CANADIENS EMBARRASSED YET AGAIN


Matt D’Agostini?

Sure, why not.

While you’re at it, how about Max Pacioretty, Ben Maxwell, Ryan White, Gregory Stewart, and Yannick Weber.

And throw in Brock Trotter, Chad Anderson, Alex Henry and Yanick Lehoux.

Let’s not forget Mike Glumac.

Hey, it worked last night for the Washington Capitals.

With a slew of players out with injuries, the Caps iced a team against the Canadiens that featured a host of Hershey Bears, called up from the American Hockey League. The result? A 3-0 victory over the Habs and a shutout for former Montreal netminder Jose Theodore.

Yet again, head coach Guy Carbonneau used the word “embarrassing” to describe his club’s performance. Carbonneau says he felt sad for Jaroslav Halak, who finally got a start, but got absolutely no offensive support, as the final score would indicate.

The game started in ugly fashion after a costly turnover by, no, not Ryan O’Byrne, but by the usually-steady Francis Boullion resulted in a goal by Tomas Fleischmann midway through the opening period. The red-hot Alexander Ovechkin made it 2-0 early in the second period as he scooted in front of Halak and beat the Montreal netminder. David Steckel sealed the deal five minutes later, after the Canadiens had managed to successfully kill a 5-on-3 Washington power play for 1:42.

Before the second period was over, Carbonneau had seen enough from his forwards and began to mix up the lines and dropped Andrei Kostitsyn to the fourth line to play with Maxim Lapierre and Mathieu Dandenault. Mind you, with the way Lapierre and Dandenault have been playing of late, maybe we should consider that move a promotion for Andrei. Because Andrei’s regular line-mates, Alex Kovalev and Tomas Plekanec, certainly haven’t been getting it done this season.

And before this one was over, Carbo went with a power play combination that featured Lapierre, Begin and Tom Kostopoulos.

Hey, why not?

And why not give Matt D’Agostini a chance tonight? There he was, cooling his jets in the Verizon Center press box, while the Canadiens‘ forwards were once again stinking out the joint. If Alex Tanguay isn’t ready to return to action after sitting out last night with a sore neck, courtesy of the monster hit he took from Brad Stuart in the game against the Islanders back on Monday night, why not play D’Agostini? You’ve already paid for his bus ticket, let’s see what the kid can do.

We’ve seen what he can do with the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs: 14 goals and 11 assists for 25 points in 20 games. That’s good for the scoring lead in Hamilton and good for third overall in the AHL. D’Agostini, who did not look out of place in his two training-camp appearances with the Habs, leads the ‘Dogs in power play goals with five (!) and shots on goal, with 64. Not bad for a 22-year-old from Sault-Ste. Marie, Ontario, who was selected in the sixth round by the Canadiens, 190th overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

D’Agostini played his first NHL game with the Canadiens during the 2007-2008 season. With any luck, he’ll play his second game tonight, when the Canadiens host the Buffalo Sabres for the start of a seven-game home-stand.


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About ahefter

I have covered hockey extensively during my 30-year sports broadcasting career. From the Miracle on Ice at Lake Placid to the Edmonton Oiler dynasty years, I've shared my views on hockey with listeners in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. You can "catch me in action" on Youtube at the following URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1n5BdB9ngYw My radio stops include TSN 690 Montreal, CJAD Montreal, CKNW Vancouver, and CKEY Toronto. I also ran the Canadian Press sports desk (radio). My travels as a network reporter have taken me to four Olympics, most recently Vancouver 2010. I'm currently an Applied Assistant Professor within the School of Communication at the University of Hartford.
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