Canadiens Notebook: Marc Bergevin was looking for a new coach, even if it wasn’t Claude Julien

Boston Bruins v Buffalo Sabres

STU COWAN

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin insists he was looking for a new coach and would have found one even if Claude Julien wasn’t on the market.

“Claude got let go by Boston last week, but I didn’t make my decision based on how Boston operates,” Bergevin said when he met with the media in Brossard Wednesday morning, a day after firing Michel Therrien and hiring Julien.

Bergevin had to ask the Bruins for permission to speak with Julien, who was fired on Feb. 7. There were reports Bergevin had also asked the Florida Panthers for permission to speak with Gerard Gallant, who was fired earlier this season and used to be an assistant coach under Therrien with the Canadiens.

Bergevin didn’t shoot down the Gallant reports, but said he didn’t want to talk about it.

“We need to put the team back on track,” Bergevin said. “We saw what Claude did in Boston. I always said that you can’t win with run-and-gun, but you need to score goals. But it’s not about playing defensive hockey, it’s about being responsible hockey players. I think that goes for all 30 teams.”

The Canadiens are in first place in the Atlantic Division with a 31-19-8 record, but are 1-5-1 in their last seven games and have been shut out three times in their last five.

Bergevin worked with Julien as part of Team Canada at last year’s World Cup of Hockey, where Bergevin was part of the management team and Julien was an assistant coach under Mike Babcock.

“When you’re meeting somebody, I know it sounds crazy, but within 30 seconds you know that person, how they make you feel,” Bergevin said. “I’m a feel (person) and I felt right away that Claude was a good man, a man of integrity, and his track record speaks for itself. He’s been here before as a rookie coach (in Montreal). He left, won a Stanley Cup in Boston. Ten years in Boston, so he learned a lot. Montreal, as we all know, it’s a tough market. But coming back here just like Michel did, and Michel did very well after he came back the second time around, so there’s no doubt in my mind it will be the same with Claude.”

Pacioretty says players have to take responsibility

Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty was interviewed by Chris Nilan during his Off the Cuff radio show on TSN Radio 690 Wednesday afternoon and said the players have to take responsibility for Therrien losing his job.

“Ultimately, this comes down to the players,” Pacioretty told Nilan. “I was very, very surprised. I thought maybe something might happen because of the recent skid that we went on. But the players have to take responsibility and now there’s no excuse. Everyone has to step up, everyone has to try and be a difference-maker. But you know what? No one in that room feels that the coach was the problem.”

Really?

Pacioretty: It’s on the players to change

Why do coaching changes work?

Since a general manager can’t fire all his players, a coaching change can be the best way to provide a spark on a struggling team and it often works — at least for a short period of time. The Bruins have a 3-0 record since firing Julien and replacing him with Bruce Cassidy, including a 4-0 win over the Canadiens last Sunday in Boston.

“Players don’t go in the night of the game and say: ‘You know what? It’s not working, I’m not going to go work hard,'” Bergevin said. “I think it’s unconscious things that you do, and after a while — for whatever reason — because it’s a fine line between winning and losing …  and when you lose that little edge, it makes a difference where you can’t have success. Sometimes a new coach, a new voice, brings them back to where they should be.”

No other changes to coaching staff

Julien said he won’t be making any changes to his coaching staff this season and will be relying on his assistants to help him out since he will only have one practice at 4 p.m. Friday in Brossard before his first game behind the Canadiens bench Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets at the Bell Centre (2 p.m., CBC, SN, TVA Sports, TSN Radio 690).

“I’d love to be able to talk to the coaches and everything else before I start making a lot of these assessments,” Julien said about his game plan for the Canadiens. “But we’re going to play as a team. I think we’re certainly going to try and play with some pace, but we’re going to try and create some pride in all the aspects of our game, whether it’s defensively, whether it’s offensively, all the elements of the game.

“I think when you play with pride, it makes a big difference. So we’re certainly going to try and create that from inside the dressing room to bring it out on the ice. And all the other little adjustments systems-wise, I am certainly going to make them. But you can’t come in in the middle of the season and change everything. I think we’re going to bring some things along the way that’s going to help us, but we got to make sure we don’t do too much that it hurts us. So I’ve got to have an openness to that and that’s my plan. Certainly a lot of it will be clearer after I talk with the coaches.”

Getting Price back on track

If the Canadiens are going to have success going forward, Carey Price is going to have to start playing better. In his last 22 starts, Price has an 8-11-3 record with a 3.11 goals-against average and a .895 save percentage.

“We all know they got the best goaltender in the world, I would have to say,” Julien said about the Canadiens. “They’re solid on the back end. That’s not to say we don’t have to fix and make our team better. But at the same time, there’s a lot of talent up front and I know that talent has been a little bit dried up as far as the scoring goes lately, but we got to fix all those things. That’s my job.

“I’m here to kind of fix and tweak and do things that’s going to put this team back on track and that’s what I intend to do. They’ve got good skill, they skate well, they’ve got a good balance of grit and skill and some size. So basically, I think we’re going to make sure that we exploit that and use it to the best of our knowledge and to the best of their abilities.

“I am taking on a good team. I know that much.”

The Arizona meeting

There has been a lot of speculation about the hotel meeting Bergevin had during a day off last week in Arizona that included captain Max Pacioretty, Price and Shea Weber, but not Therrien. Bergevin insisted Wednesday that the meeting had nothing to do with Therrien getting fired.

“I just want to make sure that everybody understands and I’m clear on this one,” Bergevin said. “Michel and I had a meeting in the morning and we were talking like we talk every day, and I mentioned I was going to meet some players and to join me. And Michel says: ‘You know what, Marc? Today’s a day off for the team, for the coaches. Maybe you just go alone.’ So Michel was aware of the situation and it was not about Michel Therrien in my conversation. I’m not going to go into details about what we talked about, but it was not about Michel.

“If I want to do a meeting, I think I have a little more common sense I’m not going to sit in the lobby in a hotel. It was a meeting about our team and Michel was well aware and it was blown out of proportion. I just want to be on the record on that one.”

