Hello, denizens of the valley of misery that is Montreal Canadiens fandom. It’s me, your resident broken record. After watching the team’s latest drubbing on home ice, this time at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets, I find myself once again longing for something I’ve talked about repeatedly on the Bottom Six Minutes podcast.
I find myself desperately wanting the Canadiens to replace their head coach.
Against Columbus, the goaltending was bad, so let’s get that out of the way up front. It could easily be considered the main reason that they lost on Sunday, as it wasn’t the best night for either goaltender.
Particularly not for Samuel Montembeault, who was chased from the net within the first 20 minutes due to goals like this.
I think Montembeault wants this one back, but it's a hell of a shot from Patrik Laine... pic.twitter.com/jyhlHp1Qmd— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) January 31, 2022
And of the more egregious variety like this...
This one, Sam Montembeault definitely wants back... pic.twitter.com/eTPnXjVuWi— Matt Drake (@DrakeMT) January 31, 2022
It is fair to point at goaltending with this result, as they definitely didn’t give you the best chance to win. A couple of key saves could have changed that game entirely, so of course there will be a desire to blame the netminders.
But to do so belies a greater problem with the Canadiens. In all situations, the Blue Jackets out-attempted the Canadiens 71-52. Scoring chances were 36-26 in favour of those same Blue Jackets. High-danger chances were 17-9, again in favour of the Blue Jackets. Expected goals? Well, according to Natural Stat Trick, a score of 5.08-2.26 would be expected, you guessed it, in favour of the Blue Jackets.
What would you realistically expect a goaltender to do with this? Carey Price at the top of his game can probably turn it into two points at times, but he’s not available. The problem with these Canadiens is that they need him standing on his head to win these games. It has been the problem for the better part of a decade.
They need to get away from that, and Dominique Ducharme has not proven himself capable of doing so. This bye week provides a perfect opportunity for the team to make a change, and I truly hope they take it.
Ehhhhh ben. Click the play button below to listen to your full Bottom Six Minutes, which is also available on all platforms. It’s bye week time, so you’ll get at least until February 8 before having to listen to my broken record again. Until next time!