Sports In the Habs' Room: 'We didn't bury our opportunities,' Julien says

14:59  20 november  2019
14:59  20 november  2019 Source:   montrealgazette.com

In the Habs' Room: Montreal hangs on for win despite first-period outburst

  In the Habs' Room: Montreal hangs on for win despite first-period outburst Any time you pick up two points you have to be happy, but it would be a mistake to credit the Canadiens with a solid performance in their 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night at the Bell Centre. The Habs were outstanding in the first period as they grabbed a 3-0 lead on the strength of two power-play goals by Shea Weber, who has scored 101 career goals with the man-advantage. But the Canadiens failed to press their advantage over the second and third periods and they were hanging on at the end. It took a series of big saves from Carey Price to seal the win.

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COLUMBUS — The Canadiens were looking pretty good after two periods Tuesday night at Nationwide Arena,  tied 2-2 with the Blue Jackets after getting goals from Artturi Lehkonen and Joel Armia.

Then the Blue Jackets’ Emil Bemstrom missed the net with a backhander that bounced off the glass and hit goalie Carey Price before going in the net at 6:54 of the third period and the wheels fell off en route to a 5-2 loss.

In the Habs' Room: Julien credits tight play for win against Capitals

  In the Habs' Room: Julien credits tight play for win against Capitals WASHINGTON — A monster hit on Jonathan Drouin may have provided the catalyst for the Canadiens’ impressive 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Friday night. Drouin was steamrollered by Alex Ovechkin early in the second period and left the game to go through the NHL’s concussion protocol. Less than two minutes after he left, the Canadiens opened what would become a four-goal explosion when Tomas Tatar set up Phil Danault for the game’s opening goal. Tatar, who had replaced Drouin on the top line, would go on to mark his first four-point game in the NHL.

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What was the big difference in the game?

“Us not being able to capitalize on our chances,” Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. “I thought we played a really decent road game. Second period was basically we controlled it. I think they had maybe three chances — we had six, seven good chances. We didn’t bury our opportunities. That was the difference. You got three breakaways, you got nothing to show for it. You have be able to, when you get those opportunities — especially on the road — you got to be able to capitalize on those.”

Did the bad-bounce goal knock the wind out of his team?

“Not really because, again, we come back, we got a breakaway,” Julien said about Armia getting a great chance shortly after the Blue Jackets went up 3-2. “We could have tied it right back up again and we didn’t. So it didn’t knock the wind out of us.”

Canadiens' injury double whammy gives Hudon, Weal new opportunities

  Canadiens' injury double whammy gives Hudon, Weal new opportunities Things didn’t look good for Canadiens winger Jonathan Drouin when he was run over by Alex Ovechkin in the second period Friday in Washington. Drouin was slow getting to his feet and when he reached the bench, he proceeded immediately to the quiet room, where he went though the NHL’s concussion protocol. A clear-headed Drouin returned to the ice in the third period, but he wound up on the injured-reserve list the next day with a wrist injury. © Patrick Smith Jonathan Drouin of the Montreal Canadiens skates past Michal Kempny of the Washington Capitals during the first period at Capital One Arena on Nov. 15, 2019, in Washington, DC.

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What did knock the wind out of the Canadiens was an interference penalty Max Domi took at 10:46 of the third period that resulted in a power-play goal by Boone Jenner to put the Blue Jackets up 4-2.

“I just thought there was a tough call against us in a critical time of the game there,” Julien said. “Whatever you want to call it, the guy dumps it, turns to go toward his bench, runs into our guy, who was entitled to his ice. There’s hardly any contact to start with it, so I didn’t like that. They score on it and make it 4-2 and I think that right there kind of decided the outcome of the game.”

Phillip Danault agreed with his coach’s assessment after the Canadiens outshot the Blue Jackets 32-26.

“I don’t think we played bad,” Danault said. “I think it’s just the fact that we didn’t capitalize on our chances. I thought we had way more than they had and I think they were more opportunistic tonight.”

Canadiens' penalty-killing is killing them this season

  Canadiens' penalty-killing is killing them this season It’s official: The Canadiens now have the worst penalty-killing in the NHL. The Boston Bruins went 2-for-2 on the power play in Tuesday night’s 8-1 romp at the Bell Centre, dropping the Canadiens to 31st out of 31 teams when it comes to penalty-killing with a 71.6 per cent success rate — or a 28.4 per cent failure rate, which seems more accurate. The Boston Bruins went 2-for-2 on the power play in Tuesday night’s 8-1 romp at the Bell Centre, dropping the Canadiens to 31st out of 31 teams when it comes to penalty-killing with a 71.6 per cent success rate — or a 28.4 per cent failure rate, which seems more accurate.

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As for the bad-bounce goal, Danault said: “It’s also a part of the game we don’t control … those bounces off the boards and shin pads right to them. But what we can control is that we can capitalize on our chances and tighten up defensively as well.”

Domi has now gone eight games without a goal and has only one in the last 16. He also took a costly unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty in the third period of Saturday’s 4-3 OT loss to the New Jersey Devils that resulted in the tying goal.

Does Julien sense some frustration in Domi, who has been moved to left wing on a line with Nick Suzuki at centre and Armia on the right?

“No. Not at all,” the coach said. “I though he played decently tonight.

“The fact that it’s their second game together, they’re trying to build some chemistry, which I thought they did tonight compared to the first game,” Julien added about Domi and Suzuki. “They were better. Hopefully tomorrow night they’re even better than that. So you got to give them an opportunity here. Max has played a whole year at centre. We’re moving him to the wing, so there’s some adjustments that have to be made by all of those guys. I think it’s heading in the right direction.”

Canadiens extend losing streak to eight games after early lead against Bruins

  Canadiens extend losing streak to eight games after early lead against Bruins BOSTON — The Canadiens played a near-perfect road game for 46 minutes Sunday, but learned that a good team like the Boston Bruins will take advantage of any chances you give them as Montreal fell 3-1. The Bruins scored three goals in the third period to run their winning streak to seven games while the Canadiens’ losing streak extended to eight games (0-5-3). Montreal took a lead early in the game and proceeded to do all the things they didn’t do in the first seven games of the losing streak. They forechecked. They backchecked. They didn’t allow the Bruins the odd-man rushes that have plagued the Canadiens during their losing streak.

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The Ottawa Senators will be at the Bell Centre Wednesday (7:30 p.m., SN, RDS, TSN 690 Radio).




Stu Cowan: Firing Claude Julien won't solve Canadiens' problems .
It’s easy to blame head coach Claude Julien for the Canadiens’ eight-game winless streak. Too easy. It wasn’t Julien who boastfully gave Andrei Markov and Alexander Radulov “first-come, first-served” contract offers after the 2016-17 season and then watched them both leave, getting absolutely nothing in return for the two veterans. It isn’t Julien who is paying defenceman Karl Alzner US$4.625 million a year to play for the AHL’s Laval Rocket with two more seasons after this remaining on his five-year, US$23.125-million contract. © Pierre Obendrauf Columbus Blue Jackets’ Eric Robinson scores on Canadiens goaltender Carey Price during first period in Montreal on Nov.

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