Bergevin won’t trade top prospects

Bergevin insisted he won’t be dealing his top prospects before the March 1 NHL trade deadline, including defenceman Mikhail Sergachev, the Canadiens’ first-round draft pick last year.

The GM wouldn’t say exactly how many top prospects were untouchable, but added it was less than five. Bergevin said if any other GMs ask about Sergachev and the others, “the answer is no … it’s a short conversation, about 20 seconds, just so you know.”

Bergevin added he believes his roster is good enough to contend for the Stanley Cup the way it is now.

“I think we have a very good team, we have strong leadership, good veterans and some young up-and-coming,” the GM said. “So the mindset hasn’t changed. It’s make the playoffs. Once you’re in, anything’s possible. There’s elite teams in the league, you could maybe put Washington, Pittsburgh in that mould. And after that, everybody’s really tight. So once you’re in, you don’t know what could happen. Injuries are part of it … draw in the playoffs, who you get. But the first goal is to get in and we have to get in.”

Hello, Mr. Molson

When Bergevin was asked how much input Canadiens owner Geoff Molson had in the decision to fire Therrien, the GM bluntly answered: “Zero.”

But Julien did get a chance to speak with Molson after being hired by Bergevin.

“I already knew a lot about Mr. Geoff Molson,” Julien said. “Everybody who has met him had nothing but good things to say about him. So that was one of the least of my worries was ownership because I knew what it was all about. But definitely, after I was done with Marc, I had the opportunity to talk with Mr. Molson. I felt the same way in talking to him that I’d heard from all the other people that knew him well. I think this is a class organization with class ownership and management and I’m looking forward to it.”

Julien said his family will remain in Boston for the rest of this season since his kids are in school there. He was vacationing in Vermont with his wife when Bergevin contacted him about the Canadiens job.

Shouldering the load

After last season’s disaster, which saw the Canadiens fall apart and miss the playoffs after Price suffered a season-ending knee injury on Nov. 25, Bergevin said: “It’s all on me.” 

The GM has made some major changes to the team since then, but his mentality hasn’t changed.

“I’ve done a lot, but it’s always on me,” Bergevin said. “The buck stops with me here, so it’s always going to be on me until the day I move on. It’s not going to change. I’m in the same boat as the players today and Claude coming in. So at the end of the day, we all have some responsibility to share.”

Watch Bergevin’s news conference

You can watch Bergevin’s entire news conference Wednesday in Brossard on the HI/O Facebook page.

(Photo: Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

• Bergevin says the change had to be made, by Stu Cowan

• Julien vows Habs will play as a team, by Stu Cowan

• Bergevin swaps foxhole buddies, by Pat Hickey

• Valentine’s Day heartbreak for Therrien, by Stu Cowan

• Julien is the right person to coach Canadiens, by Jack Todd

• What the Puck: Bergevin did the right thing, by Brendan Kelly

170 Comments

  1. --Habs-- says:

    Maybe just maybe now the Habs have a reasonable coach behind the bench the kids can start playing with confidence that they won’t lose a spot because of 1 mistake. Makes a huge difference!

    “Habs” Watch and learn….! Or Not!

  2. omnimancer says:

    At least now M. Bergevin can start dickering a trade where he can offer a draft choice or two, some fringe players, the deadly power play playmaker DD, and throw in a used coach.

  3. Sakus Evil Twin says:

    I’m REALLY bothered by the rhetoric on TSN 690 yesterday evening and this morning that Carey Price has been intentionally bad so as to undermine his coach and make him fireable citing the backlash of ‘that’ game against San Jose.

    I have no issues with MT’s firing (that was surely inevitable) but if this is true and the leadership had decided to take matters into their own hands, then to me it asks significant questions of their integrity. It also doesn’t really jive given the performances of Pacioretty and Radulov lately. Unless CP sees them as part of the problem too.

    I can’t see this being a real thing, but it bothers me to hear it.

    No answers, just opinions. Bite me. Och.

    • Saintpatrick33 says:

      I’ve been bothered by rhetoric on TSN 690 since PK was traded. Just about everyone on that station ran PK’s name through the mud, mostly Nilan and Marinaro.

      I really don’t think Price would take matters into his own hands but I do know that he hasn’t looked the same since he stared down the bench after he was pulled. Maybe that’s when Therrien lost Price.

  4. Scottym314 says:

    A few things I hope CJ brings to the table.
    1. Treat all of the players fairly. No preferential treatment.
    2. Put your skill where they need to be. In other words, Chucky plays more pp time than DD.
    3. Work with the kids and let them develop and grow. If this means the odd mistake, so be it. Trust them and have faith and when errors happen, provide feedback but don’t bench or limit their ice time.

  5. MeanGoh says:

    Hiring a new coach and giving him a new 5 year deal is MB way to trying to secure his job. It’s a business move IMO, sure MT is gone but is CJ really better? After all, he was the coach of the team that traded away Kessel and Seguin.

    • flowerpower_74 says:

      It is a business move, but this is a much better coach than MT. I was getting sick of his non-adjustments and in-game non-decisions. Seems like he lost the players, and lost the room. I hope they play with more inspiration and fire. Nice profile picture btw, I was there that day in Chisasibi. LOL

      Montreal Canadiens-2013 and forever Northeast Division Champs

  6. habs001 says:

    Habs should do well Sat vs Jets if the Jets D plays like the last time they played…Flynn and Mitchell have no room on the team unless they provide stellar PK…No doubt Habs goaltending and D over the Leafs but would you rather have the Leafs forwards or the Habs?

    • Habfan17 says:

      I like Byron, but if he could be traded at the deadline for a pick, I would do it. I agree, Flynn and Mitchell should be the extras and McCarron, Carr, Hudon and DLR should be given the ice time. DD should also be waived or moved, even for a 7th round pick.

      Habfan17

      • SmartDog says:

        I’d keep Byron over Flynn. Byron is a good role player. He was over used during injuries (he’s not a top 6 guy). But he is a great PK guy and his quickness makes him a threat on the 3rd or 4th line.

        ————————————-
        Fortune favours the prepared. And teams with good goalies.

        • Stewpot says:

          Agreed.

          ———————————————————————————————————————-
          If a man speaks in a forest where no woman can hear him, is he still wrong?

