1. Mike Condon let in a stinker
I appreciate that all Montreal goaltenders face immense pressure - add a lackluster offense to the mix and I'm sure there are games that might seem insurmountable. The truth is that despite the lack of offense to help him out, Condon just has to make saves on easy shots.
Too often he has let in a must-save and tonight was no exception. After a fluke goal by Dale Weise, the crowd was electric. A mere ten seconds later, Philadelphia tied the game. Unfortunately, when the offense isn't producing, the bulk of the pressure comes down to the net minder to win one. We have seen this time and time again with the Habs leaning on Price to steal a game.
I will say that Condon more than redeemed himself throughout the game and though it isn't Condon's fault that he has been thrust into this position, he simply can't let in that goal.
2. Quick response changes the momentum.
A ten second lead is pretty painful. The quick response by Philadelphia took the gas out of the Habs' tank and changed the momentum of the first period. As frustrating as that whole situation was, it can't set the tone for a full 20 minutes of play.
3. David Desharnais is not missed.
It has been pretty obvious that the lines simply look better without Desharnais dragging down our best players. Listen, Desharnais is a good player - but he belongs on the third line. It's just sad that it took a broken foot for Therrien not to utilize him the wrong way.
4. Trust the young kids more.
I still struggle with why this is such a difficult concept. I understand having faith in your veteran players, but Andrei Markov is not able to play the kinds of minutes that P.K. Subban can play. This has been proven a few times this season when we have been witness to Markov being absolutely gassed on a play, leading to turnovers and goals against. This is just one example, and I am certainly not trying to pick on Markov here, but youngsters like Nathan Beaulieu, and even Mark Barberio, have proven their worth - have a little more faith in them.
5. Poor starts continue to plague the Habs.
Sportlogiq tweeted out the scoring chances for the Habs over the first 20 minutes of the game. Shots on goal were 14-10 in favour of Philadelphia. Scoring chances were 7-1 in favour of Phildelphia. Ouch.
The Habs are notorious for their poor starts and mounting comebacks in the third period (okay, maybe not so much this season, but still). But here's an idea, have a little more consistency in your offence/ creating those high danger shots if you want to maintain a lead and not continuously fight back each game.
Scoring chances after 20 minutes are 7-1 in favour of the @NHLFlyers. pic.twitter.com/PVQJvfZL85— Sportlogiq (@Sportlogiq) February 20, 2016
6. Be creative.
We have a team brimming with creative players who see the ice better than most. Max Pacioretty, Alex Galchenyuk, and Subban are just a few players who thrive on offensive freedom. Give them some.
A dump and chase style of game isn't using our players' talents to the best of their ability. If the coaching staff doesn't give the athletes the best opportunities to succeed, how can the coaching staff possibly expect the best results.
7. P.K. Subban is a beast.
I know I really don't need to elaborate on this, do I?
8. Lars Eller continues to show why he is an important piece of this team.
In only their second game together this season, Eller and Pacioretty continued to have great chemistry, creating solid opportunities. Eller has often been used as a defensively responsible centre, but teaming him up with Pacioretty has showcased his offensive ability. I can't say with any level of certainty that these two will remain line mates, but I think there is some great potential there.
9. Dale Weise got a fluke goal so naturally he was promoted with the game on the line.
I love Weise. Weise, much like Desharnais however, does not belong on the first line - which is right where he ended up in the third period.
10. Every point matters.
The odds of making the playoffs are dwindling, but there's still the slightest bit of hope. I want this team to cling to that hope until the very end.