Thursday, 23 March, 2017

Canadiens good enough to contend — GM

Jan Ortega | 16 February, 2017, 11:17

With the Montreal Canadiens seeing their lead in the Atlantic Division slipping away, Les Habitantes made a major move on Tuesday, firing coach Michel Therrien and naming Julien as his replacement with 24 games left in the Canadiens' season. But the same could be said about the Bruins in 2015 and 2016.

Julien is no stranger to the Canadiens as he made his National Hockey League coaching debut back in 2003.

Montreal has occupied first place in the Atlantic Division for most of the year after a 13-1-1 start to the season, but the Canadiens have been simply awful in February. I have too much respect for all those players that had been enormous for me during my career in Boston.

The Pegulas aren't likely to can Bylsma this soon after failing with Rex Ryan.

The Bruins qualified for the playoffs seven times during Julien's tenure, highlighted by a Stanley Cup title in 2011. One can only imagine what kind of history the Blackhawks, then known as the Black Hawks, would have had if they would have hung onto Irvin longer. A 4-0 loss at NHL-worst Colorado on February 7 wasn't acceptable.

Gorman landed on his feet, though. Montreal also hasn't played particularly well out of the All-Star break with two wins in eight games.

We are not prisoners, say AIADMK MLAs supporting Sasikala
Though the AIADMK leader had submitted a list of 130 MLAs to the Governor, there were only 90 MLAs at the resort. The same group which was against Jayalalithaa's time is now attacking her, Ms Sasikala said.

What CAN be criticized, however, is the fact that Julien was available in the first place when the Habs were looking to make a change. After watching Henrik Lundqvist drag the Rangers into the playoffs in 2015, the Kings proved - through multiple overtime thrillers against NY - that a goaltender can't win a Stanley Cup alone. As the head coach in Boston, Julien became the team's all-time leader in wins. Shero's Rangers thumped the Flyers by a combined score of 26-5 - that's not a typo - in the final four games of the series. The Canadiens are going for it all and thinking about winning the Cup this season.

To say Boston was struggling when Burns came aboard would be an understatement.

The Bruins had been victim to poor shooting percentages on the year, though. But again, it's what the price is going to be.

No matter what happens, there will be second-guessers and hot-take artists who will crucify the Bruins if Julien rides into Montreal and rights the Habs ship with a team that's been in first place almost all season in the Atlantic Division. Look no further than Alex Galchenyuk last season, who despite all his talent and potential, was kept on the third line, and on the wing for long stretches, which is clearly not the ideal scenario for a player that you expect to perform as a number one centre. The window [to win], I think we have a very good team, we have strong leadership, good veterans and some young, up and coming [players]. It happened 46 games into the 2002-03 season. The Flames eventually came one win short of capturing the Stanley Cup. This was actually Therrien's second tour of duty behind the bench in Montreal.

The main takeaway from the two press conferences?

Boston has created a monster not only for themselves, but for the rest of the Eastern Conference. On the global stage, as a member of Team Canada's coaching staff, he won gold at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and captured yet another gold medal at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The league previously had a policy directing a team to provide draft pick compensation after hiring a coach or executive from another team who had been fired but remained under contract. "I intend to keep that (Bruins-Canadiens) rivalry going - on the ice". If you watch the Bruins we also recovered pucks, but I want both.

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