      • Stewpot says:

        Personally, I don’t see DLR as useful, but I wish Hudon would get a longer look.

        ———————————————————————————————————————-
        If a man speaks in a forest where no woman can hear him, is he still wrong?

      • boing007 says:

        Hudon with Danault and Ghetto?

        Richard R

  7. Habfan17 says:

    The hockey gods are smiling on the Habs right now. Both Ottawa and Toronto have lost one of their games in hand, and Toronto may have lost Mariner. Florida did win and still have 3 games in hand. Even if they win all 3, unlikely, they would still be 4 points behind.
    Habfan17

  8. Old Bald Bird says:

    Whether or not his hiring produces great results this year, judging by both his results and the length of his tenure in Boston. Julien should provide solid coaching for the duration of his contract.

    Francophone (happy UCe?) coaches, especially good ones, aren’t in large supply (sorry UCe), and Begevin couldn’t pass this opportunity up, especially with the Habs failing so badly. True, he can’t play goal or necessarily turn Pleks into an offensive juggernaut, but I think he can point the team in the right direction better than Therrien, who had three decent years here and did bring a badly needed form of stability to the franchise.

    So thanks for Therrien for doing that and thanks to Bergevin for seizing this opportunity.

    (Just yanking your chain UCe. BTW, I like you better as UCe. You can bring back those long posts anytime.)

  9. Cal says:

    Rome was not built in a day. I expect changes over the next 5 games as Julien settles in. Galchenyuk should be back in the #1 slot soon, but I wish he wouldn’t defer so much to Radulov (returning the pass instantly, ruining the “go” part of a give and go).
    On D, I think Weber will play with both Markov and N8, especially if they manage Markov’s minutes. Emelin should be back with Petry and Pateryn with N8.
    It’s lines time:
    Pac-Gal-Rads
    Lehk-Plek-BGal
    Byron-Dan- Shaw
    Carr-Mac- Mitch

    • Stewpot says:

      I like your forward lines. Defense pairings, maybe time for a change.

      ———————————————————————————————————————-
      If a man speaks in a forest where no woman can hear him, is he still wrong?

      • SmartDog says:

        Go back to Weber-Nate FFS.

        Give Beaulieu the chance to learn and Weber the chance to be the stay-at-home guy he is.

        ————————————-
        Fortune favours the prepared. And teams with good goalies.

        • Habfan17 says:

          Yes, I say give Beaulieu the opportunity to show he is good enough and let him grow into the spot. He and Weber were doing well at the beginning of the season. One of those moves that made no sense, breaking them up. Also not playing Pateryn, yet again!

          Habfan17

        • Stewpot says:

          That was always an issue with MT, the moment N8 (or Pateryn) had a bad shift or game, the experiment was over. I’m really hoping for a change in that with Julien.

          ———————————————————————————————————————-
          If a man speaks in a forest where no woman can hear him, is he still wrong?

  10. SmartDog says:

    This disturbs me: “But you know what? No one in that room feels that the coach was the problem.”

    Pacioretty is channelling Therrien with his “you know what”. If he starts saying “honestly” I’m going to think there’s some weird voodoo going on.

    Worse, he’s claiming to know something NOBODY can ACTUALLY KNOW. If the Captain is going to speak for the team he should know what he’s talking about. I guarantee that there are players who read or hear that comment and chuckle to themselves.

    ————————————-
    Fortune favours the prepared. And teams with good goalies.

    • Phil C says:

      I don’t take him that literally. As the Captain, no one was complaining to him about the coach. That’s something worthwhile noting. But if Julien gets them going with a few adjustments, he may realize the difference.

      • SmartDog says:

        I think what he says and how he says it matters. If I’m Pateryn (or Price perhaps even) and I hear that quote, I’m thinking “LOL – sure Patch”. He should have said “I’ve never heard anyone…”. I know, I know, potato tomato…. but as Captain he knows what he says matters more and that he needs to say things properly. It’s why he’s such a boring interview now (he was better before). But he got this wrong, went so far PC that he said something ridiculous. It makes him seem out of tune.

        ————————————-
        Fortune favours the prepared. And teams with good goalies.

  11. JoaquindaPark says:

    Great article but Im not sure what the motivation is behind the “Bergevin won’t trade top prospects” headline. Bergevin sad he won’t trade for a quick fix. I interpret that as trading for a player without term. So did other journalists.
    He was asked later whether he would trade best prospects for a player with term, and Bergevin said, “depends on the player, depends on the term”.

    • SmartDog says:

      Yes. It is a good article – lots of meat – but he does get that point wrong. You have it right.

      ————————————-
      Fortune favours the prepared. And teams with good goalies.

    • Habfan17 says:

      What I got out of it was, unless it is an offer he can’t refuse, Sergachev is off limits, and he won’t be trading top prospects, of which he eluded to there being 5, for a quick fix or that would make more holes than fill them.

      Habfan17

  12. Stewpot says:

    In reading through the comments, I noticed a lot of talk about prospects. I’ve been thinking lately about Trevor Timmins draft record. I know there is always hindsight, but there have been some significant players passed over for ones who didn’t pan out. Examples, 2006 David Fischer over Claude Giroux. 2003 Andrei Kostitsyn over Jeff Carter, Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Corey Perry or Patrice Bergeron (they passed on him twice). Is a change necessary here?

    ———————————————————————————————————————-
    If a man speaks in a forest where no woman can hear him, is he still wrong?

    • FlyAngler says:

      In fairness, those drafts were 10 or more years ago. The examples you cite are somewhat telling , but to be fair you have to give credit for picks like Galchenyuk, Sergachev, P K……

      “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

      • Stewpot says:

        True ‘dat.
        In choosing those draft years, I bypassed more recent ones as the jury is still out on them.

        ———————————————————————————————————————-
        If a man speaks in a forest where no woman can hear him, is he still wrong?

    • SmartDog says:

      The Kostitsyn example comes up a lot.

      At the time he was regarded as a top 3 player in the draft. But the knock on him was a condition of mild epilepsy. Montreal is a world center for neurology. The Montreal medical team, presumably with some involvement from the MNI (Montreal Neurological Institute) evaluated him and decided the condition was entirely manageable and not a concern. So he was drafted LOW for how he was viewed.

