As of yesterday, they had lost three straight, four of their last five. The Habs took the ice hoping for a bounce-back effort as they hosted the Washington Capitals. If anything could shake Montreal out of their doldrums, it had to be the deafening fervor of their home fans.
Said fans didn’t get much of a chance to even clear their throats last night. Within ten minutes of the second period, Washington flipped the score from a 0-0 tie to 4-0. Alexander Ovechkin, returning from injury, kicked off the scoring, and once the gate opened it was all downhill for Montreal. By the end of the second period, the Canadiens were only able to muster up nine shots on goal. Carey Price, who may be campaigning for the starting gig at the Sochi Olympics, was yanked after the fourth goal.
Afterwards, the Canadiens had a lot of damage control to go through. The team held a players-only meeting immediately following the game. However, as ugly as that may have been, word is team management wasn’t about to let the players off the hook, forcing them to stay in their locker stalls to face the media.
And when they did, they didn’t have great things to say.
“We’re playing with no emotion. We’re not playing as a team,” said forward Travis Moen. Meanwhile, team captain Brian Gionta pretty much summed it up by saying the team was struggling to get on track.
“Obviously, we’re not playing good hockey and we need to find a way to turn things around,” Gionta said. “We had three shots through almost the whole second period. Forty minutes of play, we have three shots. We’re off our game. We’ve got to find a way to keep supporting each other and find a way out of this.”
Habs fans have to at least be encouraged that Gionta wasn’t looking to sugar-coat things. At the same time, Montreal’s captain knows the task at hand, and the fact that he stated the importance of supporting each other through this rough patch is something the team needed to hear.