skin of their teeth. Against the Devils in Jersey, this could be encouraging, but I just can't find that type of hopeful notion so easily anymore.

About Last Night...

Lions In Winter

Canadiens vs Devils boxscore

In Lou We Trust

I'm starting to think that it is pure fate. Each time the Canadiens put a little victory string together, tease us with some solid all around games, the bottom falls out. Losses rarely seem catastrophic, but are just dismal enough to slash through promise.

It's like the brain gets stuck between "they'll win the next one" and "what the hell can go wrong next?"

So the Canadiens last night, did the minimum number of good thing last night to be in a game for 58 minutes. In fairness, they were far from horrendous, quite honestly. But maybe it is just the way this season is meant to be, because with just a few minutes left on the clock, there was more of a sense of looming doom than there were prospects of overtime heroics.

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