      I’m not saying whether Timmins should stay or go. Just that Kostitsyn was ranked by virtually everyone ahead of the guys you name.

      ————————————-
      Fortune favours the prepared. And teams with good goalies.

      • Stewpot says:

        In hindsight, certainly was a very good draft year! I always liked Kostitsyn but he just seemed to be one of those cases where a player just didn’t put it all together at the NHL level.
        I do notice that after the first round Timmins seems to have a good drafting record.

        ———————————————————————————————————————-
        If a man speaks in a forest where no woman can hear him, is he still wrong?

        • SmartDog says:

          Yah I loved Kostitsyn. Great skills. I loved to see him shoot and he hit like a little tank. I think he was not as dedicated a professional as others and it cost us (and him).

          ————————————-
          Fortune favours the prepared. And teams with good goalies.

          • Mad Habber says:

            I remember being disappointed with the Kostitsyn pick in that draft. I only have knowledge from scouting reports of scouting reports but I do recall the knock against Zach Parise was his size his strengths where compete level and skill. I hated that the team passed on him. As for Kostitsyn it is exactly as Smartdog says they were concerned about his health.

            I think with Kostitsyn his game changed after he received a big hit that concussed him. He was a decent scorer on upward path before that.

  13. FlyAngler says:

    There doesn’t seem to be much if any support for keeping N8 together with Petry as a defense pairing which is understandable on every level. This is because while at times one or both of them can look brilliant and make good plays, at other times they bear a striking resemblance to Corey and Trevor on The Trailer Park Boys as in clueless and incompetent. They seem to have the skill, but clearly at times they appear to be unable to process the situation on the ice and make the right play. This is especially true of Petry in his own end. JJD has been about as helpful to them as he has been to any other Habs defenseman which is not very. Hopefully, C J can instill some confidence in them and hopefully get their synapses to fire more efficiently. Both can be a lot better and more consistent……

    “Gardez la Foi! Keep the Faith!”

  14. Cal says:

    Therrien may have yelled less at the players in his 2.0 version, but the coaching was the same. 3rd liners given top 3 minutes, defensive pairings a shambles and no strategy or adjustments. The only thing a little different was giving certain players O-zone starts, especially when the team was down.
    He kept trying the round peg into the square hole thing and eventually the peg got tired of the insanity.

  15. 24 Cups says:

    Shout-out to Claude Julien – teams coming off the bye so far are 3-8-1 with a minus-18 goal differential.

    WWDTD

    • Cal says:

      The 1st 10 minutes, the Habs will either come out like gangbusters or it’ll be orientation day for the raw recruits, with no one knowing where they should be or when.

  16. on2ndthought says:

    I trust Bergevin enough that the meeting in the hotel lobby was not a discussion on coaching (he runs a tight ship). The conversation almost certainly did take place, though.

    More interesting is MT’s saying “You go meet them, it’s a day off”. Perhaps that’s just a warm and fuzzy coach; but maybe this was a case of the coach giving up on the players, and not vice-versa.

    • Strummer says:

      Therrien saw the writing on the all as did the players. By telling Bergevin to go and meet the players alone was his way of saying “do what you gotta do”
      Meeting with the players and not discussing a coaching change allows Bergevin to be able to stand at the press conference and say that was not what the meeting was about even though the players, coach and GM knew this was coming.

      -Some folks really have trouble letting go of stuff, eh?-

    • Habfan17 says:

      Therrien might of also of got the feeling that the invite was not meant to be accepted.

      Habfan17

  17. rhino514 says:

    Remember how everyone was ecstatic when Muller was hired as associate coach?
    The truth is coaches, apart from maybe 3 or 4 of the top guys in today´s game, don´t make much of a difference. Ultimately the players know that if they underperform for an extended period of time it is the coach who will get the boot, not the players (except fringe players)
    The players started to tune out on MT, they may be woken up for a while with the new coach but after 2, 3 or 4 seasons the same pattern will likely repeat itself.

    • People weren’t ecstatic because it was Kirk Muller (well yes lol) they were ecstatic because Therrien was on the hot seat. He was a backup plan, but something better happened. Julien.

      Muller was hope to the 99% who did not want Therrien coaching the Habs. It wasn’t a french thing, it was a I don’t like this choice thing.

      Julien, the most hated coach from our side of the rink for a decade, he’s french, and look at who’s cheering for him. Everyone! I’m excited.

      Shane Oliver
      Sholi2000.com
      @sholi2000
      57 Wins to Tie Plante
      Shane&Son Dec 2016

    • on2ndthought says:

      I think you’ll be surprised at the in game adjustments Julien will use to counter effective straategies of teams like Philly, Ottawa, and NYR.

      My biggest complaint about MT is that, while his system was very effective, he ran it the same way; all game, every game. I could also never figure some of his personnel decisions. How do you play Kuznetsov instead of Pateryn against the Bruins? Save Kuznetsov for the Pens and TB.

    • SmartDog says:

      I totally disagree.

      The coach is THE leader. He creates the plan and sets the table. How he does that is crucial. He also creates the right balance on the team for it to succeed. If he makes mistakes the players know it. If he does smart things that help them win, the players know it.

      He’s also the motivational anchor. Some coaches know how to get their players going, make them WANT to win, release their inner excitement. Other coaches don’t have that talent in their arsenal. And it hurts them (I’m looking at you MT).

      Saying the coach doesn’t matter is like saying the director of a movie doesn’t matter because the actors are good. You couldn’t be more wrong.

      ————————————-
      Fortune favours the prepared. And teams with good goalies.

  18. Habfan17 says:

    I don’t know why they bother to interview any players after a coaching change. They all say the same thing, “it is on us the players yada, yada, yada”

    It would be refreshing if they were honest without throwing the coach under the bus. I know that they are limited in what they say, they could end up with them as a coach again and they don’t want to be viewed by others as a “coach killer”

    All the same, there is very little point interviewing the players after the coach is fired.

