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Younger Canadiens Struggle With Discipline, Lose As A Result…

November 6, 2018, 11:45 PM ET [730 Comments]
Brandon Smillie
Montreal Canadiens Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Younger Canadiens Struggle With Discipline, Lose As A Result…

This game against the Rangers looked like it was going to be another fun night watching hockey for me after the Canadiens had control of the game and Max Domi scored his 9th of the year. His 9th goal in 14 games also extended his goal streak to 4 games and matched his goal totals of each of his last 2 seasons. Last season it took Domi 82 games to score 9 times and this season it has taken him 15, no big deal.

A late goal by high potential offensive D man Tony DeAngelo gave the Rangers some fight and they did their best to get under the Canadiens skin all night, including kneeing Joel Armia and forcing him from the game. The right thing for the Habs to do would be to ignore the only real defense the Rangers had, chippy play, and keep pounding. The Canadiens allowed the Rangers out of a few penalty kills by taking their own deserved (and undeserved, like Tatar being grabbed while the Rag player threw himself back drawing an Interference call negating a 5 on 3 PP) penalties as they brought themselves to the Rangers level.

The Canadiens took 5 straight penalties starting with the aforementioned Tatar call at 12:24 of the 2nd, then Domi at 13:09, and then Danault at 15:44 and the NYR’s scored a second after the penalty expired.

The following period saw MTL’s Hudon take penalty at 3:38 and there wasn’t another penalty until 16:10 of the 3rd when the Habs were called for Too Many Men with the Rangers having already tied the game, but Ranger Vesey took a penalty 46 seconds into the PP and break out D man Pionk scoring the eventual game winner 20 seconds after that….

Habs got into penalty trouble and it cost them. Discipline is needed when you get up in the game. You can’t afford to give the other team a goal sized piece of momentum because you want to rough a guy up with a lead. Terrible recipe for success. Game plan has to remain the same and if anything more disciplined as an utter drubbing would have killed the spirits and emptied the seats early.

Drouin had himself a game to forget as well despite having over 5 minutes worth of PP time. It accounted for nearly 1/3 of his total TOI tonight and he almost looked like it slowed him down to the games pace. It may not make much sense as it’s just my observation, but maybe playing so much with a bit of space affected his reaction at 5 on 5 pace… Either way, Drouin is better than that and if it’s a fatigue issue then he can fix that pretty quickly with some more effective cardio work. That would improve his overall game anyways…

This season has been exciting and hopeful but also including some very teachable moments for the young squad. Some nights they look like they are just flying and the game is theirs and some nights they underestimate their opponent and learn no game is given, or like tonight where they had the game in hand and instead of making a statement they respond to the lesser teams chippy play with a tough guy response and it gets them into trouble.

Discipline will make sure that when they get up on a team in a fantastic fashion teams will know they aren’t likely to respond to the last resort, be a dickhead defense. It will still be attempted but discipline should lead to the opponent taking more penalties before the coach finally tells his players to stay out of the box. This would likely lead to a continuing of the beating as long as the players stay focused.

This is all my opinion, but I think it’s definitely relevant to how they lost tonight. The NY Rangers are rebuilding and it shows, but they definitely still have NHL talent there. But the Canadiens could have taken this game over and instead they took 5 straight penalties when they didn’t have to at all and it cost them 2 points against a beatable opponent. This loss negates an incredible win this season and with the way this team has shown it’s capable of playing it shouldn’t have happened.

We also see the Habs alternating wins and losses for the last 10 games…

On to the next one…

Go Habs Go

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