I honestly have no problem with the Islanders getting a much deserved two points over the Habs on Tuesday, but honestly, could it not have turned out differently? Could we not be sitting here talking about the Canadiens clinching a playoff berth tonight instead of needing a point in their final two games to simply make the postseason dance?
Because in spite of a horrendous game played before a weaker opponent, the Canadiens got to a shootout against the Islanders after blowing a 3-2 lead with 2:01 to play in regulation and killing a penalty to finish overtime. And once in that shootout, Jacques Martin decided to choose as his opening shooter a certain Maxim Lapierre. Yes, Lapierre was good tonight. A hell of a goal on a breakaway after splitting the defence, five shots on goal to match a season high, an all around solid night. But does that mean you should be the lead shooter in the shootout? No. Not when this shootout is so vital, when it can clinch you a playoff spot.
But really, that's not what lost the Habs the game. A horrendous first period where they were outshot 15-5? That was a contributing factor. Blowing two one-goal leads, leads that Martin evidently felt comfortable enough to sit on? Yeah, that didn't help. Or how about allowing the Islanders to make 81 shot attempts. 81! That's a phenomenal number, well over one a minute. There were 42 of those that hit the net, three went in, another 26 were blocked and 13 missed the net. That makes 81. Just digest that for a moment, and then try to incorporate the fact the Canadiens managed only 52 shot attempts at the other end.
Considering that, the Habs were lucky to come out of it with a point. But that second point would have been nice, and leading off with Lapierre in the shootout was not the way to go and get it.