About the refereeing. The first Leaf goal was on a powerplay for the weakest hooking call in the history of hockey. Kessel's brilliant shot should never have been allowed to happen. The refs were terrible all game on both sides of the divide. NHL refereeing is an absolute joke.
About the goaltending decision. Alex Auld isn't at fault for goals 1 and 3. He most certainly is at fault for goal 2. Jesus Fucking Christ, put your skate on the post. Why Carey Price wasn't in from minute one baffles me. No, he can't play every game. Yes, he just went through a big emotional win out in his home province. Sure, the Leafs are below Montreal in the standings for now.
But Price had already shut the Leafs out twice at home this year. And the Leafs are streaking right now and deserved more respect. And Price probably felt pretty great saving everyone's bacon in the classic "system" game and was probably raring to go. And Auld should have played in that fucking ridiculous outdoor game so Price was more rested (you know why Ty Conklin has played in three Winter Classics? Because glorified shinny games are where you toss in your backup, that's why, Martin. YOU FUCKING MORON.) Last night was when the Canadiens needed to step on Toronto's throat and announce that there was no way the ACC was seeing playoff hockey in 2011. To do that, they needed to have their best player. You think the Leafs weren't chomping at the bit to get at Alex Auld instead of Price? Well, fucking Martin didn't.
You know why this review is so late? Because I honestly couldn't think of the way to put all the angry thoughts I had about Jacques Martin down coherently. The laundry list of things about that man's coaching last night (and every other night) is actually depressing. To wit:
- Last night's best line for the Canadiens was clearly Pleks, Cammy and Halpern. Naturally, when the Canadiens had a powerplay, the correct decision is to start Pleks, Cammy and Andrei Kostitsyn, who proceeded to suck the life out of every chance, muffed an open net, and handed the puck away at an alarming rate. You know, a typical night for Forrest Kostitsyn.
- The kid line of Desharnais, White and Pouliot showed some real jump at times, with White banging and crashing, DDD winning battles, and Pouliot using his size and speed. So it made perfect sense to give them roughly 6 minutes of ice time all game, and no powerplay time for Pouliot, one of the only Habs wingers with size, speed and a modicum of offensive talent. Best to let Forrest Kostitsyn slouch his way around for a minute and a half each man advantage rather than say, a red-hot Max Pac or Pouliot.
- Lars Eller surely didn't need more than 7 minutes of ice time and no powerplay time or penalty killing time, what with the bang up job the PK did last night agains the vaunted Leafs powerplay.
- Sure makes sense to hand 20 minutes of ice time to the black hole known as Scott Gomez ... why, who else can make thirty rushes into the Leafs zone, turn his back at the blue line and make a soft pass to a covered winger?
- Fantastic idea to start Hamrlik with the Wiz on every powerplay. I know when I need a goal on the man advantage, I wouldn't turn to my electrifying rookie D-man. I'd go with the overworked 36 year old for three times as much PP time than some punk kid with a cannon shot and a penchant for end-to-end rushes. No sirree, don't want to throw any caution to the wind.
- And I sure as hell wouldn't want to discuss anything with the referees, whether in a civil tone or not. Nope, I think it's better to JUST FUCKING STAND THERE DUMBFOUNDED as the game and season fucking drops right off the map in front of me. After all, my vaunted system has throttled the life out of any possible momentum this team could ever build so why bother?
- Oh, and before anyone starts calling for Kirk Muller to get the head job, someone answer me this: What the fuck is Muller in charge of? Is there any discernible improvement in any facet of this team's game? Good fucking Christ, these assholes can't even muster enough guts and brainpower to breakout of their own end in the last two minutes ... are you telling me Muller has all these fucking fantastic plans that Martin just ignores? Muller and Pearn are just as much of a problem at this point.
- And please spare me the "this team is missing so many guys - to have them where they are is a testament to Martin's coaching" bullshit. With Markov and Gorges and a healthier Cammy, this team would be still finish 5th to 10th. Last year's miracle run was because Jaro played lights out for two months, the Pens played abysmal and Bruce Boudreau might be the only coach dumber than Martin.