We could talk about whether or not a goal should’ve been a goal, but the bottom line is that the Ottawa Senators felled the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday night thanks to a 5-4 shootout win.
The Senators might be sitting in last place in the North Division, but they have improved as of late and dropped the Habs in two consecutive contests.
Montreal has won just once in their last six and are now fourth in the North.
Unloading the numbers on the Canadiens isn’t pretty. They’ve scored one power play goal in their last 21 tries and struggled after getting off to a blistering 7-1-2 start.
That’s caused speculation that head coach Claude Julien’s job might be in peril, especially since general manager Marc Bergevin spent the green to address needs in the off-season. The acquisitions of Tyler Toffoli, Josh Anderson, Joel Edmundson, Corey Perry, and others were supposed to bolster this group over the long haul.
But that’s not happening right now.
The Canadiens, especially Brendan Gallagher, will argue his potential 5-4 goal late in the third period of Tuesday’s contest should’ve counted and Montreal should’ve won the game.
“When you score a big goal like that with two or four seconds left, a big goal that you think is a good one but it gets called back, it certainly takes your breath away,” said Julien. “And it was a win we really needed, so we got a bit unlucky there.”
The argument from the NHL is that Senators goalie Matt Murray didn’t have time to reset after contact was made in the crease. Whichever side you choose, the loss still stands and the Canadiens have to contend with what it means.
It took Montreal time to get going on Tuesday, time they didn’t have. That would come back to bite them, as they let the Senators into the game and that paved the way to a must-have for Gallagher that just didn’t happen. So it goes.
“It’s steps at this point,” Canadiens defenceman Shea Weber said. “We’re trying to get out of this and we’re going to get out of it together.”
Montreal will have a chance to take another step Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets, who they’ll play again Saturday. Winnipeg is currently one point ahead of Montreal in the North Division, coming off a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.
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