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Sports Hickey on hockey: Claude Julien's firing begins and ends with players

23:07  26 february  2021
23:07  26 february  2021 Source:   montrealgazette.com

What the Puck: Short leash in short season for Canadiens coach Julien?

  What the Puck: Short leash in short season for Canadiens coach Julien? Some of us thought we had a goaltending controversy. But it turns out what we really have is a Canadiens controversy. Why is a team that appeared to be so good two weeks ago now playing like a sad sack? There are also the beginnings of rumblings that perhaps what we really have is a coach controversy, as in is Claude Julien the best choice to bring this super-talented group to the promised land? Nobody in their right mind is yelling “fire the coach,” but many of us believe the head coach is indeed on a short leash and that his boss — the general manager with the rock-star hair — isn’t going to be patient with Julien this season.

Claude Julien knows this better than most coaches. When Julien was relieved of his duties as head coach of the Canadiens on Wednesday, it was the fourth time an NHL team dumped him before a season was completed. And it was the fourth time he exited with a record above .500. I hate seeing coaches

Following Toronto Montreal other past Habs and a few other NHL players . Watch on our Twitter or Facebook beginning at approximately 7 p.m. #stlblues pic.twitter.com/uHAwaLEeo4. Hickey on hockey : Claude Julien ' s firing begins and ends with playershttps

a group of baseball players on a field: Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien, centre, talks to players during training-camp practice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Jan. 6, 2021. © Provided by The Gazette Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien, centre, talks to players during training-camp practice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Jan. 6, 2021.

One of the sad realities in professional sports is that when a coach is hired, it is too often the first step on a path that leads to him being fired.

Claude Julien knows this better than most coaches.

When Julien was relieved of his duties as head coach of the Canadiens on Wednesday, it was the fourth time an NHL team dumped him before a season was completed. And it was the fourth time he exited with a record above .500.

What the Puck: Time for struggling Canadiens veterans to join the fray

  What the Puck: Time for struggling Canadiens veterans to join the fray Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin was in full don’t-worry-be-happy mode Monday and who could blame him. Proudly wearing his official Canadiens track suit and sporting the coolest hair in the executive ranks of the National Hockey League, he was positively beaming as he talked about his off-season acquisitions. And how can you argue with him? Heading into Tuesday’s games, Tyler Toffoli, whom Bergevin called a “sneaky goal-scorer,” was tied for third in the NHL goal-scoring race, with ten. Another off-season pick-up, Josh Anderson, is right behind Toffoli, with nine goals. Anderson is the heart and soul of this forward group.

Although it has been a roller coaster ride for the Canadiens since, Gainey and Martin now have a much clearer picture of their team, particularly at the blue line, without Markov. Simply put, that picture is not a pretty one. The Canadiens sit 24th in the league in power play efficiency, with a 15.9% success rate. This stat is in large part due to the absence of Andrei Markov, a lock for 55 plus points when healthy. The rest of the defensive squad has been unable to to step up to the plate on the offensive side of the puck, with the exception of Marc-Andre Bergeron, who has infused some offense into the power play .

Julien and associate coach Kirk Muller were fired Wednesday, less than 12 hours after a 5-4 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators. Assistant Dominique Ducharme replaced Julien as coach, with Alexandre Burrows joining as an assistant. Ducharme was called "a new model of coach" and hailed as a strong communicator by Bergevin, who said he was the only choice to replace Julien and is "100 percent" going to remain through the end of the season. The Canadiens entered this season with a new look and the lofty expectations of management, players and fans.

I hate seeing coaches fired. I believe that if you hire the right coach — one who is knowledgeable, honest and hard-working — there should no reason to fire him short of an indictable offence. I get particularly upset when I hear suggestions that a coach “has lost the room.” This says far more about the character of the players than it does about a coach’s ability.

The Canadiens didn’t go into their current slide because of a failure on the part of the coaching staff; they started losing games because the players on the ice made mistakes. They took bad penalties. They couldn’t do the job on special teams. And the way the No. 1 goaltender is playing , he would be no better than the No. 2 if the team wasn’t paying him US$10.5 million a season.

After giving up six goals Thursday, Carey Price talked about “sticking to the process and figuring things out.” I don’t pretend to know what the process is, but it’s obviously not working and, in a shortened season, there’s little time to figure it out.

In the Habs' Room: Leafs capitalize on error-prone Montreal with 3 power-play goals

  In the Habs' Room: Leafs capitalize on error-prone Montreal with 3 power-play goals Rule No. 1 is: Do not take penalties that leave your team short-handed, particularly when you are facing the top power play in the league. Rule No. 2: When you do take penalties, make sure the best power play in the league doesn’t score. The Canadiens broke both rules Saturday as they allowed the Toronto Maple Leafs to score three power-play goals en route to a 5-3 win at the Bell Centre. “We gave the game to them with our mistakes,” said coach Claude Julien. “We didn’t get the kills we needed,” added Paul Byron, who responded to being placed on waivers last week by scoring a goal. “We had a lot of chances 5-on-5, we skated well, but it was just those little mistakes we made.

Coach Claude Julien spoke with the media about a variety of topics. -video recorded by Matt Linsky.

