Game 44, Home Game 22 | Thursday January 14, 2016 
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC.

CANADIENS
Montreal

teamlogo_canadiens

1-2

BLACKHAWKS
Chicago

(Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)

Lineup

Forward lines and defense pairings: 

Pacioretty – Plekanec – Gallagher
Eller – Galchenyuk – Andrighetto
Fleischmann – Desharnais – Byron
Carr – Mitchell – Flynn

Markov- Subban
Beaulieu – Pateryn
Barberio – Emelin

Goaltenders:

Condon
Scrivens

Scratches:  Jarred Tinordi, Devante Smith-Pelly, Jeff Petry
Injured reserve:  Carey Price, Tom Gilbert, Dale Weise

Game Report

After a rough start, the Canadiens played well going toe-to-toe with the reigning Stanley Cup winner only to come up short. After giving up a bad angle goal to Ryan Garbutt in the first period, Mike Condon was strong the rest of the way. The Habs deserved a better fate.

With the cliche-filled synopsis out of the way, let’s look at something more genuine. Because while all of the above is true, at no time in this game did it feel like the Canadiens were going to pull out a win.  Bell Centre fans were restless throughout as the Habs struggled to find their game, but that feeling didn’t disappear even when they turned up the effort level in the third period.

Put simply, the home team couldn’t afford to go into a game unprepared against the Hawks, who were riding an eight-game winning streak. Add to that, Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford who was salivating at the prospect of playing the team of his birthplace. It is particularly unacceptable given that the coaching staff had all week to practice and game plan to get ready for the Blackhawks.

The Canadiens rebounded after the first period intermission developing momentum throughout the second period. Was a third period comeback possible? Not so fast.

Cue Michel Therrien who promptly dismantled the lines. Yes, including Alex Galchenyuk, Lars Eller and Sven Andrighetto who had looked strong all game. And you won’t be surprised to know that David Desharnais’ had just under five minutes more ice time than Lars Eller.

Still wondering why the Habs can’t score?

Has Marc Bergevin done enough to stock the roster with top-6 talent? No, that is clear. But there is no debate that Therrien has not gotten the best out of the players in his lineup.

The Canadiens head to St. Louis for a date against the Blues on Saturday.

~~~

▲    Mike Condon, Lars Eller, Alexei Emelin, Paul Byron, P.K. Subban, Andrei Markov

▼    Nathan Beaulieu, Brendan Gallagher

 Statistics 
CANADIENS BLACKHAWKS
40 Shots 33
0 for 1 Power Play 0 for 1
44% Face-offs 56%
2 Penalty Minutes 2
22 Hits 13
68 Corsi For 52
 Scoring
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens (23-17-3) 1 0 0 1
 Blackhawks (20-16-5) 2 0 0 2
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL: Byron (8)
  • CHI: Toews (17), Garbutt (2)
  • MTL: Condon (L) 12-11-3
  • CHI: Crawford (W)  25-10-2
 NHL Three Stars
NHL3stars
  1. Corey Crawford  CHI
  2. Alexei Emelin  MTL
  3. Paul Byron  MTL

 Video Highlights 

 Post-game Press Conference
Coach Michel Therrien
186237429_slide

  • “The effort was there. We got lots of pucks to the net, lots of chances, but Crawford was very good.”

Max Pacioretty

  • “My job is to score goals and the last two games I haven’t and our team has needed it. I’m sure a lot of guys feel the same way.
  • On Quenneville: “A good coach recognizes what kind of players he has. The coach and players on that team match up perfectly together.”

Tomas Plekanec

  • “You have to stay positive as much as you can. It’s never been easy. I’ve been in the League for so long and it’s never been easy, not even one year was easy, and we’ve got to find a way.”
  • “I had an open net and you want to put it in so badly and you miss it. That’s exactly what happens when you can’t put them in. You’ve got to fight through it. You’ve got to find a way.”

Paul Byron

  • “[Corey Crawford] is a Cup-winning goalie. He does the job when the game’s on the line and he steps up in big times, and that was a big save for their team. It seems like a lot of games, a bounce here or a bounce there can change the momentum in our favor, but we’re just not getting them.”

Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford

  • “It’ll never get old. It’s always fun. I used to come here with my buddies to watch games. Now having family and friends come to watch me play here now is pretty special, and that’ll never change.”

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville

  • “It was a good win for us,”  said. “Corey was spectacular tonight. He was solid. I still liked the way we played throughout the game. I feel very fortunate and honored to be in some great company over the years. It happened fast and quick (becoming the second-winningest coach in NHL history) but I feel very fortunate.”

Quotes courtesy of NHL.com

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