The first matches of the Canadian send messages disturbing
Photo: Adam Hunger / Associated Press
The Habs lost 2-0 to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday night.
Three games do not a season and players of the Montreal canadiens are very well placed to know after the events of the past two campaigns. But one thing is for sure : after his defeat 2-0 at the hands of the New York Rangers on Sunday night, the troupe of montreal is already spreading concern in many of the cottages of Quebec.
“We have done a lot of good things, but in the end, we had no victory and that is to find the way to score goals,” summary Claude Julien after a setback, which recalled the painful memories of the month of April and the elimination of the team in the hands of these same Rangers in the first round of the last series.
The first partial assessment of the season the Canadian is not very pink and back on the carpet in its eternal weaknesses offensive. After the first full week of the regular season, the Canadian has not held the advance during a single second of a match. Five-on-five, it has not recorded a goal, scored towards the end of the first period of the inaugural game on Thursday in Buffalo. It’s already starting to make a little bit of time.
If only the numerical advantage of the Canadian was able to benefit from its opportunities, the speech would probably be different. But montreal has been held in check in nine attempts and was limited to 15 shots. Of this total, four shots were recorded during the first opportunity of the season to Buffalo, and six in the second period of Saturday’s game against the Washington Capitals, when the team was looking to come back into the game after an awful first period.
That leaves a total of five shots during the deployment of the other seven superiorities of digital.
Fortunately for the impact she has got two goals in numerical inferiority, which is a Thursday, which has eventually pushed the match into extra time.
However, the Canadian release of the washers in the direction of the opposition’s net, as evidenced by his 113 shots. This poor efficiency percentage of 2.7 % leads to a big question : is it a mini-lethargy like all the teams of the national hockey League in live over a season of 82 games, from the simple bad luck temporary or a trend who is called to locate it again ?
Doubt the blue line
Moreover, despite the nice words of Marc Bergevin during the annual golf tournament of the Canadian — words that he has occasions in other fora since, the defensive team has not yet shown that it is better than that of last year. Especially at the level of the stimulus of the attack.
Weber knows of a departure suitable, all the more that he spends a lot of time with Victor Mete, a green rookie who continues to leave a favorable impression.
Jordie Benn, Mark Streit, Brandon Davidson are nothing more than fifth and sixth defenders, and have played as such last week.
David Schlemko and Joe Morrow has not participated in any of the three games for different reasons. The first is injured since mid-September and the second has nothing shown for the calendar preparatory. It remains Jeff Petry and newcomer Karl Alzner, who form a tandem from the early days of training camp, but they seem to be still trying to build a form of cohesion. The weekend has been difficult.
With a day off Monday, Julien has perhaps already begun a reflection on the composition of his trios. What to do to revive Alex Galchenyuk ? Should it deploy on the right flank, out of the wing, with Jonathan Drouin and Max Pacioretty ?
Is it that this privilege should be granted to Paul Byron, who probably deserves better than to play on a fourth trio after the harvest of 22 goals last year ?
It is not that Brendan Gallagher has been ineffective. The combative striker has been visible in the three games with seven shots on goal. But it does not cause sparks by doing nothing.
In addition, unless Bergevin does not move immediately and to obtain the reinforcement, the solutions will have to come from the inside. The last training camp has shown that the Rocket de Laval, in spite of its two wins of the weekend, is not able, for the moment, to troubleshoot the Habs.
Maybe Michael McCarron and Nikita Scherbak will eventually unlock, and Brett Lernout is going to gain the experience he needs to play at the blue line on a regular basis in the NHL. In the short term, the defender Jakub Jerabek could help, once he has demonstrated that he is used to the surfaces in north america.
The good news is that the Canadian found his castle in the time of two games, Tuesday and Saturday. The less good is that the visitors will be the Chicago black hawks and the Toronto Maple Leafs, two teams that know how to score goals. And lots of them.