The Canadiens REALLY needed a win.
And they came close to getting one.
The best scoring chance in overtime had Tuukka Rask flopping helplessly in front of the Boston net while the puck was on the stick of …
Need more be said?
And then, in the fourth round of the shootout, the Boston shooter was Brad Marchand.
Need more be said?
The Canadiens needed more than a loser’s point in this game.
Tumbling rapidly out of playoff contention, they needed to set the tone for three games this week against the high-flying Bruins.
And they did, for several stretches of the game.
The Canadiens bounced back from a 2-1 deficit and a potentially demoralizing injury to Phillip Danault to battle Boston fairly evenly.
There were stretches when the Canadiens’ speed bedevilled the Bruins in their own zone. But Rask made big saves.
As did Carey Price. And the Canadiens’ goaltender faced the greater challenge.
From the blueline out, Boston has become a really good hockey team. They’re a deft mixture of veterans and blue-chip kids who will make Boston — which missed the playoffs last season — a contender for years to come.
So props to the Canadiens for giving the visitors a tough game that Boston was lucky to win.
And credit the Canadiens for bouncing back from the chilling effect of Phillip Danault’s injury to play a decent third period and an outstanding OT.
If the puck had been on the stick of anyone but No. 14 …
Well, No. 92 probably wouldn’t have scored, either. Centring Alex Galchenyuk, who played a strong game, and Charles Hudon, Jonathan Drouin had yet another tough outing: One shot on goal. Four faceoffs won and 11 lost. Little to no chemistry with his two skilled linemates.
For a harsh, with gusts to brutal, assessment of Drouin’s play, I turn the floor over to the indefatigable Maroons:
Love Drouin play on the Bruin exit, back off, don’t challenge, let the weak play through his feet for a glorious chance on Price
This is a pattern: F*** the effort, sacrifice teammates
And from my man burnedprof:drouin vs bergeron faceoff is one those sports cliches. there are only two times you don’t want it to happen: when you’re at home and when you’re on the road. Still a classic and it’s worse that it’s true. But let’s be fair: Jonathan Drouin isn’t the reason the Canadiens lost the game. They lost to a talented, well-coached and highly disciplined team that in almost no way resembles the Big Bad Bruins of yesteryear. As is the case everywhere in the NHL, it’s all about speed, skill and good drafting in Boston. Marc Bergevin: Take note. • • • Meanwhile, in Laval …