Has their ever been a more Jekyll and Hyde team than the 2011-12 Montreal Canadiens?
The Habs got off to a great start in the sunshine state before they suffered another epic collapse, ultimately losing to the Florida Panthers, 4-2.
David Desharnais opened the scoring 4:27 into the first period and things were looking up for the Bleu, Blanc, Rouge.
Things were going so well that the Canadiens 29th ranked powerplay got them a goal, as PK Subban scored on a 5 on 3, with Tomas Kopecky and Kris Versteeg in the box.
Stephen Weiss cut the Habs lead to 2-1, but the Canadiens never looked overmatched in the first period.
As the opening period ended, Ryan White and Erik Gudbranson dropped the gloves. The 20-year-old defenseman landed a couple of very good shots on White, and clearly won the fight.
The Panthers seemed to get a jolt from the fight and dominated the rest of the game, scoring four unanswered goals.
“It’s tough mentally right now,” said Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges.
“Every time something negative happens, we seem to sink and we have to find a way to overcome that.”
The Panthers line of Sean Bergenheim, Stephen Weiss, and Mikael Samuellson dominated the Habs. They combined for eight points and a +/- 8 rating.
There appears to be too many passengers on this team, and it shows more and more as each game unfolds.
“You have to have a little pride,” said Habs bench boss Randy Cunneyworth.
“If you’re just thinking of yourself, that’s the wrong way to be thinking at this time.”
One of the players Cunneyworth seems to be referring too is Andrei Kostitsyn.
Kostitsyn is believed to be on his way out of Montreal, and played a total of three shifts in the third period. He also didn’t see a single shift in the last 12 minutes of the game.
With the NHL’s trade deadline set for Monday at 3 p.m., there is a good chance that the Canadiens will have a different look for their game in Tampa on Tuesday night
The Habs remain in the cellar of the Eastern Conference, as they fall to 11-17-3 under Cunneyworth and 24-29-10 overall.