Tomas Tatar – Phillip Danault – Ilya Kovalchuk
Artturi Lehkonen – Max Domi – Nick Suzuki
Ryan Poehling – Jesperi Kotkaniemi – Nick Cousins
Lukas Vejdemo – Nate Thompson – Dale Weise
Ben Chiarot – Shea Weber
Marco Scandella – Jeff Petry
Victor Mete – Brett Kulak
Carey Price – Charlie Lindgren
Jordan Weal, Cale Fleury
Paul Byron, Jonathan Drouin, Matthew Peca, Joel Armia, Brendan Gallagher
Have the Canadiens hit rock bottom yet? After dropping their third game of the season to the league’s worst team, Montreal is now in the midst of a seven-game losing streak.
Does this feel worse than the eight-game losing streak in November or is it finally sinking in that this team is on their way to missing the playoffs for the fourth time in five years?
The players are saying all the right things: ‘one game at a time’, ‘focus on the next game’, ‘we believe in each other.’
The coach believes that the players will get tired of losing and will break out of this funk saying, “When you get tired of losing enough you do something about it. Hopefully we’re there.”
I have no doubt that each player in the dressing room hates losing. And each of them would love to do something to will a win. But there is also the sense that they are able to read the writing on the wall.
Coming into the game, the Canadiens had just an eight percent chance of making the playoffs. And it didn’t get better with the loss. The Habs are on track for about 86 points, that is a 10-point drop from last season.
The general manager has essentially said that the players are on their own. The head coach likes to punish young players and favors journeyman veterans. The owner seems rather satisfied with the whole production.
So where is the good part, you ask? Where is the hope?
The Canadiens hope for the future is obviously in the young talent in the organization. But the GM has a failing record with transitioning young prospects to the NHL and the coach has a love-hate relationship with prospects.
So, do fans, advocate tearing it all down, trading away vets and going full rebuild with the same folks at the helm? That strikes me a sheer lunacy. The current regime has not demonstrated that they have an effective plan not the ability to execute a plan. It’s time for change starting at the top.
Tonight, Montreal scored while shorthanded, scored on the power-play and even got some puck luck on their third goal. But 5-on-5, the Habs were outplayed by the worst team in the NHL. Detroit had more high-danger scoring chances to the tune of 12-8.
That should never happen.
The Canadiens shouldn’t be playing with such a slim margin over bottom feeders. They shouldn’t be in the position that a mistake or two means a certain loss.
Part of the issue is roster construction, of that there is no debate. But it is also personnel choices and that’s where coaching has failed.
No other organization would put up with this level of futility without action. It is far past the time for Montreal to make major changes.
Plus / Minus
▲ Charlie Lindgren, Artturi Lehkonen
▼ Ben Chiarot, Brett Kulak, Victor Mete, Nick Cousins, Nate Thompson, Phillip Danault