Despite a much improved performance from Carey Price, the rest of the Canadiens didn't seem to bother showing up in Atlanta last night and the result was an ugly 2-0 loss. This follows on the heels of a 5-1 drubbing in Buffalo on Wednesday night, and seems to mark a distinct lack of both effort and urgency from the team as a whole.
The return of Alex Tanguay to the lineup did not have the desired effect on team scoring, although with just under 14 minutes of ice time it's clear that he's still rounding back in to game-shape after missing an extended period with a shoulder injury. Perhaps more disturbing were the body of special teams play, with the Canadiens taking a number of undisciplined penalties and the powerplay going ice cold after a brief stretch of success. Although the outcome wasn't greatly affected by either of these factors last night, if the Canadiens were playing a team with aspirations for Stanley rather than Tavares it would have been a much worse result to be sure.
Now sitting only 2 points clear of 10th place in the East, the Canadiens need to pull things together quickly or they'll be on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. We'll see if they manage to right the ship on Sunday in Dallas (a 6 PM EST start), or if the gradual wreckage of the once vaunted Centennial season continues.