If you've been following the Montreal Canadiens lately, you have seen that they have not been playing very well. They've lost seven of ten after starting the season 8-1-1. Tonight, things got a little worse thanks to a shootout loss at the hands of the Islanders.
The Habs haven't been playing well as a unit, but a lot -- scratch that almost all -- of the blame for tonight's loss will fall on the shoulders of 24-year old Ryan O'Byrne. Let me set the scene for you. The Habs were leading 3-2 with just under five minutes to go in the third. The Islanders were about to lose a man thanks to a delayed penalty call and then the following happened:
Ohhhhhh boy. That one is gonna leave a mark.
That's right up there on the level of Bryan McCabe. And things like this have a tendency to get people run out of town. I sure hope that isn't what happens to O'Byrne, but fans can be brutal.
The Islanders went on to win in a shootout and O'Byrne never saw the ice again after that play. Chants of "O'Bryne!" came down from the stands in Montreal after the game and this is one loss the fans there may not soon forget.
The weirdest part of the whole play was that the penalty being called was kind of a phantom call. It ended up being a holding call on Sean Bergenheim, but replays showed literally no evidence. Alexei Kovalev fell down at the Islanders blueline on his own and Bergenheim, much less any Islander, was a good ten feet away from him at the time. So, naturally, a psyche-destroying play such as this one occurs on a phantom penalty call. I'm sure O'Byrne is going to love it when he hears about that.