FINAL | Game 69, Away Game 35 | Monday March 12, 2018 
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH.





(AP Photo / Jay LaPrete)


Forward lines and defense pairings 

Byron – Drouin – Gallagher
Galchenyuk – De La Rose – Hudon
Lehkonen – Scherbak – A. Shaw
Deslauriers – L. Shaw – Carr

Reilly – Petry
Alzner – Juulsen
Benn – Lernout




Byron Froese


Ales Hemsky – concussion, Shea Weber – lower-body, Carey Price – concussion, Victor Mete – hand, Max Pacioretty – lower-body, David Schlemko – undisclosed, Rinat Valiev – lower-body, Phillip Danault – upper body

Game Report 

The Columbus Blue Jackets are 29th in the league on the power-play at a woeful 15.3 percent success rate. But facing the Canadiens, that conversion jumped to over 66 percent, scoring twice on three opportunities.

Montreal has the worst road penalty-kill percentage in the NHL at 68.0. Montreal has given up 40 short-handed goals this season.

But, given that the Canadiens sit at 27th-place in the league, it’s to be expected, right? Then why have bottom-dwelling Edmonton and Arizona allowed just 14 and 15 goals respectively while short-handed on the road.

Where would the Canadiens be in the standings with 25 fewer goals allowed on the road?

The penalty-kill, even more than the power-play, is teachable. Good coaching and systems can offset talent. In this regard, Claude Julien and J.J. Daigneault have been abject failures.

So when asked to explain his poor penalty-kill record on the road, coach Julien pointed the finger at his young goaltender with 16 NHL starts. Julien said that “your best penalty-killer can also be your goaltender” and “Lindy had a bit of a tough night.”

It was a cowardly response from the coach not willing to take responsibility for his own mess. Sadly, Julien wasn’t asked to explain why the penalty-kill has been horrendous in all the other games not started by No. 39.

It is a pattern of behaviour from the coach and general manager that has been prevalent since the beginning of the season. It is yet more evidence that the Canadiens are terrible when it comes to creating conditions for the successful transition of its prospects.

Not to be outdone, the Montreal media wasted no time pouncing on a difficult night for Habs prospect Jacob De La Rose. The tweets flowed railing on De La Rose for his minus-3 rating in the game. Oddly, there was no mention on social media of Charles Hudon, who was also a minus-3.

The dinosaur over at the Gazette wrote, “De La Rose is just not a good hockey player.” But yet somehow found praise for Hudon saying that he is “clever with the puck, works hard on every shift.” Mind you, he is the same person who argued that Raphael Diaz should have been the Habs No. 1 defenceman for many years.

In a difficult year, struggling players bear the brunt of the anger from demoralized fans. And with good reason. In organizations with good management, those players are sent packing. But can the same be said about incompetent coaches (with lengthy contracts)  and media?


▲  Brendan Gallagher, Artturi Lehkonen

▼  Charles Hudon, Jordie Benn, Jacob De La Rose, Alex Galchenyuk

40 Shots 25
45% Face-offs 55%
0-for-2 Power Play 2-for-3
6 Penalty Minutes 4
22 Hits 21
74 Corsi For 45
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens (25-32-12) 1 1 0 2
 Blue Jackets (37-28-5) 3 1 1 5
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL: Gallagher (25), Drouin (11)
  • CBJ: Foligno (15), Jones (14)-PPG, Jones (15)-PPG, Jenner (8), Cole (5)
  • MTL: Lindgren (L) 4-7-2
  • CBJ: Bobrovsky (W) 30-21-5
 NHL Three Stars

  1. Sergei Bobrovsky  CBJ
  2. Seth Jones  CBJ
  3. Alexander Wennberg  CBJ

 Video Highlights 
 Post-game Press Conference
Claude Julien

  • “I see a team right now, with all the injuries, we’ve got a lot of guys who definitely aren’t ready for the things we’re throwing at them. Yet, I see a bunch of guys competing hard and trying hard.”

Brendan Gallagher

  • “The penalty kill has been good at home and has struggled on the road. Tonight, we could’ve used the kill early on. It’s something we’ve talked about and tried to improve on, it’s just not happening.”
  • “When you’re struggling on the special teams, the thing to do is not overcomplicate it, just simplify it. It’s a 1-1 game. We take two penalties and we’re down two goals on the road. It’s tough to come back.”

Charlie Lindgren

  • “After they got up 3-1 in the first, I thought we did a good job battling back. They’re talented and they’re a big team. They get to the crease and cause some havoc. That’s how they score their goals. That’s a good hockey club over there. That’s a desperate club. They’re trying to make the playoffs.”

Jeff Petry

  • “He has nothing to hang his head on. He played really well for us early on in the year when we needed him. Everyone has their games. He’s the last guy who should be discouraged after a game like that. We’re all wanting the best out of ourselves. There are nights where the bounces aren’t going your way, but there is nothing he should be hanging his head on.”

Quotes courtesy of

 Social Media: Follow @AllHabs on Twitter

Follow @AllHabs on Twitter

Be sure to follow @AllHabs on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube