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Shortage: Josh Anderson no longer knows how to cope

If I asked you to tell me how many times Josh Anderson has found the back of the net this season, I think you’d all be able to tell me the answer is zero.

As you can see, since the start of the season, Anderson has been unable to buy a goal. No matter how hard he tries, he simply can’t score.

He hasn’t scored in his last 19 games – all 16 this season, plus his last three games in 2022-2023. It’s been over eight months (March 14) since he last lit up the net.

And it’s not for lack of effort.

Clearly, when Josh Anderson is on the ice, you can see he’s trying everything he can. But right now, he’s probably so stressed out and focused on his goal that he’s losing it.

But nothing helps.

Even though Martin St-Louis gave him chances in big offensive situations (notably late in the game when the CH had more skaters than the Flames and he absolutely had to score) on the sidelines of the CH’s 2-1 loss, Anderson just can’t do it.

I don’t know what’s going to take him at this point. After all, just yesterday, he took three shots and got plenty of playing time. You can tell the club has faith in him.

But Anderson must be losing confidence in himself. Despite his 37 shots this season, he’s not doing anything right.

Yesterday, he mentioned that he might have to change his sticks to regain his scoring touch. And since hockey players are superstitious (they’re a little stitieux, at the very least), we wonder whether he was joking or not.

But don’t think he’s the only one to blame. No!

What do I take away from last night’s game, in which the Canadiens were unable to snatch victory from a Western Canadian club for the second straight game?

1. Besides Josh Anderson, several other forwards are in the midst of a long scoreless streak.

For example? Alex Newhook has not scored in his last 13 games. Tanner Pearson has not found the back of the net in his last 11 games. We’re talking about 15 games for Jake Evans and 13 games for Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, who hasn’t scored this season.

But there’s more to it than that.

At five-on-five, Juraj Slafkovsky hasn’t scored this season. Cole Caufield hasn’t had a five-on-five goal in 14 games. Remember that Caufield is a scorer…

In fact, at five-on-five, only one forward has managed to find the back of the net for the Habs in the last four games. We’re talking about Brendan Gallagher against the Bruins on Saturday.

And given that the CH’s last four goals have been scored by defensemen since Gally’s, it’s clear that the forwards will have to produce some day.

2. Yesterday’s only goal, as you may have guessed (and as you may have seen), was scored by a defenseman. Gustav Lindstrom, normally the Canadiens’ #7 defenseman, scored a beautiful goal on a beautiful sequence.

We may not have seen it the rest of the time, but hey.

3. In the end, the Canadian didn’t play badly against the Flames. It had a good game against Jonathan Huberdeau’s club (did you see him yesterday?), but wasn’t opportunistic.

Samuel Montembeault did what he had to do to keep his club in the game.

4. Brendan Gallagher wasn’t a happy customer last night. He took a late-game penalty when he didn’t exactly deserve to be sent to the dungeon.

That’s the story of his career.

But since the referee was far away and #11 lost the benefit of the doubt against referees in his NHL debut, it made for a dubious penalty against the Habs.

This ultimately led to the referees managing to balance things out by giving the Flames a penalty afterwards, but still.

In the penalty box, Gallagher wasn’t happy… and neither was he in front of the media. He criticized the NHL, saying, as reported by Jean-François Chaumont, that the referees had made a terrible decision in an important moment of the game.

Referee Pierre Lambert went through the wringer for Gally, who could be fined if the NHL doesn’t get tough.

He took action because he saw the Flames players reacting on the bench. It can’t happen at this level and he knows it.

You can’t make a mistake like that at such an important moment in the game. – Brendan Gallagher after the game

He also said he’d like to see referees have the right to consult with each other to make the right decision on the ice, as we see in other major leagues in North America.

Why not?

5. Martin St-Louis got in on the action in the second half of the game, stirring his fruit salad. With the CH losing after 40 minutes for the 12th time in 16 games, the coach traded Caufield and Anderson.

Nick Suzuki and Caufield finished the game together.

Extended time

The Canadiens, who have just two wins in 60 minutes this season, will be back at practice this morning to prepare for the visit of Dominique Ducharme’s Golden Knights.

Practice is at 11:30 a.m.

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