Of the now 10 losses the Montreal Canadiens have suffered so far this year, last night’s 5-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights had to hurt the most.
After arguably their best period of the season gave them a two-goal lead and a 16-1 shot advantage, even the most pessimistic of Habs fans had to have been feeling good going into the final 40 minutes. Especially against a Vegas team without Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty and William Karlsson. Not to mention Alex Tuch, traded to Buffalo as part of the Jack Eichel deal on Thursday.
12 minutes, two failed penalty-kills and seven shots against later and the Montreal Canadiens were on their way to another dejecting loss.
Yes, it’s just been that kind of season so far for this club. They can’t have nice things. Even in the rare moments when they have deserved them.
Can’t stop the bleeding
While the club have looked laughingly awful at times this time, last night was more tragedy than comedy. The Habs are doing what bad teams do: they find ways to lose. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck then it’s a fragile, rudderless hockey team waiting for the next calamity to happen before inevitably collapsing.
Or something like that.
To put it simply, the Montreal Canadiens played well and lost. For the majority of NHL teams there would be a shrug of the shoulders, a good night’s sleep and the sun would come out tomorrow.
But when you factor in the franchise’s worst start to a season in 70 years and the third-worst record in the NHL, it must feel as though the weight of the world is on the shoulders of the boys in bleu, blanc et rouge.
“It changes everything,” admitted Jake Allen when asked how the team’s record affects how he viewed the loss post-game. “To be 3-10 it’s a little bit different. If we were right there, around the .500 mark… But it’s tougher to take right now when you’re looking up at the teams ahead of you and we’re 3-10 and we know we have a good hockey team here.”
Here are your five takeaways from the Montreal Canadiens 5-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights