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Habs give pathetic effort against NHL’s worst team
After an uninspiring loss last night, the Canadiens were back in action tonight, as the poor San Jose Sharks, losers of 12 consecutive games (all in regulation time), visited the Bell Centre.

For the occasion, Rafaël Harvey-Pinard was back in the line-up. He took the place of Emil Heineman, who was left out.

As for the Sharks, they were trying to shake off their never-ending losing streak.

It’s worth noting that good Mike Hoffman, well known in Montreal, was on the fourth line tonight.

Obviously, the Tricolore were expected to play a big game against the poor Sharks… but in the end, it was the Sharks who found the back of the net first. A rare blunder by Jayden Struble allowed Luke Kunin to find the back of the net.

It took him 22 games to make a real first mistake and remind everyone that he’s human.

And clearly, Struble wanted revenge. Poor William Eklund was his victim, as he was crushed into the boards by the rookie defenseman.

Now that’s the Struble we know.

But once again, the Sharks showed their teeth at the end of the period, as Fabian Zetterlund doubled his team’s lead,

Suddenly, the Habs were trailing by two goals against a club that hadn’t won in nearly a month.

At least Brendan Gallagher saved his team’s honor before the end of the first period: he found the back of the net on a beautiful pass from Mike Matheson.

Gallagher now has three goals in five career games against Mackenzie Blackwood.

After 20 minutes, the Sharks had a 2-1 lead.

In the second period, we hoped to see the Tricolore play with a little more aplomb… but once again, the Sharks looked like a much better team.

The visitors regained a two-goal lead thanks to Nikita Okhotiuk’s first in a Sharks uniform.

And overall, the Sharks were the dominant team in the second period. The worst team in the league looked to be in a league above the Tricolore, and the latter offered a pathetic effort.

After 40 minutes, the score was 3-1 in favor of the Sharks.

In the opening minutes of the third period, the Habs once again looked completely sluggish. There was no energy in the line-up, and it was almost as if the Habs had given up.

There was some life when Nick Suzuki broke free on a short-handed play, but Blackwood made a fine save.

The crowd erupted in boos in the third period, and a clearly sarcastic “Olé Olé Olé” was even heard. And understandably so: the fans on hand deserved much better.

And it seems to have whipped the Tricolore into a frenzy. Samuel Montembeault retired to the bench with over five minutes to go in the third period, and after a good Habs sequence in the offensive zone, a good on-ice shot from Mike Matheson was deflected by Josh Anderson.

The score sheet currently gives the goal to Matheson, but Anderson clearly touched the puck. This will be changed in the next few hours.

Late in the game, Cole Caufield missed a sure goal. It’s the kind of goal he’s scored tons and tons of times in the past, this…

The Tricolore really threatened at the end of the game, but it was too little too late: he wasn’t able to tie the score. This energy should have been felt much earlier in the match.

Final score: 3-2 San Jose

The Canadiens return to action on Saturday night, when Connor McDavid and the Oilers visit the Bell Centre.


– What a pathetic effort by the Habs tonight. The club found a way to get downgraded by the worst team in the league, which is also one of the worst teams in recent NHL history and had just lost 12 consecutive games. With last night’s terrible effort against the Flyers, that’s two terrible games in 24 hours.

– Awful.

– For those who still believed in the Habs’ playoff hopes, I think tonight’s game is good evidence that we should probably forget about it for this season. I’m well aware that it happens, but if you add in yesterday’s game, the Tricolore has never looked like a playoff-worthy club, even if they weren’t playing against big powers. The offense is so sluggish that, barring a huge goaltending performance, it’s hard to win games.

– No one’s going to blame him.

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