Thrashers-Canadiens: Habs Comeback Falls Short

Rocket All HabsCorrespondent INovember 4, 2009

Montreal 4 Atlanta 5 (Bell Centre)

posted by Rocket
All Habs

Ilya Kovalchuk is a true sniper and superstar in the league. With him in the lineup, the Atlanta Thrashers are a potent offensive team. With Kovalchuk on the sidelines due to injury, what would happen?

It was lesser-known names like Peverley and Little who would supply the offense for the Thrashers. Let's not sugar coat it. Tonight, the Canadiens defense was terrible.

Hal Gill has been a target of criticism by an unnamed sports network and a number of fans. He wasn't even in the lineup tonight. But Marc-Andre Bergeron was. Gill may have shortcomings, but Bergeron is a liability in his own end on every shift.

Tonight, Bergeron had only 10 minutes of ice time tonight. It was painful to watch. Whatever his limited contribution to the power play, it is not worth it.

Bergeron was not alone in his poor play. Josh Gorges has been struggling for several games, and was out of position too often tonight. Mathieu Carle is simply not ready for the NHL. Carle, Roman Hamrlik and Jaro Spacek had five giveaways each.

Special teams continue to be ineffective. The penalty killers gave up a goal to Atlanta and the Canadiens power play did not score on three opportunities.

Carey Price was left alone much of the game. Price was brilliant in the first period and was the sole reason that the game was close.

"They had some really good opportunities," said Brian Gionta, "too many back door and too many open in the slot. That's defensive breakdowns."

Ondrej Pavelec was also very good. But his aggressive play allowed the Canadiens more opportunities than they advantaged.

Tomas Plekanec, Brian Gionta, Mike Cammalleri and Scott Gomez were stars for the Habs. The Canadiens showed character in coming back from a two goal deficit.

There was not much to be positive about tonight. The Canadiens have a problem on defense and despite having a coach who is considered defensive-minded, he has not been able to do anything to solve the problem.

Pre-game

expected lineup:

Gomez, Gionta, Cammalleri
Plekanec, Lapierre, Latendresse
Metropolit, Moen, Pacioretty
Chipchura, Andrei Kostitsyn, Stewart

Hamrlik, Spacek
Mara, Gorges
Bergeron, Carle

Matt Carle called up from Hamilton will make his NHL debut.

Carey Price starts in goal for the Canadiens; Ondrej Pavelec for the Thrashers.

scratches: D'Agostini (concussion), Laraque (upper body), Gill (leg), Markov (ankle), O'Byrne (knee)


Rocket's three stars

1. Rich Peverley
2. Brian Gionta
3. Brian Little


(photo credit: AP)

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