Here are my Canadiens Express impressions of the loss against the Sabres tonight. I had to watch the RDS condensed version of the game later on since the game itself was blacked out.
Thank you Gary Bettman.
-Too many chances didn't get cashed in. Canadiens need to develop a killer instinct, instead of toying with their prey.
-Bryan Allen got five hits according to the boxscore, one of which was pretty spectacular at centre ice. Good. He has to do this to earn his keep.
-P.K., Andrei and Sergei have to get points on the board to earn theirs. That's around fifteen million in cap space there, it needs to produce dividends. No ifs, ands or buts.
-Nice homage to Gilles Tremblay from Pierre Houde between periods.
-I'll say this, the Habs forecheckers were effective, in that they ended up pressuring the puck away from the Sabres a surprising number of times. Usually a skate towards a defenceman when he has clear possession is pro forma, you don't expect anything from it, except that your own hustle will sustain you during the game and pay off eventually. Tonight Brendan Gallagher among others would come out of it with the puck what seemed to be half the time. Maybe the Sabres are that bad.
-David Desharnais fought off Tyler Myers to at least a draw, if not outright wins in different puck battles during the game. But we still all bleat that David is too small. Maybe it's the Sabres defenceman who's too big. Or maybe his heart isn't proportional.
-That bounce at the end of the game can be thought of as unlucky by some, but it's really a tactical error by Carey, a brain spasm. 'Everyone' knows that when the glass has those stanchions, those "unpredictable" or "lucky" bounces are actually expected. To the point that a goalie plays dump-ins differently depending on the type of glass at the rink.
If there are stanchions, it's recommended that the goalie stay in his net for pucks whipping around the glass, because if just in case. That's the prudent thing to do. Around the boards, fill your boots, wander around and play the puck like Cesare Maniago, but around the stanchioned glass, stay in your net, as if Eddie Shore was balefully scrutinizing your play.
Instead, Carey ignored this rule of thumb, maybe not out of carelessness, maybe he just was anxious to help or he saw that the Sabres might have the jump on his boys. Anyway, he got bit, and we can't write it off as an act of God. He just got bit.
Tyler Ennis certainly seemed like he knew what he was doing on the play. He fired the puck in and beelined to the slot, hoping for good things. He got rewarded with an assist.
-This was meant to be a creampuff of a win, an easy two points, to palate-cleanse ourselves of the bitterness of the Rangers loss. Instead, we tested the bear trap with our pointy toe until it snapped on us.