Not easy for a DG to sell his players to his counterparts at the heart of a historically bad season.
Updated at 0:04
It’s roughly the equivalent of showing around your house for sale when you’ve just put the kids to bed, with the Lego blocks lying around on the floor like so many reefs for the barefoot visitor. Good luck getting him to believe that his dream life awaits him within these walls.
This is a bit of the situation in which Kent Hughes finds himself this spring.
The Canadian lost 6-3 to the Flyers on Thursday. It’s a seventh straight loss for the Montrealers, a 13and in the last 16 games, a 58and in 78 games, including those in overtime. You could be bombarded with numbers illustrating how bad this club is, but let’s not go there as the weekend approaches.
Still, Hughes will have to continue next summer the work started over the winter, consisting of dropping a few veterans to lighten his payroll, rejuvenate the team and continue the reset.
Strangely, it makes you wonder if Jeff Petry, one of the candidates for a transaction, is not saving the furniture under these not obvious conditions. Not that he will forget his first half of the season, but he can at the very least show that the defender he was for the past three years still exists somewhere.
“One of the best games he’s played,” said Martin St-Louis after the game.
On Thursday, the head coach saw the fluid skater he’s probably heard of often, but seen little in action. Petry created his share of scoring chances, while limiting glaring errors. He finished the game at +2, and is going +1 over the current losing streak. He even has five points in those seven games.
The factors of his failures in the first half of the season are undoubtedly multiple. Some suspect it wasn’t love between him and Dominique Ducharme, but Petry also had his tough times under St-Louis. His wife’s decision to stay in Michigan after the holiday break? It certainly can’t explain why number 26 was pulling so many in October.
St-Louis, he brought it back to the good old confidence, “a big part of the game “.
“When you lose that, sometimes you don’t read the game properly, you hesitate, and the hesitation, often, is the legs and the brain. When a player has a lot of confidence, reading is easy and you have legs. Maybe that’s it. »
In the words of Petry: “I let things get worse, I lost control. Physically and mentally, I didn’t feel like I used to. I doubted myself. »
Asked if there was a possibility that he would be back next year, Petry replied that “anything is possible”. “I’m here as long as I’m not told otherwise,” he added.
And the others
Whatever happens next summer, a Petry in good spirits is important to what St-Louis and Hughes are trying to build. At the end of the season, many young people get opportunities to show off, and we guess it’s better that it doesn’t happen in a toxic climate.
Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, for example, was entitled to a fourth game in the NHL, a first at the Bell Centre. He who says he is inspired by Brendan Gallagher was able to see what makes the value of the small number 11 of CH. Twice, Gallagher returned to the bench in pain, even going for a walk in the locker room. Why ? Because he was blocking shots. In a match without any stake, between two teams eliminated from the race for the playoffs for months.
St-Louis says he is “happy” with the commitment of the veterans in a difficult end to the season. “The guys come to work for training, they are involved in the meetings. But of course we would like a victory… to help the commitment. »
He only has four games left to boost that commitment and, by the way, help his GM for the offseason.
Up: Joel Edmundson
If Jeff Petry knows good moments, it is in particular because he counts on a reliable partner.
Down: Carey Price
After two convincing first games, it was much more difficult for the goalkeeper. Six goals allowed, including a few he would like to see again.
The number of the match: – 3
It is often said that the differential is an imperfect statistic. In the case of Kale Clague, however, we have to admit that his – 3 represents his evening of work well.
Hand of God (and Gallagher)
Consternation in the first period. Everyone took it for granted that the Canadiens’ first goal was going to be disallowed after Brendan Gallagher was blatantly guilty of a pass with his hand. However, the Flyers did not contest the decision of the referees. The reason is quite simple: the officials told head coach Mike Yeo that he could not cancel a goal after a pass with the hand. They had it all wrong. According to Article 38.2 (b) of the NHL rulebook, a team can contest a goal scored after an action that should have caused a stoppage of play in the offensive zone – which was the case here. Gallagher himself admitted after the encounter that he knew full well he had “got off lightly”. A good player, Yeo meanwhile underlined that “mistakes happen” and emphasized the fact that his men had not been distracted by this unfortunate event. We can still assume that with six straight losses suffered before this meeting, the pilot of the Flyers would have been less conciliatory if the result of the match had been different.
Special teams fans were feverish before this duel, when the two worst teams in the circuit faced off on the power play. It was above all the Flyers who were able to demonstrate their know-how, for better, but especially for worse. The visitors were, certainly not an exaggeration, pitiful. In six minutes spent with an extra man, they fired five shots… against four for the locals. During a lone first-period disadvantage, Rem Pitlick botched what could have been two high-quality scoring chances by opting for imprecise passes to Jake Evans rather than shooting Martin Jones. A goalkeeper who, as we know, is not exactly the emulator of José Théodore of 2001-2002. A Philadelphia reporter candidly asked Mike Yeo how he explained his team awarded so many overtimes. The answer was quick: “Because we were on the power play. “It’s something we don’t score, but we give a lot of chances. It has to stop,” he added.
Featured Fourth Trio
Given the injuries that afflict his group, and with the avowed goal of getting everyone to play, Martin St-Louis has been juggling his support staff for a few games already. This notably gave Mathieu Perreault the chance to play two games in a row for only the second time since mid-December. And Tyler Pitlick, who is going through a good streak, once again stood out. With Ryan Poehling, they formed a fourth line that looked very good against the Flyers’ fourth unit, but also against the first line piloted by Kevin Hayes. A face-off lost by Poehling in the first period led to Ivan Provorov’s goal, but otherwise it was almost a smooth night. The Habs head coach pointed out at the end of the evening that Perreault had “a good hockey mind” and that Pitlick was giving himself a lot of chances, and this, “in every game”. At the end of the season, which is getting heavier for everyone, all the compliments are worthy of mention.
We had good times, but not enough. Our execution wasn’t there, nor was our recognition of the game. We were slow to read the game. Even when we read the game right, we didn’t execute well. And we gave a lot of turnovers. It’s a bit like that.
Martin St-Louis on his team’s overall performance
We weren’t good enough for a long time, it was difficult in transition. We weren’t arriving with enough speed in the neutral zone. It’s frustrating.
The adjustments to be made differ according to the matches. We talked about elements to be corrected in the three areas. With Martin [St-Louis]we try to bring all these little things together and use them well for the last games we have left.
You see that the details in his game are very good. He’s a hockey player. I liked what I saw.
Martin St-Louis on Rafael Harvey-Pinard
I had good words, not just from my family, but also from many friends and relatives. My parents left me alone today. It was heart warming.
Rafaël Harvey-Pinard on his first game at the Bell Center
I think we focused on the good details in this game. It’s good to win, but if you’re trying to win on your own, chances are you won’t pay attention to the details. Our goals testify to the fact that we approached this match in the right way.
Flyers head coach Mike Yeo