The Montreal Canadiens looked slightly better in their Tuesday night effort against the Philadelphia Flyers, but they were still unable to crack Michael Leighton and wound up being shut out again 3-0 to go down two games in the series.
As of now, the Eastern Conference Final looks like a shockingly one-sided series.
Leighton made 30 saves in Tuesday’s effort and became only the second goalie in Flyers history to notch two back-to-back shutout performances. Only Bernie Parent has had back-to-back shutouts for the Flyers and when he blanked the Maple Leafs in 1975, Philly went on to win the Cup.
Leighton’s put the Flyers two wins away from heading to the Stanley Cup Final, but the series now moves to Montreal and the Habs should be raring to go in front of their home fans. It’s still an uphill climb, but they’ve got a big chance to make a go of it on Thursday.
Strangely, the Canadiens are actually 0-5 in the post-season when the manage to outshoot their opponents.
Another problem for the Habs lies with special teams. They’ve really struggled against the Flyers’ power play, with Danny Briere and Simon Gagne both scoring goals on the man advantage on Tuesday.
The main problem for the Canadiens will be confidence going into Game 3. They’ll need to prove early that they can still put the puck in the net, even if Leighton is playing like a man possessed. With the Flyers goalie seeing every shot well, the Habs know that they’re main order of business has to be that old cliche: traffic to the net.
All the old hockey cliches in the world won’t be able to help the Canadiens if they can’t scrape together a few goals, however, and that has to be first and foremost on the minds of the coaching staff as they prepare for the next game.
Posted by Jordan Richardson.