"Control, control. You must learn control!"
Coach Ted Nolan said words to this effect. As did words come from some players. Keep focused. Don't come home and then come out flat. Be consistent. Be ready. Obviously, they all know what this team sometimes does. Add to this, ,most road-traveled teams tend to come home and stink up the joint. And for the 11,000 there, for at least that first period, a stinkin' they did.
They were absolutely listless in a first period . . .which for Isles fans, seems all-to-familiar when the Isles do not seem to be mentally prepared. Sometimes, the Isles are not focused or ready-to-go. Perhaps, still a burden of this young and sometimes infuriatingly inconsistent team. Montreal steamrolled that first period into 2 scores, courtesy Tomas Plekanec. The Isles had only 1 shot.
The Isles did play better in the 2nd and 3rd period. But Montreal really has their number this season. Montreal, if anyone did not know, is very solid defensively. They blocked 25 shots. The only Isles score coming from a nifty pass by Guerin as Richard Park ground his way in front of the net in the 3rd period. But then Kovalev ended it with an empty-netter.
What I do think is important, besides the Isles doing the predictable after their road trip, is that their defense, though missing Brendan Witt, who is day-to-day, is playing modestly well. Radek Martinek is also still out. Aaron Johnson will likely be sent to Bridgeport for a conditioning stint. Freddy Meyer is still playing very well and holding down the fort.
Tonight, the Isles take on NJ. Till then . . .