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The fight in the Montreal Canadiens is what makes their recent slide frustrating

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Another loss that proves how good this team can be.

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

When the score became 3-0 for the Colorado Avalanche against the Montreal Canadiens it could have been lights out. They could have folded. Instead, they made a game of it.

It’s what makes this team so frustrating. This team isn’t perfect. They have flaws, evidenced by the fact they choose to play four and a half defencemen despite dressing six. But when people look at the team’s slide and get frustrated it’s because they have shown how good they can be. It would be easier if Thursday’s game ended 4-0 or 5-0.

There’s no reason for them to have the slide in November against teams they are better than. There’s no reason for them to go down 3-0 and then being dominant in the third period.

Sure score effects are a factor, but the game became close early in the third period. The Avalanche have the best goal prevention of any team in the third period.

This Canadiens team — injuries and flaws and all — took it to a very good Avalanche team. If it wasn’t for miraculous play from Pavel Francouz, they would have salvaged at least a point.

It was also a team that was looking to play for themselves, and their coach. Marc Bergevin is set to meet the team Friday in New York. If they had folded against the Avalanche, it would not be hard to imagine a change behind the bench coming after Friday’s game, win or lose. Brendan Gallagher’s reaction to his goal to make it 3-1 shows that he’s frustrated as well.

If the slide continues, changes will be coming whether it’s behind the bench, in the boardroom or to the roster. That much is clear. When the Canadiens are on, they’re quite good. There’s no reason that they should be losing as much as they have been. It’s evident they have it in them.

They say the difference between good and great is consistency. The Canadiens should take that to heart. Good will not be enough.