The Canadiens may be a golden goose, but for the rest of us they laid an egg on Tuesday night. After showing spirit and heart against the Sharks and the Kings, the Good Guys went back to their torpid Anaheim incarnations.
The only Canadiens who seemed to play to their full potential were the ever-vigilant Carey Price, and controlled demolition contractor Alexei Emelin, who distributed crunches liberally. I may have missed good performances by usually low-key performers like Travis Moen or Josh Gorges, but I won't take the blame for it, their teammates lulled me to sleep for half the game.
After losses to weaklings like the Islanders and Hurricanes, the Canadiens usually follow up with a dynamic performance against more inspiring opponents, which we can take heart in, but losing points to teams like the Bllue Jackets gives us a strong sense that we are at best a middling team. We will be in a battle to make the playoffs.
And we can't count on the cavalry to come to our rescue. Ryan White is a ways away, and can inject some energy in games like these, but he won't tilt the ice in our direction. Andrei Markov is also still not on the horizon, and when he returns I think we'll need to treat him with kid gloves and temper our expectations. Scott Gomez has shown that he cannot produce a positive effect when in the lineup. Hamilton is devoid of NHL talent.
The RDS boys are starting to look in Geoff Molson's direction now. I fail to understand what they think he can accomplish mid-season with this team. The solution is not a quick fix away. There is a fundamental lack of depth and talent on our roster, and we can't put a band-aid on it. We need to be patient with our youngsters and prospects, keep drafting well and amassing assets. Mr. Molson's role, if it comes to that, will begin this off-season when an organizational review may properly be conducted.
Our boys are going to have a tough time keeping their chins up for the next couple of days, but will have a worthy opponent on Thursday to measure themselves against in the Canucks. A win might be enough to rinse the taste of this bitter defeat out.