I know it's tempting, but don't do it.
The Canadiens dispiriting 5-1 loss to the Capitals Monday night was just that, a loss. One out of four that will be needed to eliminate the Canadiens from the playoffs, which is something that is still two losses away.
In almost any series that does not end in a sweep, there is one team that leads two games to one. One team that appears to have all the momentum. One team that has dealt a severe blow to the other. One team that appears to be on the ropes.
That team, right now, is your Montreal Canadiens. Why? My thoughts on the matter are summed up in my CBC.ca blog, but should you not be inclined to read it, my reason for the Canadiens loss can be summed up in one word: fragile.
That team was controlling the game last night until a bad break, an unlucky bounce, resulted in a shorthanded goal against. And that's all it took for the Habs to fold. To give up. To lose all confidence.
How can that be, considering the first period they had just put together? And if that was the case, do you think maybe the coach would call a timeout, assuming he actually has a finger on the pulse of his players?
But, as I suggested earlier, that is all in the past. The reality of the present is that the Canadiens are down 2-1 in the series, which is exactly where they would have been if both teams had protected their home ice. It's not a disaster, especially when playing against the President's Trophy winners.
But the pressure for Game 4 is squarely on the Habs shoulders now. It is a must-win of the highest order, and isn't it delicious that it will likely be Carey Price faced with the responsibility of delivering that win. (That irony was the subject of my game story for CP last night).
By the time the two teams take the ice Wednesday, it will have been exactly 50 days since Price's last victory.