It was a year ago, towards the end of November, that the Montreal Canadiens had lost a season-high four straight games.
Staring down the barrel at a fifth-consecutive loss, their captain, Shea Weber, dressed for his first game of the season after missing the first 24 Montreal played.
The Canadiens lost 2-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes that night, but you knew with the way they played the game that their winless streak was stopping at five. They had 49 shots on net and 93 shot attempts — or more than double of Carolina had in both categories — and they even managed to come out on top in the hits category. If it wasn’t for one of the most miraculous performances of then-Hurricanes goaltender Curtis McElhinney’s career, they would have won their last game in November by a touchdown.
How did the Canadiens follow that game up?
They won 10 of 15 games in December.
Why am I telling you this?
Because it took the spark of Weber playing his first game in just under a calendar year to snap the Canadiens out of a slide that could have derailed their season completely. And that’s particularly relevant to remember now that they’ve dropped an eighth-straight game — which is something they haven’t done in 79 years — because there’s nothing dramatic they can pull from internally to snap them out of this funk.