But having always been one to not back down from speaking my mind, here I go.
I knew I was going to hear it. Going into tonight’s game against the St Louis Blues, there was only two reactions that were going to be voiced, and each was as easily predictable as the other.
The Montreal Canadiens were either going to win, or lose. Bold prediction I know. If the Habs had come away with a win tonight, they would have been praised for overcoming adversity, but more-so, they would have been celebrated as the team that “won it for Patches”. If they lost, they would be heralded as the team that couldn’t possibly be held responsiblele, as they attempted to get over the hit from Chara.
The realism of tonight is that the Montreal Canadiens failed to show up for a game that they could easily have had in their pocket.
From the initial puck drop, Les Boys hardly showed an ounce of interest in a game that they could have dominated. A defensive team that is built with much speed, left all of that in the changeroom, bringing little to the ice.
I know that I’ll be considered inhuman for my criticism. I’ve already been told by Twitter followers that I’m unrealistic and far too unforgiving. But I’m OK with that.
I watched a team come out and perform with guts during the third period in the Boston game on Tuesday night. I saw them overcome adversity and come together in strength and determination. I saw them play in unison for an injured team mate. I also saw them stand up to players like Lucic, when he was calling out for a fight to spark his team.
Spirit in the third was what I saw on Tuesday.
Tonight I saw the same players skate like they were ghosts. I saw the same guy that shot down Lucic, skate around like it was practice. I witnessed a lack of passion and drive. Even after going up by a goal – I witnessed a shell of the team that I have seen play for the past 2 weeks.
I don’t discount that they’re all still shaken up by the Pacioretty hit. But even Max – who’s out of the hospital now – probably would have liked to see a touch more effort. He’s injured – not dead. Play for him boys – with passion!
Remember when Markov went out in the playoffs last year? The whole world said the Habs were done because the backbone of their defense was gone. What did the Canadiens do? Stepped up – played hard – proved the rest of the world wrong. And won games for their fallen comrade.
I know this isn’t the playoffs, but 2 points is a lifetime these days. Are we fine with finishing in 2nd place to the Bruins after what happened the other night? Don’t we want to send the ultimate message and take over first place in the Northeast? Hard to do when you leave points on the table like they just did. The divisional rival Bruins lost in OT tonight. This was a chance well wasted.
I’m not a slave driver, but I also know that the old adage of “The Show Must Go On” is a motto that must be lived by at this point in the season. We’re too far along to give up points now.
Pacioretty is as healthy as he can be right now. Let’s all be thankful for that. But let the team also realize that there is only one form of vengeance for anything in this league.
Winning … and doing it with purpose.