    Habfan17

    • I would love to meet Gallagher’s parents. You just know they’re good people. I’ve seen kids like Gallagher around here in the different rep programs and nine times out of ten they come from good people.

      I hope he has a great finish. We need offense from him (or is it he), Plekanec, and Byron (over achieved?)

      I’m not expecting anything from Shaw, but he’s cheap so harmless…..unless it’s game seven and he does something stupid 😆

      Shane Oliver
      Sholi2000.com
      @sholi2000
      57 Wins to Tie Plante
      Shane&Son Dec 2016

      • Stewpot says:

        You got your grammar right the first time, it is ‘him’. That’s the objective pronoun, ‘he’ is the subjective pronoun. Basically, subjective performs the action, objective receives the action. Many times people will say something like, “They gave it to John and I.” That actually would be ‘John and me’ as me is the objective pronoun which is receiving. My English-teacher grandmother always told me to take the other person out of the sentence to see what fits. So one wouldn’t say, “They gave it to I”, but would say “They gave it to me.” Good point you made. Hopefully Julien can get more from them.

        ———————————————————————————————————————-
        If a man speaks in a forest where no woman can hear him, is he still wrong?

        • Thanks for the free lesson, odds are I’ll never get it right 😆 but me have to try 😉

          Shane Oliver
          Sholi2000.com
          @sholi2000
          57 Wins to Tie Plante
          Shane&Son Dec 2016

          • Stewpot says:

            It’s definitely hard to change grammar habits we’ve had for years. My wife corrected me on one some years ago (she’s a teacher, too) and I still catch myself getting it wrong occasionally. I would say “there’s more things here” when it should be “there are more things here”. I usually correct myself mid-sentence on that one.

            ———————————————————————————————————————-
            If a man speaks in a forest where no woman can hear him, is he still wrong?

    • 24 Cups says:

      Exactly. Of course the opposite is true here on HIO where posters drilled MT into the ground on a daily basis (whether it was justified or not). They won’t be able to do that for the next few years seeing that the Habs just hired one of the best coaches in the league (regardless of language affiliation). It should be pretty quiet as there will no longer be a convenient scapegoat. Failing that, I guess the HIO lowest common denominators will have to start ripping players instead. Any thoughts on who might be first?

      WWDTD

      • Habfan17 says:

        First, no matter what will be DD if he plays. Of course some will rip Julien for putting him in.

        Other than DD, probably Shaw if he does not start showing why Bergevin gave him that contract.

        Habfan17

        • piper says:

          If DD plays as much as Therrien played him I’ll be rip Claude a new one too.

        • 24 Cups says:

          Agreed.

          Coaching aside, so many players need to step it up: Galchenyuk, Beaulieu, Gallagher, Lehkonen, Byron, Price, Weber, Petry and Pleks. There is tons of room for improvement from players who should realistically be playing better. Julien couldn’t ask for a better situation to be in as all of these guys (with the exception of maybe Pleks) are better than their recent performances suggest.

          WWDTD

  19. rhino514 says:

    It will be interesting to see how this change affects Galchenyuk, Plekanec, Beaulieu in my view. 3 guys who have been having a tough time. Especially Nate and Chucky, because confidence issues at this age are tough to fix. Sure, CJ may give them more playing time and they may respond well but what happens when they make a major gaffe? Many say we should live with those and they are just growing pains, however when the difference between winning and losing is so tight and one player is making frequent defensive lapses, like Chucky, which invariably results in goals against and the team is fighting to make the playoffs, this is not so easy.

    • Habfan17 says:

      It will also be interesting how it affects Pateryn. Julien seems to like a little jam in their game. Pateryn adds that and I thought he had two very solid games when he came back from his injury.

      I wonder if we will see any other players brought up soon. Once Julien gets to see what he has.

      Habfan17

      • rhino514 says:

        Also, let´s not forget that a few players were playing some of their best hockey with MT. Can Danault maintain his stellar play with CJ for example?

        • Habfan17 says:

          Good point, it will interesting to see how it impacts all the players. Hopefully clean slate means just that. No pre-judging. This os one thing that concerns me a bit with keeping Lacroix, Jodoin and JJD around. I am not sure if I would trust their evaluations.

          Habfan17

  20. Habfan10912 says:

    Good Morning all. My thought of the day.

    Despite all the denials the last several days, the meeting between Bergevin and the three leaders (Patches, Weber, Price) had to convince Bergevin to do what he clearly did not want to do. Fire his friend, Therrien.

    How could that be anything but. If those three players strongly advocated for Therrien, “Please please Bergy. Ya got to keep us all together. We love that guy (Mt)”, would there be anyway the move would be made. To me that is obvious. They can all deny until the troops come home but Bergevin went fishing with these three and he found his answer.

    Not for one minute do I believe that Therrien was invited to sit down with MB and the three leaders. Nope, no way, no how. That meeting was all about collecting private sensitive data about the players opinion on the coach, the system and the talent. With Therrien there the authenticity of that data would have been tarnished and censured.

    I’m sure that when the Bruins fired CJ that MB knew he had to quickly make a decision on his buddy. He either needed the players to validate a decision he had already just about made or the players themselves convinced him it was time for a change.

    • My absolute favourite in all of this, Gerard Gallant was the backup plan.

      GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORNING JIMMY!

      Shane Oliver
      Sholi2000.com
      @sholi2000
      57 Wins to Tie Plante
      Shane&Son Dec 2016

    • Habfan17 says:

      Good morning Jim!

      Yes, it is too coincidental to not be connected. I think it was pretty evident to Bergevin, like it was to most of us, that Therrien was not getting through to the players lately.

      I thought Therrien had brought the team as far as he could and needed to go last season. Honestly, I didn’t like that he was hired to begin with. Props to him, he did do some very good things with the team.

      I do think there were too many things he missed with though, like changing all his lines up when one player got injured. That is one example of many. I am curious to see what changes Julien makes. I doubt they will be over night, but slowly over the remainder of the season.

