Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal Canadiens Pushed To Brink Of Elimination With OT Loss

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The Montreal Canadiens played a better game than they had in Game 3, but couldn’t get the bounces to go their way in a 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Rangers on Sunday night.

In overtime, the Canadiens missed several chances to clear and the puck found it’s way to a wide open sniper at the right face off circle who made no mistake. You know, put that way, it looked a lot like Max Pacioretty‘s goal in Game 7 against the Boston Bruins.

In the end, Alex Galchenyuk‘s shot hit the post and stayed out while Martin St. Louis‘s shot found the only space it could fit through and that was the difference.

The Canadiens didn’t play a bad game – except for defensive break downs that led to three goals. If they score on more than one of their eight power plays – or at least don’t allow a short-handed goal, that’s the difference in the game.

Watching the Canadiens play, it looks like they are tired. Or, at least more tired than the Rangers. Whether it is the Rangers speed or their style, they are making the Canadiens look slow. Can it be the Bruins took too much of a physical toll? Most of their offensive weapons look hurt.

Has anyone cost themselves as much money as Thomas Vanek? I would be surprised to see anyone give him the $7 million he’ll be looking for. If his price gets driven down, I’d love for the Canadiens to pick up him. If you watch him play, my guess is that they are hiding an injury.

While it’s admirable that he’s not using it as an excuse, you have to feel that saying it’s just lackluster play won’t help his stock. Although a bidding war might push his price up. Look at David Clarkson.

The Canadiens always seem to play their best – or at least have the best results – when they are counted out. Their two best games of the Boston series came when down 3-2 and in Game 7. Their only win and best performance of the series against the Rangers came right after Carey Price was ruled out of the series and everyone was counting them out.

Right now, I’d look for Montreal to leave it all on the ice, for better or worse, because not doing that could mean the end of their season. The best part of all of this is that there is only one off day between games which will limit the talking and focus on the action on the ice.

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Tags: 2013-14 NHL Playoffs Alex Galchenyuk Montreal Canadiens NHL Playoffs Thomas Vanek

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