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Canadiens' worst start in 11 years: the culprits

Posted by Andrés / October 20, 2011

20111020_canadiens.jpgIn any other year, the fact that Carey Price's save percentage is higher than Luongo or Halak would be reason to celebrate - not so when these last have had equally pitiful starts in the 2011-12 season. In my season preview, I mentioned two factors that would decide the efficacy of the Canadiens: Carey Price and Scott Gomez. If these two players could get out of their lull and play to their potential, we would have a Stanley Cup-worthy team. Guess what: they've both had terrible starts.

Price can't be blamed for all the goals. There was that one time when Subban tried to be too fancy and let Colorado get a break-away, or when Gorges got in his line of sight and flinched away from a Calgary goal. These can't excuse the fact that Price hasn't been on his game. There have been too many pucks let through the five-hole, and too many open avenues that should have been easy stops. With 99 wins under his belt, maybe that looming 100th win is breaking his concentration. If he continues to stand up straight and aloof, that 100th may be a long time coming. Send in Budaj.

Gomez is not as essential a problem as Price, but only because the other players are picking up the slack. Pacioretty, Plekanec & co. have been an offensive powerhouse. Across the board, from brute Moen to newcomer Diaz, the Canadiens have been strong on the attack. The shots on goal for 4 of the 5 games speak for themselves: 41-23 against Buffalo, 43-30 against Colorado, 36-21 against Calgary, 32-18 against Toronto. Yet, we lost all these games. The burden is as much on Gomez as on Price, because I have yet to see his bursts of speed, his on-the-stick passes. His defensive work remains as pitiful as ever. With only 1 point in five games, it's safe to say his peak is long past. Put him on a fourth line and give Gionta someone who delivers.

Tonight's 7pm game is against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Check out the game at Bar Normand, 1550 avenue du Mont Royal Est.

Image courtesy NHL.



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