      Habfan17

  21. dabu says:

    Would you do this trade:
    Beaulieu, Carr and Plekanec for Shattenkirk and Yakupov? Habs would likely have to eat some of Plekanec’s salary. Shattenkirk is a rental. Yakupov would be a pure reclamation project, and can be bought low. Putting him with the Russians in Mtl (and his old buddy Galchenyuk) might be just the tonic he needs. Nothing else seems to have worked.
    Could also complicate matters by making it a 3-way, with Duchene coming to Montreal and Shattenkirk going to Colorado, although something more would have to go Colorado’s way to make it worth while. Any thoughts.
    FTR – pure speculation on my part.

    • Habfan10912 says:

      I’m a huge Nate fan. I think he’s an ellite skater and has a tremendous upside. Many here have almost given up on him. I do think thus far his game has been somewhat of a disappointment but he’s still relatively young for an NHL defenceman.

      I’d love to see how Nate performs under CJ. MT’s record for developing young players hasn’t exactly been stellar here with the Habs. I guess thats my long winded way of declining your trade proposal.

      • dabu says:

        I’m a Nate fan as well, but realise you have to give up something to get quality. Nate is the one that could garner interest and keeps Sergachev and Juulsen in the fold, where they belong.

    • Habfan17 says:

      Not yet, I would prefer to see how Julien uses the players and how they respond. Beaulieu and Weber had success when they were paired at the beginning of the season. I would like to see them together again.

      I do think Pleks should have been traded last year at the deadline, but I would still like to see how he responds to the coaching change.

      Habfan17

  22. PK says:

    This has already been said:

    RIP Stuart McLean –

    Canadiana personified, including Dave and Morley.

  23. Timo says:

    So looking at it objectively… It’s no doubt there is little sadness that Therrien’s gone. That’s a given. However, there is a pretty predominant optimism about Julien. The coach that missed the playoffs for the past 2 seasons, I think, and that also lost to the Habs who are a lot less truculent than his former club. Was the Bruins’ roster THAT bad that even a great hockey mind like Julien couldn’t make it into the post season with them? Or is it not all that great and it’s all just getting rid off Therrien effect?

  24. joeybarrie says:

    6 shots on net for Florida after 34 min of hockey against the Sharks.
    Still…. Its 3-3.
    So glad I got Jones on my Fantasy team.

  25. Timo says:

    Has anyone reached to Davey D? Has anyone bothered to check if he is ok?

  26. habsfan0 says:

    “Bergevin said if any other GMs ask about Sergachev and the others, “the answer is no … it’s a short conversation, about 20 seconds, just so you know.”

    Bergevin also wasn’t looking to trade PK.

  27. fastfreddy says:

    In his presser MB stated that in the end it’s always on him. Well I hope Mr. Molson is listening to him and keeping a watchful eye on MB. Let’s hope Molson doesn’t have to make a decision too soon.

  28. PK says:

    How is DD coming along?
    Someone should give him a call.
    Timo? Heard anything?

  29. Rad says:

    He’s a smart dog, that Pacioretty. He can read minds.

  30. Rad says:

    When Julien says “We’re going to play as a team,” and “we’re going to try and create some pride in all the aspects of our game” …. that’s ClaudeSpeak for “truculence.” Nobody knows better than Claude that the Habs can be intimidated. So it wouldn’t surprise me if he asks Bergevin to bring in some muscle. In the mean time, Mike McCarron will likely get plenty of ice time and should thrive under the esteemed new Coach. McCarron is a Claude Julien type of player.

    • bwoar says:

      I think there’s also a subtle hint that pride in scoring goals is lacking too, but yeah, Julien is not going to let his team get run over. I don’t think want to paint Julien with the “Bruins” brush entirely. I know he likes tough hockey but I really think there’s a desire to move from the 0 / -1 wins mentality of the previous coach.

      There will be a bit more attitude, and hopefully room for offensive players to make a few mistakes and keep their ice time, but I’m not expecting a goon show. I think we got the right coach for Team Dirty Champs though.

    • Timo says:

      I will welcome truculence. God knows Habs have forgotten what that is.

  31. B says:

    McNiven stopped all 16 in a 4-0 win over Flint
    That’s his 5th SO this season, 2nd in a row
    Bradley scored his 27th in a 2-0 win over Victoria
    He now has 27 goals and 64 points in 57 games
    Juulsen had an assist in a 2-1 win over Saskatoon
    He now has 10 goals and 26 pts in 34 games

    –Go Habs Go!–

  32. RightNyder says:

    Can we now go back to developing our prospects to perhaps reach their actual potential and, you know, maybe get in a playoff game or two? As opposed to prepping them to not make any mistakes and be terrified of the puck during their seven minutes of action when they do get called up.

    That mini-rant aside, perhaps our prospects are reaching their full potential and our scouts are the ones who need the kick in the berries…

  33. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    He meant the BATH-ROOM…LMAO

  34. canadiensghost says:

    good now get rid off JJ and bring BACK GG..

  35. TPT Petes says:

    I liked Julien on his first go round in Montreal. I was confused when Gainey fired him and took over the bench himself. At the time I thought that it was a ploy to bring in Carboneau, which they eventually did. none of this worked out well, but our loss was certainly Boston’s gain. it drove me crazy to watch our boys out-coached by not one but 2 former coaches. Alain Vigneault was also a good (francophone)coach that we let slip away.

  36. gmd says:

    As if anyone believes MB when he says he won’t trade a prospect. He said he wasn’t shopping PK and look what happened.

  37. prep says:

    It will be a mistake if they trade either sergachev or julseen .. as MB said he won’t trade prospects for rental ….But what about a player with term ?ie Matt d…With those two the habs will have one of the best blue lines in 2 years and will stay that way for years ….

  38. PK says:

    One more thing, regarding SL’s AHL coaching efforts:

    There was an eloquent* argument made, several months ago, that SL and MT are using the same system in Montreal and St John’s.
    This way there is a seamless transition for players that go up and down from the farm team.

    With CJ taking over, I presume this means that the farm team coaching staff will have to learn new ways, not to mention the leftover assistants** from MT’s era.

    *Eloquent indicates that it must have been The Eradicator/UCe/Norm.

    **I consider Muller to still be an associate and not one of the assistants.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

    – Nostradamus, 1552

    • Mr. Biter says:

      Unfortunately Muller will probably be moving on at the end of the season by his accord as there is no chance he’ll be the Head Coach with the Habs now or the near future. Unless he gets paid the big $$$$’s to stay “associate” coach.

