OTTAWA | The Canadians remain an average team, a team that is close to .500, which is not a glorious thing in the NHL. On this visit to the Canadian Tire Centre, the CH illustrated this against the Senators by losing 6-2.
• Also read: According to St-Louis, Primeau is not to blame
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• Also read: WATCH: Pezzetta and MacEwen collide!
There was a wave of hope in the Habs camp after two straight wins against two good NHL teams: the Colorado Avalanche and the New Jersey Devils. But when we think this young team has found its rhythm, it tends to take a nosedive.
“We lacked detail and execution in our game,” admitted defender Mike Matheson. We gave the Senators too many chances. We didn't think it would be an easy game. We knew the Sens wanted to bounce back and didn't play Wednesday night. They had more energy. »
Author of one of his team's two goals and involved in a challenge against Zack MacEwen at the end of the first period, Michael Pezzetta hit the nail on the head when analyzing his team's exit.
“We had great momentum, but we faltered against the Senators,” he admitted. When we play against good teams, we show our good faces and find ways to win. To go from good to very good and become a team that has a shot at making the playoffs, you have to get consecutive wins. We have to take advantage of the opportunities. »
Six games in nine nights
CH is a sign that the team is still rebuilding and is still hoping for its first series of three wins this season. Martin St-Louis' gang has achieved two wins in a row six times.
Like Matheson and Pezzetta, St-Louis spoke of missing a meeting, but also insisted on a more difficult part of the schedule.
“We came out with no energy,” he emphasized. To be honest, our first four or five minutes were fine. If we had taken our chances, the game might have been different. But we lacked execution, especially in the second third. There were too many ball losses. We played a sixth game in nine nights and a second game in two nights. We've been playing good hockey lately, but not tonight [hier]. Something was missing. »
Support, a little magic
There are classics in the world of hockey. In the Senators locker room, Thomas Chabot, Mathieu Joseph and Jake Sanderson talked about the importance of playing for 60 minutes while paying close attention to details.
The senators delighted Jacques Martin for an evening. They had a good game and dictated the game from start to finish. And the big guns livened up the show.
Tim Stützle (1 goal, 2 assists) and Brady Tkachuk (1 goal, 1 assist) made life difficult for Cayden Primeau.
A culture for change
On the eve of the Habs' visit to the state capital, Martin expressed his desire to change his team's culture. But the interim coach knows full well that this won't happen with the snap of his fingers. To restore his team's identity, the experienced coach must also see his best players showing the path to take.
Photo Getty Images via AFP
Tkachuk did it against the Canadian by getting his name on the scoresheet, but also with six shots and four goals. In the first period, he delivered a hard hit against Matheson, a key cog for CH.
In Stützle's case, he probably played his best game of the Jacques Martin era. With nine points (1 goal, 8 assists) in his first 13 duels with Martin, he discreetly showed that he has the talent and skills of an elite NHL player.
The Sens now have a record of five wins and nine losses since Martin replaced DJ Smith behind the bench.