Historic? That’s one way to put it. Disastrous sounds more accurate.
The Montreal Canadiens, winners of eight straight, saw their streak and great start to the season come to a crashing halt Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Fans in Columbus apparently began chanting during the third period ‘We want 10!’ And the Blue Jackets delivered. Ten goals. All of them were scored on Canadiens goalie Al Montoya, who was given the start so Carey Price could get a rest.
“Tonight, we let (Montoya) out to dry. That’s what’s frustrating. We pride ourselves on being such a close group and to leave our goalie out to dry like that is very frustrating,” said captain Max Pacioretty.
Price never came into this game. The Habs lost 10-0. Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch reported that this matches the worst defeat in Canadiens history.
For Montreal fans, what occurred Friday may have brought back old memories of Patrick Roy being left in for nine goals during a game in 1995, then storming along the bench past coach Mario Tremblay to have a word with team president Ronald Corey. A few days later, Roy was traded.
That’s not a suggestion that Montoya will do, or would do the same thing. But the Twitter world on Friday was full of references to that infamous night in Habs history.
Despite their 9-0-1 start prior to this debacle, Habs coach Michel Therrien said the coaching staff could see a letdown coming “…like a big curve ball.”
“First of all, it was really tough to leave him in there. And we understand,” said Therrien, adding goalie coach Stephane Waite talked to Montoya in the second intermission. “That was a really tough decision to make.”
The Blue Jackets, on the other hand, set a new franchise record for goals scored in a game. It’s the league’s first 10-goal shut out since 1996.
Now winners of three straight, the Blue Jackets actually tied the original franchise mark of eight goals in a single game before the second period was even over. That eighth goal was an accurate summation of the night for the Habs.