Well, that escalated quickly.
The Montreal Canadiens suffered their first regulation loss of the season at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday night. It also happened to be one of their worst losses in history.
Let’s dig in. Plus, a few other things we learned on an interesting night in the NHL.
It’s safe to say just about everyone at Nationwide Arena has a bit of a headache, thanks to all the blasts from the Columbus Blue Jackets‘ goal cannon Friday night. Though we’re assuming none more so than Michel Therrien and Co. (More on that later, of course.)
But before we dig into the Canadiens’ catastrophe, let’s recap the Blue Jackets’ barrage of goals.
All told, a whopping 16 different players got on the score sheet for Columbus in their 10-0 victory (sorry Lukas Sedlak and Ryan Murray), with four players registering two-goal nights: Josh Anderson, Cam Atkinson, Nick Foligno and Scott Hartnell.
Here’s a look at every goal—some of which were quite pretty:
And let’s not forget the impressive play of Sergei Bobrovsky, who made 30 saves for his third shutout of the year.
With the goal cannon (and the crowd) taking care of most of the goal celebrations, an even-keeled Columbus captain showed a little empathy after the game.
“You’ve been on the other side where everything is not going right,” Foligno, who had two goals and an assist on the night, told reporters after the game. “It just seemed to be the case tonight where we were just getting every bounce. But we were earning it too. I’m not going to take away from our game, either. We did a lot of good things. But I’ve never been up by 10 in my entire career.”
Hey, where’d they get that cannon, anyway? We’re glad you asked:
Now, let’s talk about those Habs…
What. Just. Happened?
Remember when the Canadiens called Wednesday’s 3-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks their worst performance of the season?
Little did they know, it would get much, much worse just two nights later.
Friday night’s disastrous output against the Blue Jackets featured a Canadiens squad that didn’t show many signs of life. But unlike Wednesday’s win — which defenceman Nathan Beaulieu referred to afterwards as a “wakeup call” — the team’s No. 1 goaltender Carey Price wasn’t there to bail them out in what was an eventual 10-0 (!) loss.
Instead, it was backup Al Montoya in the crease for the Canadiens’ first regulation loss of the 2015-16 campaign.
Up until Friday’s start, the Habs’ backup had enjoyed a pretty decent ride to begin the season, earning himself an impressive 1.47 goals against average and 0.955 save percentage in four games, including one shutout.
His new stat line? A 3.15 GAA and save percentage of .908.
“Tonight we left [Montoya] out to dry,” Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty told reporters. “We pride ourselves on being such a close group, and to leave our goalie out to dry like that is very frustrating.”
Despite an increasing number of camera pans toward Price on the bench, Therrien stuck with his decision to keep Montoya in net through all 60 minutes of painful play.
“It was really tough to leave Al there. We understand that,” Therrien explained to reporters after the game. “We took the decision together. We communicated as a group and [Canadiens goalie coach] Stéphane Waite went to talk to Al between the second and the third, to explain the situation. But it was a really tough decision.”
As the goal-count climbed, well, let’s just say the Patrick Roy jokes came quickly and often.
Now, after letting in a historic 10 goals on 40 shots, Montoya is in the record books for all the wrong reasons.
“It’s embarrassing to lose like that,” Brendan Gallagher told reporters after the game. “10-0 should never happen in this league.”
The only positive out of all this?
“We play tomorrow night at home,” said Therrien, who just so happened to be celebrating his 53rd birthday on Friday.
The Canadiens will attempt to get back on track as they host the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday night.
Jets hit reset
Speaking of getting back on track… the Winnipeg Jets managed to do just that Friday night, winning an important game on the road against the Detroit Red Wings to avoid suffering four straight losses.
Rookie Brandon Tanev scored his first two NHL goals to get the Jets ahead, netting both the tying and the game-winning goals in the third period to secure the 5-3 victory.
But it was a different rookie — you know the one — who wowed us with a nifty play of his own on Friday. Patrik Laine got the Jets on the board in the first period with a bit of fun stick work and of course, that signature shot.
Domi downs Kesler
We know Max Domi is tough. The son of Tie boasts some pretty slick skill on a regular basis, but we got a glimpse of that grit Friday night against the Anaheim Ducks.
Domi dropped the gloves with Ducks agitator Ryan Kesler with about five minutes to go in the first period, and all it took was a single punch from the Coyotes forward to knock No. 17 off his feet.
Kesler needed to be helped off the ice, and both players were issued five-minute fighting majors for the run-in.
Lucky for the Ducks, Kesler would return to the game, unhurt.
Kesler also got the last laugh, as his team won 5-1.