Despite having played only 10 games so far this season, tied for the lowest number in the NHL, the Montreal Canadiens have had two long layoff periods. After returning from a five-day hiatus with a shootout loss in Columbus on Friday night the Habs played the host Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. If the layoff hurt them in Columbus, the two games in a row destroyed them in Toronto – easily the worst game of the Montreal season.
I’ll say from the outset that the Leafs were quick and winning ALL of the battles while the Habs looked sleepy and slow. From this point on let’s just stick to the stats:
Following the first period the Leafs had a 1-0 lead and had outshot the Habs 12-3.
Following the second period the Leafs had a 4-3 lead and had outshot the Habs 31-15.
Following the third period the Leafs had won 6-3 and had outshot the Habs 41-20.
Despite letting in six goals Carey Price did play reasonably well though his performance was nothing to write home about. Toskala was strong when he was needed, which wasn’t often.
Some interesting happenings from the game:
Mikhail Grabovski faced his former team and notched a goal and an assist for the Leafs. Saku Koivu gave him a shove and a stern talking-to during a whistle in the second period after Grabovski took a bit of a dive and it was evident that none of the Habs team was particularly happy to see him again. Also of note was the ejection of Tom Koustopolous early in the game when he received a game misconduct and a five-minute major for boarding after he took Mike Van Ryn into the boards from behind, cutting his forehead in the process. Koustopolous spoke to the media later in the evening, apologizing and citing his speed and a quick turn by Van Ryn as the cause of the accident.
Here’s hoping for a better showing against Ottawa on Tuesday – we’re still 8-2-2!