In the Room: Gallagher takes beating in loss to Jets

 

 
 
 
 
Canadiens’ Brendan Gallagher, left, grimaces as he is knocked to the ice by Jets’ Devin Setoguchi as goalie Al Montoya keeps watch at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Sunday.
 
 

Canadiens’ Brendan Gallagher, left, grimaces as he is knocked to the ice by Jets’ Devin Setoguchi as goalie Al Montoya keeps watch at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Sunday.

Photograph by: Allen McInnis, The Gazette

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MONTREAL — Most of the talk following the Canadiens’ 2-1 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday afternoon at the Bell Centre centred around Brendan Gallagher and whether he received a fair shake from the referees.

Gallagher received three minor penalties during the game, but most of the outrage in the Montreal room was about the rough treatment the pesky forward received during the final minute of the game when the Canadiens were attempting to mount a comeback.

The Canadiens had a manpower advantage after pulling goaltender Carey Price, but were unable to enter the offensive zone because Gallagher was trapped. He was first held up by goaltender Al Montoya, who punched Gallagher in the head at least twice. As he skated free of Montoya, Gallagher went sprawling on the ice after contact with Zach Bogosian. And then he was held up a third time by Jacob Trouba, who came off the Winnipeg bench and made a beeline for Gallagher.

“I counted five infractions that could have been called in the final minute,” Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien said. “I’m going to ask for an explanation.”

There was a request to interview Gallagher after the game, but it wasn’t surprising he was discouraged from speaking by his landlord, defenceman Josh Gorges.

“It was my call not to have him out here; he’s pretty fired up right now,” Gorges said. “It’s frustrating when little things are being called. I have to be careful what I say, but it was pretty evident that they were not allowing him to get out of the zone. He took a punch in the head from the goalie, he was tripped, and the guy who came off the bench gave him another shot and, from my understanding, all the time Gallagher was being yelled at by the ref.”

Kerry Fraser, the former referee who now does commentary for TSN, had a different view of the incident. He said Gallagher initiated the contact with Montoya — a claim that’s difficult to back up by the video replay — and was guilty of diving after incidental contact with Bogosian. Fraser said the contact with the player coming off the bench should have been a penalty, but noted that was cancelled by the non-call for diving.

While the Canadiens’ frustration boiled over into a scrum in front of Montoya as the game ended, Gorges was quick to point out the events of the last minute were merely a footnote to a disappointing weekend.

”That’s not the difference tonight, it was just a frustrating end to the game,” Gorges said.

The Canadiens came out of the weekend with a single point after losing 2-1 in overtime to Tampa Bay on Saturday. Carey Price stopped 34 shots Saturday and 33 on Sunday to finish with a .957 save percentage for the weekend, but it’s difficult to win when your team scores only one goal in each game.

As good as Price was, Montoya and Tampa’s Ben Bishop were both excellent, and it was costly miscues that made the difference. P.K. Subban accidentally deflected a puck past Price and then was caught out of position on the winning goal Saturday.

And it was Price who misplayed the puck and was caught out of his net on Michael Frolik’s game-winner Sunday.

“It’s frustrating when you misplay the puck, that one’s on me,” the goaltender said.

Therrien said he thought the Canadiens deserved to win. He noted they hit two posts and had chances, but it was another empty night for the power play, which has scored only twice in 23 opportunities over the past seven games. The Canadiens have a 2-4-1 record in those games and have been outscored 19-11.

phickey@montrealgazette.com

Twitter: zababes1

 
 
 
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Canadiens’ Brendan Gallagher, left, grimaces as he is knocked to the ice by Jets’ Devin Setoguchi as goalie Al Montoya keeps watch at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Sunday.
 

Canadiens’ Brendan Gallagher, left, grimaces as he is knocked to the ice by Jets’ Devin Setoguchi as goalie Al Montoya keeps watch at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Sunday.

Photograph by: Allen McInnis, The Gazette

 
Canadiens’ Brendan Gallagher, left, grimaces as he is knocked to the ice by Jets’ Devin Setoguchi as goalie Al Montoya keeps watch at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Sunday.
Mark Stuart #5 of the Winnipeg Jets clears Brendan Gallagher #11 of the Montreal Canadiens from in front of goalie Al Montoya #35 of the Winnipeg Jets during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on February 2, 2014 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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