With news of a Habs’ trade with Tampa breaking right as the game began, and the All-Star break awaiting all but Carey Price, Shea Weber, and John Tavares, the Canadiens faced off against the Islanders in what was perhaps their worst game of the season.
Tavares got a shot off almost immediately after the opening faceoff, and the Islanders got a few more chances.
Shots went 6-1 in favour of the Islanders through the first five minutes, and 10-2 in their favour through the first ten. Fortunately, Carey Price looked very much more like the Carey Price we’re used to seeing, and the Habs even killed off an Islanders’ power play.
However, with 6:53 left to play in the first, New York finally capitalized on all their shots and zone time, and Andrew Ladd made it 1-0. The rest of the period continued more or less along the same lines, and the Habs escaped to the dressing room, outshot 14-4.
The second period began with far more of a jump from the Habs, but they continued to have trouble playing like a cohesive unit, and continued to surrender shots against.
Max Pacioretty had a really good chance just past the half-way mark, but that was probably the best chance the Habs got in the period.
Ladd nearly had his second of the game just a few minutes later, and it was pretty much only the play of Price that kept it a 1-0 game.
With just under six minutes left to go, Artturi Lehkonen was pulled down in front of the net, and the Habs went to the power play. Thanks to some chaos around the net, Shea Weber was given a completely clear lane to shoot, and his slapshot made it a 1-1 game.
After 40, shots were 30-13 for the Islanders, but thanks to Weber and Price, the Habs were in a much better position than their play deserved.
The Islanders came back in the third, and Price made several more key saves. Weber took a penalty just 1:41 in, but thanks to a quick swipe by Nathan Beaulieu, a clear by Brian Flynn, and a post, the Habs held on — barely.
Paul Byron and Adam Pelech drew matching minors, and at 7:20 Andrew Ladd got his second of the game on an incredible shot. A few minutes later, the Habs had some offensive zone time, but were unable to take advantage of some sloppy Islanders defense. Around the same time, Therrien broke out the blender, this time, switching up his defensemen on nearly every shift for a stretch.
Andrew Shaw took a badly timed penalty, and the Islanders went up 3-1 off of the faceoff with 4:47 to go. Somehow, shortly thereafter, Shaw drew a roughing penalty after a kerfuffle with Anders Lee, and the Habs went to the power play. Therrien electing to pull Price to skate 6-4. Unfortunately, though perhaps not surprisingly, the Habs were unable to come up with anything, and the Islanders took the game 3-1.
- The Islanders ran the game from start to close, looking just that much more engaged throughout.
- The good news is Carey Price looked like top-of-his-game Carey Price.
- The bad news is that just about everyone else looked absolutely awful.
- The Andrighetto-Plekanec-Lehkonen line was probably the Habs’ best line of the game, getting some of the team’s best looks, Lehkonen getting a team leading five of the Canadiens’ 22 shots.
- Hopefully the All-Star break will give the team time to rest and regroup, and come back far more focused than they were tonight.