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

      • RightNyder says:

        There are surely worse things than to make some decent coin to be an assistant coach in Montreal.
        I’d be surprised if he gets another head coaching shot anyway…

  39. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Bring back Ryan “MT-slew-footer” White! LOL

    • Mr. Biter says:

      My Man Whitey. He is Julien’s type of player for a 4th liner and always went to the aid of a fellow Hab who had been taken advantage of. Would probably be the end of Boone doing the blog as his blood pressure could not take White in a Habs uniform again. Remember he photoshop picture of White with the goat horns?

      Mr. Biter
      No Guts No Glory

  40. hbghab says:

    doubt MB makes any trades. Will let CJ evaluate the players first. Sounds like a good move.

  41. BriPro says:

    They’re not too pleased in Boston.

    EDIT:
    You know when you type an html link, and it disappears on this site. There you go. But both the Herald and the Globe have some interesting coverage, predictably about Julien.

    Put it this way, if the Habs were to go far under Julien, not too many sports writers in Boston would be upset.

  42. PK says:

    Pacioretty: “No one in that room feels that the coach was the problem.”

    Me: “Yet, most of us on HIO felt that the coach was a problem.
    That is all that really counts”.

    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    “Une équipe de hockey sur glace de l’île de Mont-Royal va gagner la Coupe de Lord Stanley à 24 reprises dans le 20e siècle et trois fois au cours du 21e siècle.”

    – Nostradamus, 1552

  43. 25soonenough says:

    One thing is for sure, Julien will evaluate player talent far differently than MT ever did. DD, Flynn, Carr, Ghetto, etc. won’t make the CJ cut out of camp. So next season is the one i’m looking forward to. Players like McCarron will get a better chance at success under CJ.

    –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

  44. govenah says:

    Wow. Some of Bergy’s speech sounded eerily like something I heard 5 years ago when he brought Mike Therrien into the foxhole…
    I dug this up from an old HIO post…
    “I know it sounds crazy, but within 30 seconds you know that person, how they make you feel,” Bergevin said. “I’m a feel (person) and
    I felt right away that Mike was good man, a man of integrity, and his track record speaks for itself. He’s been here before as a rookie coach
    (in Montreal). He left, almost won a Stanley Cup in Pittsburg.”

    Habba Dabba Do!

  45. Phil C says:

    Not thrilled with all the assistants hanging around. I would have preferred more of a clean slate for the players. Perhaps the ones they want aren’t available mid-season.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      I still can’t believe JJD is still around. Then again he’s a MB buddy from minor hockey days so not really surprised. Who is MB going to play cards with in the foxhole?

    • Paz says:

      Julien needs to get his guys. Was Jarvis there in Boston? I think so.

      • 25soonenough says:

        Next season the bench will be very different. Muller may be the only survivor of the summer cuts. Its crazy to fire them all now when CJ only has a day or two to prepare for a new team, he needs the assistants help in the transition.

        –Larry Robinson was my neighbor once….

  46. The ice ghost says:

    So Max is the captain, and he’s “VERY SURPRISED” when the coach is fired?

    Is it not the captain’s job to know WTF is going on with the team, especially when they are losing? I know Bergevin plays his cards close, but… that comment worries me – a lot.

    • Loop_G says:

      MB would have to be a massively flawed GM to inform his captain about something like that in advance, so of course he was surprised. On the other side what are you supposed to say other than what Max said?

      • Habsbill24 says:

        Absolutely right on. Being captain doesn ‘t mean that Molson gave Max shares in the Bell Centre and that he sits on the Board of Drirectors. He is just the bloody captain. he gets to talk to the refs and is the post game spokesperson for the team. That’s it.

      • The ice ghost says:

        I didn’t say he would be “informed”. But was he not part of the meeting with Price and Weber sans eMTee?

        How can you have no radar at all and be a leader?

        As for what he said, all he had to say was the happy sports cliché: “We aren’t playing well, and you can’t fire the whole team.”

        End of story.

        Max is a good player but no captain.

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      Yeah and everybody loved PK. C’mon man you know nobody tells what is really going on.

  47. montreal ace says:

    After the glare incident, I have to say it looked like Price gave up on some shots, and looked weird doing it. If Price is supposed to be the true leader of this team, thats supposed to also include the bad times, thats what leadership is about. I have never bashed Price before today, so I hope I am wrong about him giving up, which would make any coach look bad. Well Bergy is on the clock, CJ’s has just started, and I think Molson has been looking at some specials, on some good clocks cause he is going to need them.

  48. jols says:

    ***- Galchenyuk-Radulov
    Patches-Danault-Gally
    Lekohnen-Pleks-Shaw
    Byron-McCarron/Mitchel-McCarron/Mitchel
    Extras – Flyn, Andrighetto
    DD go away.

    MB needs to trade for ***- who would you guys like???

  49. theox_8 says:

    Pleky will pass to the best shooter on the team though , it’s when he goes on an odd man rush with Byron or Flynn that he will never pass too , actually Patches and Pleks have decent chemistry together .

  50. careysubban3176 says:

    I will be very surprised if the habs don’t make a trade by tomorrow night. Because you would want that player at the Friday practice and you are probably going to get the best possible offer for anyone right now. If the habs wait until march 1 they will get screwed.

    Stop blaming the goaltender! He can only do so much.

    • Phil C says:

      It depends, sometimes prices drop. The Habs got Vanek by being patient. Vancouver overpriced Hamhuis last year, then couldn’t even give him away. I don’t mind them waiting.

  51. Paz says:

    1) Beaulieu plays next to Weber, Markov with Petry, Emelin on 3rd pairing with Pateryn.

    2) Galchenyuk first line center with Radulov and Lehtonen ( as the responsible defensive balance, he’s also excellent going to the net late for rebounds, I think Lehtonen could be very effective here) this gets Galchenyuk going

    3) Plekanec second line center, with Gallagher and Pacioretty move Danault to 3rd line, gives Plekanec motivation to get going. More balanced attack as Paciiretty is a threat on 2nd line.

