FINAL | Game 76, Home Game 38 | Saturday March 24, 2018 
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC.

CANADIENS
Montreal

teamlogo_canadiens

4-6

CAPITALS
Washington

(Photo by Graham Hughes / The Canadian Press)

Lineup

Forward lines and defense pairings 

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

Reilly – Petry
Alzner – Juulsen
Benn – Lernout

Goaltenders

Price
Niemi

Scratches

Michael McCarron

Injuries

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

Game Report 

 

 

 

The Montreal Canadiens are a shell of their former selves, as the saying goes, with those former selves being the Atlantic division champs of 2016-17.

There is not much debate about what happened for the team to plummet to their current landing spot of 26th place in the league: Marc Bergevin had a disastrous summer failing to re-sign some lynchpins of the organization while acquiring duds in their places.

But the killing blow was trading away an elite prospect for a third line left-winger, a commodity that was already over-represented in the Canadiens roster.

That is the stark truth.

But as we move closer to the end of the season, we have witnessed Canadiens management practicing their spin. Spin is required because they certainly can’t admit that Bergevin blew it and is deserving of a pink slip. So, we have heard the injury narrative trotted out as if they are the reason for the slide.

The simple fact is that the Canadiens were a poorly-constructed team well before the injuries had an impact.

While Habs brass is telling one tale, the Montreal media is busy creating scapegoats to protect their great local hope who is having a terrible season. ‘Look over here’ is their strategy hoping that everyone will forget about the disaster who wears No. 92.

Instead, attack the Canadiens captain, their third overall draft pick or the franchise goaltender. It has left the fanbase in a civil war and outsiders wondering “what would anyone want to play there?”

The once self-declared ‘smartest fans in the NHL’ are clinging to a rather tarnished trophy. And Montreal is no longer the highly desirable destination for players who have a choice.

These are dark days, and the scary part is that they could get darker.

We have all read the popular solutions: draft Rasmus Dahlin, sign John Tavares, and acquire Nick Bjugstad (or facsimile.) Interestingly, the odds of all of that happening are almost identical to Ales Hemsky being an effective first line winger (and a replacement for Alexander Radulov) this season.

So if all of those saviors don’t arrive, what are Canadiens fans in store for in 2018-19?

===

▲  Jacob De La Rose, Alex Galchenyuk, Charles Hudon, Nikita Scherbak

▼  Jordie Benn

 Statistics 
CANADIENS   CAPITALS
21 Shots 30
43% Face-offs 57%
1-for-3 Power Play 2-for-3
6 Penalty Minutes 6
34 Hits 21
47 Corsi For 53
 Scoring
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens (27-37-12) 1 1 2 4
 Capitals (44-24-7) 3 1 2 6
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL: Galchenyuk (17), Hudon (9), Hudon (10), Gallagher (28)-PPG
  • WSH: Kuznetsov (22)-PPG, Wilson (12), Wilson (13), Beagle (7), Kuznetsov (23)-PPG, Jerabek (2)
  • MTL: Price (L) 15-24-6
  • WSH: Grubaer (W) 13-9-3
 NHL Three Stars

NHL3stars
  1. Nicklas Backstrom  WSH
  2. Tom Wilson  WSH
  3. Evgeny Kuznetsov  WSH

 Video Highlights 
 Post-game Press Conference
Claude Julien

Brendan Gallagher

  • “It’s pretty disappointing to give up that many goals at home, and you can’t blame the goalie (Carey Price) on any of them. I think there’s obviously too many power-play opportunities, too many shots from the slot, and that’s just something we need to get a lot better at.”
  • “Playing teams like this, it’s pretty hard to come back when you’re down. There are just too many scoring chances given up right now. We need to correct these mistakes.”

Carey Price

  • “It was a great start to the game. But ultimately, they had a pretty good second half of that first period and we didn’t really recover from it.”

Quotes courtesy of NHL.com

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