Montreal Canadiens

Ineffectiveness Undoing Montreal Canadiens Cinderella Run

PHILADELPHIA - MAY 18:  Jaroslav Halak #41 of the Montreal Canadiens gives up a goal to Simon Gagne #12 (not pictured) of the Philadelphia Flyers in the second period as Ville Leino #22 celebrates in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wachovia Center on May 18, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Matt EichelSenior Writer IMay 19, 2010

There may be arguments citing the Montreal Canadiens troubles against the big bad Philadelphia Flyers, saying that the Canadiens are too small for the larger Flyers.

The truth of the matter is that it's the ineffectiveness of Montreal's offensive style and their head coach's stubbornness that has the Cinderella Canadiens down 2-0 in the best-of-7 Eastern Conference Finals.

Having been outscored by a red hot Flyers offense 9-0 in two games, the Canadiens find themselves in a somewhat similar situation.

Let's not forget that the Washington Capitals were a very large team too.

But this Canadiens squad beat a team with 6'2 Brooks Laich, 6'4 Eric Fehr, 6'1 Nicklas Backstrom, 6'2 Alex Ovechkin, 6'6 Jeff Schultz, etc.

What did that team have that this team doesn't?

They appear to be out of gas and it shows in the undisciplined penalties they are taking—namely Scott Gomez and his brain-dead errors through Games 1 and 2.

With the series shifting to Montreal for Games 3 and 4, Jacques Martin has to turn around his team's mentality or this Cinderella run will be over.

And it will be over swiftly.

Ryan O'Byrne sat in the press box for a second consecutive game, while forward Sergei Kostitsyn got playing time, albeit only 4:57 all game.

If Martin wants to change the physical aspect of the game, Marc-Andre Bergeron's presence on the blueline won't change anything.  If O'Byrne draws in Game 3, the Canadiens may be able to contend with the larger Flyer forwards.

But the offense still has its problems.

And for Martin, dressing Sergei Kostitsyn will not do anything for a sputtering lackluster offensive output.

PK Subban's game has struggled in this series so far, as he was again played over 20 minutes but was not the same player we saw against Washington and Pittsburgh.

With 24:16 in time on ice, Mike Cammalleri has been held off the sheet by a Flyers team who knows how to shut down the offense effectively.

Montreal has become a perimeter team and for them to get back in this series, they need a total team effort.

In both games in Philadelphia, the Canadiens did themselves in with poor penalties and poor team effort.

To many people's surprise, Roman Hamrlik led the Canadiens with 24:51 in ice time, showing that PK Subban's inconsistent play in the first two games hasn't gone unnoticed.

The ineffectiveness must stop.

Or Cinderella will have an early night.

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