Share this Story: Hickey on hockey : Building through draft hasn't worked for Habs — yet. Copy Link. While Montreal has been criticized for not recognizing talent in its own backyard, you have to think Tampa Bay general manager Julien BriseBois, who cut his teeth in the Canadiens organization, had a role in bringing players with a Quebec connection — Killorn, Gourde, Palat and Cédric Paquette.

Sports are cyclical and there are going to be ups and downs, but more teams should embrace the philosophy of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, who have had only three head coaches — Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin — since 1969. Each of those coaches missed the playoffs multiple times and went through seasons with losing records, but the Steelers stuck by their man. In the same period, the Canadiens have made 21 coaching changes.

GM Marc Bergevin is on his third coach and he has been at the helm for less than a decade.

Related

The timeline for Julien’s NHL coaching career is interesting.

André Savard gave him his first shot in 2003, when Julien was called up from Hamilton to replace Michel Therrien. Julien had a 19-16-6 record and a .537 winning percentage when Bob Gainey fired him in 2006. Gainey wanted to make room for his good friend Guy Carbonneau , but that didn’t work out so well.

Montreal Canadiens fire Claude Julien and Kirk Muller

  Montreal Canadiens fire Claude Julien and Kirk Muller The Canadiens announced Wednesday morning that head coach Claude Julien and associate coach Kirk Muller have both been fired. Dominique Ducharme has been named interim head coach, while Alex Burrows, who was an assistant coach with the AHL’s Laval Rocket, has been added to the Canadiens’ coaching staff. After getting off to a 7-1-2 start this season while scoring 44 goals, the Canadiens were looking great and Montreal fans were excited. Bergevin’s off-season player additions had given the team a big boost and for the first time in a long time it didn’t seem like a question of if the Canadiens would make the playoffs, but how far they might go once they get there.

As general manager of the Vegas Golden Knights, the expansion team that begins play next season, he' s Last week it was Ken Hitchcock, and Tuesday it was Claude Julien . NHL players acquired by a team in Canada from a United States-based team before the NHL Trade Deadline on There are plenty of NHL prospects playing key roles at the NCAA Division I men' s hockey tournament, which

Gallant, Capuano, Hitchcock, Julien -gone. Hitch is retiring, but still-decent chances LV gets a great coach out this insanity. I remember when people called for firing Q after a slump. It was pretty idiotic. People shouldn't listen to fans, they should look at the team and be realistic for a long while before taking in meatball fan complaints.

Julien wasn’t out of work long. The following season, he had the New Jersey Devils in first place in their division when Lou Lamoriello fired him with three games remaining in the regular season. Lamoriello said he felt Julien didn’t have the Devils mentally prepared for the playoffs and there were reports that some veterans, including Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur, were unhappy with the coach.

It was on to Boston the next season. Julien won coach-of-the-year honours in 2009, but he and general manager Peter Chiarelli were on thin ice after Cam Neely was named president of the Bruins in 2010 because they weren’t his guys. They received a stay of execution when Boston won the Stanley Cup in 2011. The Bruins missed the playoffs in 2016 and Julien was fired on Feb. 7, 2017, with a winning percentage of .527 in final season.

A week later, the Canadiens hired Julien to replace Therrien for a second time. It was a bit of a surprise because the Canadiens were in first place in their division and Bergevin had described Therrien as his “foxhole buddy,” the kind of person you wanted on your side in a fight.

Canadiens at Winnipeg Jets: Five things you should know

  Canadiens at Winnipeg Jets: Five things you should know Here are five things you should know about the Canadiens-Jets game at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg on Thursday (8 p.m., TSN2, TSN3, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM): The matchup: This will be Dominique Ducharme’s first game behind the bench as the Canadiens’ head coach and he takes over a team that has lost five of its last six games, although Montreal did salvage a couple of points in overtime and shootout losses to the last-place Ottawa Senators this week. This will be the first meeting this season between the Canadiens and the Jets, who hold the No. 3 spot in the Canadian division with 23 points, one point ahead of Montreal.

Bergevin said he was hiring Julien because he was the right guy.

Four years later, he wasn’t.

Caufield keeps rolling: Canadiens prospect Cole Caufield had two goals and two assists last weekend as the University of Wisconsin notched a win and a tie against Notre Dame. Caufield goes into this weekend’s doubleheader against Ohio State as the top scorer in NCAA hockey, with 19 goals and 18 assists for 37 points in 24 games.

There is a downside to Caufield’s success for Canadiens fans who would like to see him in Montreal sooner rather than later. Wisconsin has jumped to No. 5 in the polls and is all but guaranteed a spot in the NCAA tournament. While the dates and sites for the first round are still not determined, Caufield will be playing college hockey into late March or early April. The Frozen Four is scheduled for April 8-10 in Pittsburgh.

phickey@postmedia.com

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Canadiens put in solid effort in Winnipeg, but fall in OT .
Dominique Ducharme is still looking for his first win as an NHL head coach, but the Canadiens have to be encouraged by their play Saturday night as they took the Jets to overtime before dropping a 2-1 decision at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg. It was the fifth consecutive loss for the Canadiens, but they went 0-1-3 on their four-game road trip to salvage three points from the overtime and shootout losses. With the defeat, the Canadiens fell four points behind the third-place Jets in the Canadian division. Paul Stastny was credited with the game-winner at the 36-second mark of the overtime.

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This is interesting!