Saturday, January 21, 2012
A Familiar Refrain
One-two-three, Habs take the lead.
Four-five-six, their opponents tie it late.
Seven-eight-nine, nothing in overtime.
Ten-eleven-twelve, Habs in shootout hell.
Scotty Gomez getting rubbed out along the boards. He's good at that.
Peter Budaj made the start in Pittsburgh last night and even with two separate two goal leads, the result was the same. The Penguins tied the game with less than 3 minutes left and we could all predict the final result from there.
I for one was hoping the team would press hard in the five minute OT period to do anything to avoid going to a shootout.
Another shorthanded goal allowed, another lead in a game the team should have won, another shootout loss. Another lost opportunity.
In a week of games where the Habs couldn't afford to end with less than four points out of a possible six, the Habs have one point in four as they prepare for their game against the Leafs here in Toronto tonight.
I'm not sure if I understand Coach Cunneyworth's shootout lineup which is seemingly adding to the problem. Just go with our strongest players: Pacioretty-Cole-Plekanec. Done. Live by the sword, die by the sword. Fine substitute with Desharnais or Kostitsyn, but don't deviate. We're going to win with our best players. The Canadiens just can't seem to score on the shootout. Desharnais made a nice move a la Mats Naslund but Fleury made the save. Kostitsyn broke his stick as he was about to shoot -- pretty much sums up the season so far. And Scott Gomez? A guy who hasn't scored in almost a year? He couldn't touch the twine. Websites are even popping up waiting to celebrate the anniversary of his last goal on February 5, 2011. Yippee! The countdown is on.
The Canadiens got goals from Lars Eller, Cole, Pacioretty and Kostitsyn on the powerplay. Earlier that day, I told two different people how I thought the Canadiens needed to station someone in the high slot on the powerplay -- a spot that was often manned by Andrei K. in the past. And where did he score his goal from? The high slot.
Coach Cunneyworth, call me. No excuses because you're in town -- it won't even be long-distance.