” I do not know. ”
It is no longer just one of the most famous replicas of the Charbonneau commission. That’s also what Corey Perry and Joel Armia had to answer, staring blankly, as to why their team had spoiled a strong start for the third time in three games.
For the third time, therefore, CH were the best formation on the ice to come out of the blocks and scored the first goal of the game. For the third time, he lost his lead. And for the second time in the interval, he lost, this time by a score of 4-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“I wish I had the answer,” Perry confessed. “We’re going to watch videos,” promised Josh Anderson.
Good idea, because it’s starting to look like a bad fold. A bad fold that gives the Canadian a 3-3 record in his last six games, after having walked the waters in his first seven (5-0-2).
In their speeches since the start of the season, Habs players and their coaches have constantly emphasized the importance of limiting “time and space” available to the opponent. In this regard, we can say mission partially accomplished against the Leafs.
Toronto’s overwhelming power play has been silenced. At five against five, the trio piloted by Phillip Danault did a good job of containing Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, like Suzuki’s unit, responsible for dealing with John Tavares and Michael Nylander.
However, two major pitfalls have appeared on the way to the Habs. First, the Leafs had dressed 18 skaters, not four. And then sometimes in hockey you find yourself four against four.
On this last point, we can speak of a bitter failure in the camp of the locals. At the end of the second period, the quartet of Danault, Brendan Gallagher, Ben Chiarot and Shea Weber were held prisoner in their zone for a long minute and a half, four against four. On four occasions – Claude Julien pointed it out himself – a player in red found himself in possession of the puck, but he was unable to get rid of it properly. The streak ended with the goal of prolific Travis Dermott, his 10e in the NHL at its 167e match.
We spare you the intermission, but it was not better on the way back. As we played again with one less man on each side, Tyler Toffoli and Jeff Petry decided to give their full attention to John Tavares, who then handed the puck to Justin Holl, also a hell of a scorer, who registered his 5e goal in the NHL, at his 95e match.
It is here that it is good to remember the special theory of relativity, which explains why time flows differently in space depending on the speed at which bodies move. All of the Canadiens’ players seemed to freeze when Holl received the disc. And it seemed like an eternity passed before he fired a heavy slap shot that left Carey Price no chance.
In four-on-four, “communication is the most important thing,” said Josh Anderson. “You have to let your teammates know where you are on the ice. ”
It’s not funny. But it’s true.
“If we do a good job against certain players, we have to do a good job against everyone,” said Julien, commenting on the selective defensive coverage of his men. We could also say hello here to Brett Kulak, who let Ilya Mikheyev score the Leafs’ third goal in front of his eyes.
For the Russian as for his two teammates, it was the first goal of the season.
“We made mistakes that cost us the game,” said Julien. And Toronto has a team that makes you pay for those kinds of mistakes. ”
We can already prepare for the clichés of circumstance on the importance of forgetting the last game and moving on to the next, because the Canadian is doing it again this Thursday night against the Edmonton Oilers.
And as Corey Perry summed it up, this time it will be necessary to “stop their big men. [big boys] ”, The aptly named Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, respectively first and second scorer in the NHL.
It will also be an opportunity to revise the time and space management plan. Because if there are two players who know what to do with it, it is they. And they want nothing better than to take advantage of it.
His line was by far the most threatening on the Canadian during the entire game. Impeccable outnumbered.
One of those nights when things were going a little too fast for him. Three reversals and multiple blunders.
The number of the match
It is the percentage of success of Phillip Danault (4 in 12) in the faceoff circle, he who is however the specialist in the matter at the CH.
It’s more the mistakes that hurt us … The goal they scored four players against four, four times, we had the puck and we gave them back. They finished the second period strong and early in the third period it was the same, costly mistakes on our part. A team like Toronto, when you make these mistakes, they make you pay.
It’s good to see this trust that lives in us. And it was also a big victory for us I think. The first 10 minutes, we waited for the storm to pass, they have a good team on the other side, but it also shows that we played a good game. We were able to find a place and get big goals.
I think we saw more intensity, that the game was faster. There are ups and downs this season, but you have to know how to deal with that.
I felt good. I was surprised to see how good I felt. My legs were moving, the battles along the ramps were okay, I felt good overall.
I think we started the game well, we were physical in defense and we were closely monitoring their best players. But again, we missed a little something. It’s going to be a long season against these guys, but there are still a lot of games to go.
Tavares and the pain
There was a little something not super chic about the scene in the second period: Shea Weber trying to hit the puck, but touching John Tavares face with his stick instead, and falling, sinking. the latter’s head in the mirror. The blow was not punished, but Tavares was seen with a bloody face before returning to the locker room, clearly in pain. He returned afterwards, and ultimately ended his working night with two assists, which still isn’t that bad for a guy who looked almost dead on the ice just moments before. “It was a quick game that went very quickly, against (Shea) Weber I think, who is a big guy. At the time, I didn’t know if I had had a cut, but I had to go through the protocol (on concussions) and it was okay. As far as the team is concerned, it’s a great victory against an opponent who is very tenacious and who is not easy to face. “- Richard Labbé
Byron left out
With the return to the game of Joel Armia, and also because sometimes, there are players who have to give up their place, we had to expect someone to suffer, and then this time, it’s Paul Byron who got caught. Thus, the small striker was left out Wednesday night at the Bell Center, a first forced leave for him this season. “There is not always need to have a reason to explain this kind of decision, answered Claude Julien. We have more players and we thought it was important to have Corey Perry in the roster, among other things for his presence with our unit on the power play. That doesn’t mean Paul Byron will be out of roster forever. With Armia’s return to the game, it just took someone out of the lineup. Claude Julien concluded, however, by specifying that Byron is not in peak form at the moment. “He’s capable of playing, but he’s not 100%,” added the coach. – Richard Labbé
Andersen and selective amnesia
The evening had started badly for Frederik Andersen. The Zamboni had barely left the ice when the Maple Leafs goaltender already found himself with a puck behind him, a first goal allowed on the first shot against him, and if there had been anyone in the stands to chant his name. ridiculously, that is exactly what would have happened. But no. Instead, the goalkeeper came back well, and he ended the night with a total of 33 saves on 35 shots. “Yes, they scored on the first shot of the night, a quick goal, but as a goalkeeper you can’t be bothered by something like that… You have to be able to move on quickly, namely turn the page. It’s a skill that you have to maintain all the time as a goalie, and that’s what I did here. “- Richard Labbé