Game 12, Away Game 8 | Friday October 30, 2015 
Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, AB.

CANADIENS
Montreal

teamlogo_canadiens

6-2

FLAMES
Calgary

(Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

Lineup

Forward lines and defense pairings: 

Pacioretty – Plekanec – Gallagher
Eller – Galchenyuk – Flynn
Fleischmann – Desharnais – Weise
Byron – Mitchell – Smith-Pelly

Markov – Subban
Emelin – Petry
Beaulieu – Gilbert

Goaltenders:

Condon
Price

Scratches: Greg Pateryn, Jarred Tinordi, Alex Semin
Injured reserve:
Suspended: Zack Kassian

Game Report

 

Right now, the Calgary Flames are a bad hockey team. In addition to a record of just two wins in 11 games, the Flames have a league worst goal differential of minus-24. The Canadiens are at the opposite end of the spectrum with a league leading plus-22.

So Calgary was the perfect tonic to a Canadiens team that was reeling after dropping the first two games of the Western road swing.

The Flames came out strong for the first five minutes and then were somewhat deflated after the first goal by Dale Weise. Dutch Gretzky would go on to score two more times for his first career hat trick.

But give Calgary credit, they fought back in the second period. Simply, the Habs feasted on some weak goaltending by Calgary starter Joni Ortio who was in net for all six goals. The Flames have now allowed four or more goals in eight of their 11 games this season.

That said, Ortio didn’t have much help from his teammates who threw in the towel after the Canadiens went up by two goals.

Paul Byron had some jump against his former team turning on the jets to score a pretty shorthanded goal. As the Calgary commentators noted, Byron had a boatload of breakaways last season yet couldn’t score. But he wasn’t facing Ortio.

With the result of the game not in question, Michel Therrien decided that he wanted some of the limelight, something he craves more than winning itself. Therrien put his lines in the mixmaster treating his players like they had signed up for speed dating. In part, it was an opportunity to punish his most hated players.

Against Vancouver and Edmonton, David Desharnais was dreadful. Desharnais was directly responsible for the Oilers winning goal in Edmonton.

Following that game, Twitter asked whether Desharnais would be benched in Calgary?

The correct answer to the question came from Jason (@showey47) who replied “If it’s Therrien’s logic, it will be Eller who sits.” While Eller did not sit against Calgary, Therrien made sure to make life miserable for Lars with the teacher’s pet under scrutiny.

Early in the second period Desharnais and his line was stuck in their own zone. With David losing four consecutive puck battles the Habs could not clear the puck. When the Canadiens were finally able to change, Eller and company jumped on the ice and the Flames used their momentum to score. Eller didn’t see the ice for the rest of the period.

With their favorite son under fire for poor play, RDS cranked up the ‘blame Eller’ narrative. And Therrien eagerly played along. On Twitter,  Charlotte speculated,  “I sometimes think L’Antichambre is secretly running the team.”

Christopher Hatzitolios tweeted, “I’ve never seen a player treated as badly as Lars Eller has been in the last near 4 years by a coach.”

So, while the Canadiens are back to winning, the harmony, stability and positive energy displayed in the first nine games is gone. It has been replaced by Therrien-generated drama that fans have been accustomed to over the past few years. And as in the past, it will be up to the players to win despite the actions of their coach.

▲     Dale Weise, Tomas Fleischmann, Torrey Mitchell, Jeff Petry, Mike Condon

▼     Michel Therrien

 Statistics 
CANADIENS FLAMES
 31 Shots 32
1 for 3 Power Play 0 for 3
49% Face-offs 51%
8 Penalty Minutes 8
14 Hits 21
42 Fenwick For 43
55 Corsi For 59
 Scoring
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens (10-2-0) 1 3 2 6
 Flames (2-8-1) 0 2 0 2
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL:  Weise (4), Beaulieu (1), Weise (5), Smith-Pelly (1), Byron (1), Weise (6)
  • CGY:  Hudler (4), Jooris (1)
  • MTL: Condon (W)  3-0-0
  • CGY: Ortio (L)  0-2-1
 NHL Three Stars
NHL3stars
  1. Dale Weise   MTL
  2. Mike Condon  MTL
  3. Paul Byron  MTL

 Video Highlights 

 Post-game Press Conference
Coach Michel Therrien

  • “Dale had a very productive game. We have to be satisfied with the way he played.

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Dale Weise

  • “We needed a win tonight and we got a complete effort. We had a lot of guys who chipped in, [Condon] was amazing. It feels good to get this one because we’ve played so poorly.
  • “It feels good. You know what? I’ve had so many chances, empty nets that I’ve missed that I just shouldn’t miss. Last night, I had an empty net I missed to make it 4-2. That probably changes the game. I really wanted to come out tonight and contribute.”
  • “I was a little shocked to see the hats coming on the ice right away, but not really. The support that we get all over, wherever we’re playing, is incredible. This is a storied franchise. We have the greatest fans in the world. They’re always excited. It felt pretty good to see all those hats coming out.”

Paul Byron

  • “It felt really good, not just because [the Flames] waived me, but just to get the season started the right way and get this team two points. I thought it was a big goal in the game. They’re on a power play. If they score, it changes the momentum around.”

Flames right-winger David Jones

  • “At times, we just look like a minor-league team. We’re not making plays. We’re mishandling the puck and just kind of throwing it away. Just not a lot of poise out there right now, and I think that’s what happens when you lose games.”

Flames head coach Bob Hartley

  • “We have another situation where we have to roll up our sleeves, bear down on our chances and clean up our game defensively. That’s where most of our problems are. There’s turnovers, there’s missed assignment and the puck is in our net. It’s tough to win games like that.”

Quotes courtesy of NHL.com

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