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Canadiens vs Sharks Game Recap: The Habs lose, and it wasn't even close

If there was still hope for a post-deadline playoff run, the Sharks did their best to put an end to it.

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

A mostly quiet NHL trade deadline day came and went, and it was back to business for the Montreal Canadiens, on the road to face the Sharks in San Jose. Coming off two consecutive wins, they find themselves in a position where a miracle run at the playoffs isn't impossible, though it remains improbable.


Image Credit: HockeyStats.ca

And if there was still hope that they could accomplish the improbable, it would be dashed rather quickly. The Sharks were able to sustain a great amount of offensive zone pressure, and it would pay off under four minutes in. Joe Thornton, left all alone in front of the net, grabbed a deflected puck and beat a sprawling Mike Condon to open the scoring.

But just two minutes after that, Brendan Gallagher would provide a miracle. He, Tomas Plekanec, and Max Pacioretty were actually able to sustain some pressure of their own. Gallagher had the puck near the corner, and threw what looked like a pass to Plekanec out front. It took a weird bounce, and all of a sudden the game was tied.

But San Jose just kept on pressing, and it seemed clear that they were the superior side. While Condon did the best he could, and made several saves, there was nothing he could do when Joe Pavelski took a cross-ice pass in the high slot, and wired it home to regain the lead.

From that point on, it was all Sharks, really. Alex Galchenyuk came close to tying the game, but the only other real highlight was Pacioretty obliterating Justin Braun.

Unfortunately things just kept getting worse. Joe Thornton found Brent Burns streaking in on the right wing early in the second, and the bearded wonder made no mistake beating Mike Condon to make it 3-1. It was Thornton's third point of the night, and it felt like the Habs were done for.

But yet another fluke goal would benefit the Canadiens to keep them in the game. Torrey Mitchell took a swipe at a puck fluttering in the air near the Sharks net, and it fooled Martin Jones to make the score 3-2, giving the Habs some life. Phillip Danault got his first point as a Hab on the goal.

Surprisingly, Montreal pushed for an equalizer towards the end of the period. If not for a very nice late save by Jones on Plekanec, they very well could have been headed into the third with a tie game. Alas, the Habs would have to try and complete a comeback in the final frame.

But the Sharks weren't going to sit back and allow that to happen. Chris Tierney threw a great saucer pass out front from the corner, Victor Bartley blew his coverage on Melker Karlsson, and the latter blew it past Mike Condon to make it 4-2. Just under three minutes into the period, the comeback effort seemed a futile one.

And if the comeback effort was dashed by the Karlsson goal, it was all but ended a few short minutes later. Nick Spaling jumped on a rebound in front of the Habs net, and easily deposited it behind Condon to make it 5-2.

Joe Pavelski would add one more goal, but his team would mercifully allow the bleeding to stop there, as the Canadiens lost by a final score of 6-2.

Thoughts

  • The Canadiens struggled so hard to break out of their zone that it was painful to watch. I'd love to sit here and blame it on all of the injuries, but the harsh reality is that the breakout has been pretty bad all season. It was particularly bad against the Sharks, and if Condon didn't bail them out, the score could have been much worse.
  • It was an absolute laugher in every sense of the word. The Canadiens were outshot 36-23, out-attempted 67-55, and get ready for the shocker; they lost 6-2. The only way you win a game like that is if god-mode Carey Price is in the building, and just typing that makes me want to cry a little.
  • Only the Pacioretty-Plekanec-Gallagher, and the Galchenyuk-Eller-Andrighetto lines kept their heads above water in the possession game. The Sharks ran roughshod over the rest of the lineup, and it wasn't pretty.
  • I truly hope that the coaching staff sees fit to give Morgan Ellis a shot in the lineup over Victor Bartley soon. The latter totally blew his coverage on the fourth sharks goal, and was a rather unflattering 29.63% CF at even-strength. He wasn't the only bad player by any means, but it is time to see what they really have in Ellis.
  • Allow me to beat a dead horse for a moment. Marc Bergevin said that the remaining 20 games would be very important for him in making his evaluations. Does anyone really need 20 more games to see that a coaching change is needed? The system is broken, bring in someone who can try to fix it.
  • That last bullet is a pipe dream and I know it, so I'd have one other request that is perhaps more reasonable. Call up as many of the young players you can get on the roster, at the expense of anyone who isn't potentially part of the long term plan, and give them a real audition. It can't hurt, it can only give a better look at the future.
And the schedule ahead doesn't exactly soften for the Canadiens either. Their Western road swing takes them to Anaheim on Wednesday, and then straight to Los Angeles on Thursday. Perhaps a great start to a final stretch of tanking.