The Canadiens have played the last two games the exact same way - come out of the gates with guns blazing, yet only manage a single goal, then fall asleep in the second period to eventually lose them the game.
It's not pretty to watch, and while teams love to talk about generating chances, they are useless unless you actually cash a few of them in every once in a while.
On the very first shift of the game, the Scott Gomez, Mike Cammalleri and Brian Gionta line nearly scored three times. The energy continued throughout the period, forcing the Sens into penalty after penalty, but the Habs would have gone into the first intermission down a goal if it weren't for Cammalleri's first bouncing in off the shoulder of Pascal Leclaire.
When you have a two-minute 5-on-3, you have to score. It's that simple, because if you don't, the boost it gives the other team is sometimes too much to overcome.
The Habs power play was 0-for-4 tonight, all in the first period when they could have put the game away, and they are now 1-for-10 on this homestand. At least the penalty killing has improved, but the problem with this team right now is that it's not scoring goals.
Five straight losses, nine goals scored in that span. Doesn't require much more explanation than that.
One thing that has become clear is that Maxim Lapierre and Guillaume Latendresse are not Jacques Martin's favourite players. Both have hovered around 12 minutes of ice time the past two games, and they are not showing the same crash-and-bang energy they did last year. It was a duo that was being counted on to swing momentum and pitch in some offence from time to time, but they're not getting it done on either assignment.
Andrei Kostitsyn apparently played 16:29 tonight, but other than a dangerous wrist shot from the perimeter, I don't really remember him doing anything. It would have been nice to see him build off the solid performance on Thursday night, but instead he regressed back to his aloof play. That has to be frustrating for Martin and for his centre Tomas Plekanec, who again was one of the best Habs forwards on the ice.
Chemistry is not built overnight, but there's been little evidence that any is forming right now. There are flashes of it, like that first shift of the game, but they are too few and far between.
The Canadiens inability to put this game away when they had the chance allowed Alex Kovalev to have a very triumphant return to Montreal. I may sound heartless, but the people who gave him a standing ovation tonight should be ashamed of themselves. Kovalev plays for the other team, and I'm not sure he deserved that honour.
But at the same time, the crowd here Saturday night wanted something, anything, to cheer for. And so Kovalev scoring a goal in his return provided that opportunity, but it also underlined how little the home team is doing to solicit the same response.