    4) Get Emelin off the penalty kill. He’s really not helping there.

    If Julien makes any or all of these changes, I think the team can play more competitively immediately.

    • myron.selby says:

      It doesn’t make any sense to me to put Pacioretty with Plekanec. Pacioretty needs a setup man and Plekanec hasn’t passed to a linemate since, oh about 2015.

      • Paz says:

        I don’t know about Plekanec, whether it will work or not. But Plekanec and Pacioretty have had chemistry in the past, and Gallagher is there as well.

        But I know that Plekanec is a big question mark.

        I would try it to see if this could get him going.

        • Habfan10912 says:

          Ed, I’m not convinced the issue with Pleks is not effort related. I hate to accuse any professional athletes of not working hard but there are times I watch Pleks and it doesn’t look like he’s extending the effort needed to be a productive player.

          I guess the question I can’t answer is why? Injured? Disgusted with his role? Or something else. I suppose given the financial investment the team is making it might make sense to try something to motivate him or put him in the best situation to succeed.

          I think we’ve reached the crossroads with this player. It’s been 2 years now of this. At some point it might be time to cut your loses. We might be real close to that time.

          • Paz says:

            I am not a huge Plekanec fan. But I think he has to be frustrated, and he’s still a veteran who I’m assuming has some pull in the room.

            If I’m right, I think he will get a big boost from a new coach who believes in him.

            That’s what I’m looking for here. A way to jump start a veteran player.

            Danault can carry that 3rd line, with Shaw and Byron.

          • Coach K says:

            The issue with Plekanec is that he is handsomely rewarded to be a team player and he’s clearly not. There’s only three reasons for not passing:

            1) Arrogance (I think my shot is better than anyone on the team so I’m shooting)
            2) Lack of vision (he only seems to pass when he or his linemates are totally out of options) Can’t recognize the opportunities where a 4 foot pass could open up 25 feet of ice.
            3) Simply doesn’t have the confidence in his ability to execute a good pass.

            If JC can turn him into a team player then good otherwise, ship his a$$ out of town on a rail.

            -Adversity Does Not Build Character…it Reveals it-
            (James Lane Allen)

    • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

      IMO the team’s offense is going through Radulov. If you put Max with Pleks, his production will plummet. Habs need another Rads-type player with grit who can set-up either Max or Chucky. This would enable two scoring lines.

      This is why I am leaning away from Duchene and preferring to acquire Landeskog instead (grittier, cheaper to get, longer contract). I would then acquire a solid box-six center like Brian Boyle for dirty work (PK, face-offs, etc.). Pleks should be the 3rd line center because he is just not offensively reliable anymore. The line-up would be something like this:
      Rads-Danault-Max
      Gally-Chucky-Kog
      Lehks-Plek-Shaw
      Byron-Boyle-Mitchel

      As for Beaulieu, he has to go play with Weber now until the deadline. Julien can then tell MB if he thinks N8 can cut it or MB has to move him to get that guy to play with Weber.

      • Paz says:

        Ya. Sure. It’s easy to make lines with Landeskog. Try filling in a top 6 without him haha!!

        • DDO_Habs_Fan says:

          LOL…true. If MB does nothing then Max and Chucky have to play with Rads and Julien has to find a way to get them on the ice for 20 min. You either win with them together or die with them together. BTW if they are worried about their defense then put Weber out there with them. He’s supposed to be the best defensive Dman in the league…no? Either win with your best or lose with them.

      • Habsbill24 says:

        And how did Max do all the previous years when he was leading the team in scoring, scoring 30+ goals per year and ending in the top 3-5 goal scorers in all of the NHL when Radulov was playing in Russia? So, no, it is not Radulov that makes Max go and his scoring will not necessarily plummet. Max needs any competent second player on his line who can pass, be it the young and decent DD as opposed to the current version, Plekanec when he had offensive skills, Vanek, Cole or last season’s Chucky and he will score 30+ goals. Radulov just happens to be that person this season. Chucky’s breakout season last year was due more to playing with Max than anything else. With Max being the primary scoring threat on the line, Chucky was free to dangle.

      • Coach K says:

        DDO,

        The answer for fixing the offence Jason Spezza. A career, point a game centre with terrific vision, decent on face-offs and excellent on the power play at gaining the zone. And I might, suggest, a sublime passer.

        Galchenyuk could learn a lot from him. I have visions of Spezza setting up Max as line 1a for the next 3-4 years like he did in Ottawa with Heatly. Both are pure goal scorers who need a setup guy with vision. Spezza is the answer and because he’s 33, may not be that expensive.

        That would slot Galchenyuk and Radulov as line 1b and give Galchenyuk a bit more time to mature as their # 1 centre as Spezza’s contract would expire.

        Dallas needs defence and the Habs have a bumper crop of them.

        Come on Bergy, make it happen!!

        -Adversity Does Not Build Character…it Reveals it-
        (James Lane Allen)

  52. jrs10069 says:

    Did i hear right, 5 years x 5M = $25M pour le nouveau coach?

    I am in the wrong business.

    jrs10069

  53. Danno says:

    Did Gerard Gallant turn down an offer by MB to coach the Habs?

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  54. ThebadBoards says:

    Now if we can only trade BARTLETT

  55. crane says:

    What if we could land Hanzal and Boyle both somehow

    patches galch rads
    leihk hanzal gally
    hudon boyle shaw
    bryon mccarron danault

    pleck ,d.d.,flynn,mitchell,agetto,carr traded bait or gone

  56. Singapore Habs Fan says:

    Ok – here is MB’s quote:

    “I always said that you can’t win with run-and-gun, but you need to score goals. But it’s not about playing defensive hockey, it’s about being responsible hockey players.”

    Wtf? If this is what he thinks what has he been doing for the past few years? He built a team that can’t score. Sorry MB – you are responsible for the composition of this team and it is and has been for years very weak offensively. Don’t just talk, let’s see some action.

  57. rogieshan says:

    Plekanec & Desharnais for Milan Lucic. Two-for-one bad contracts. A familiar player for Julien to work with.

  58. Cheech says:

    Jeeze..make trades MB


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