The Montreal Canadiens entered this week on a surprising streak of three straight games undefeated in regulation. That streak belied some significant problems with the team’s structure, as it saw them also giving up a lot of shots and relying heavily on standout goaltending performances.
When they didn’t get such a goaltending performance on Monday night, they were ran out of the building by the Minnesota Wild.
After the game, the talking points were similar to things we’ve heard before. When asked what to do with a game like that, Dominique Ducharme responded in a manner very similar to what Josh Anderson had said earlier in the press conference.
“We’ll put this one in the garbage. They were faster than us, better than us, they were on all the pucks in all aspects of the game.”--Dom Ducharme— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) January 25, 2022
It is frustratingly curious to me that the desire to throw that effort in the garbage wasn’t expressed after the previous three games. They were outshot and outplayed just as badly or worse in all three, and the only reason those games were close was thanks to some otherworldly goaltending.
If Ducharme is willing to spare those three games from the trash heap, it suggests that he has no desire to change anything about this team’s system. He legitimately believes that they just need to be better at what they’re already doing, despite that system requiring elite goaltending to keep games competitive, or at least avoid embarrassing losses.
Overreliance on goaltending has been the downfall of the Canadiens for too long. If you have a coach that is unwilling or unable to develop a system that can buck that trend, he can’t possibly be allowed to continue coaching the team as heading into a rebuild. I’d believe that he was interested in doing so if he talked about the defensive zone coverage, or the poor transitional game, but instead he just wants to forget that game even happened.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, right? In hockey, there is always a possibility of that different result, so you need someone at the helm who can at least see why that is.
Eh ben. Click the play button below to listen to the full Bottom Six Minutes, which is also available through your preferred podcast platform. Not to fear, we still have half a season to get through, and another episode will be live after Thursday night’s return to the Bell Centre against the Anaheim Ducks.