Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Meet the "new" boss...

When training camp starts in September, Andrei Markov is likely to be the first through the door. He'll be wanting to test out his knee, get everything set for the season and meet the new bench boss. Markov you see, who has played his entire NHL career for the Montreal Canadiens, has played for this boss before.

At 11:48 pm last night, TSN's Darren Dreger sent out a tweet; "The Montreal Canadiens have made their coaching decision. Its believed Michel Therrien is the man. Announcement in the next 24-48 hrs."

And with that, what is old is new again. "Mike" is back to being "Michel", a defense-first system is in place for the season, a good teacher for young players in behind the bench, and a mustard yellow suit will be back into play.

Hab fans didn't seem to be too excited by the news, if the Twitter-verse is much indication. Jay Baruchel writer and star of the recently released film "GOON" and ardent Habs fan summed up the feelings of many "I leave twitter for 2 hours to finish work for the day and this is what happens? Einstein would call this the definition of something."

Let's not mistake things, the Michel Therrien that steps behind the Habs bench in September is not the same Coach that left Montreal in 2003.He has coached close to 300 NHL games since then. He groomed some of the league's youngest and brightest stars. He's been to a Stanley Cup Final.

No, this is not the same Michel Therrien. This one is more experienced and is more prepared for the Challenge of coaching in Montreal.

A few days ago when TSN's Bob McKenzie  tweeted the other day that "Now that Bob Hartley is new head coach in CGY, MTL job is down to Michel Therrien or Marc Crawford." I wrote a piece where I discussed why I felt Crawford would be the better of the two choices for this group of Canadiens.

I am not against Michel Therrien, I think he is a better coach now than when he was last in Montreal, but I think it's time for a different face here. After Martin, Julien, Therrien and Vigneault it's time to bring in an offensive coach, not ask a coach to change his style.

Hal Gill: "The message (from the coaching staff) was we need to play as a team with their system. I tried to preach it but the hard part was we didn’t play to guys’ strengths. With Gomez, you don’t expect him to chip it up the boards, you want him to come back and pick it up. If he can’t do that, he can’t be effective."

Therrien preaches defense, Crawford preaches offense. Therrien throws players' under the bus, Crawford protects his players. Therrien has been to a Stanley Cup Final, Crawford has won a Stanley Cup. Therrien has coached here before, Crawford is dying to coach here once - evidenced by the fact that he is taking French lessons just to interview for the job.

Is it possible that Marc Bergevin will ask Therrien to open up his style more and press the attack? Yes it is. Is it possible Therrien's style may have evolved on it's own? of course. In my estimation though, an experienced, Stanley cup winning, offense oriented guy is available and he's the right guy for the job. Moreso then a guy whose style needs to change.

Michel Therrien has many excellent qualities. Mainly that he is known as being fantastic with young players. See his work in the QMJHL, with Hershey in the AHL, and with young Penguins and Habs' teams in the NHL. He has a fiery personality - something we haven't seen in Montreal since he left. He has good communication and bench management skills. He is a good hockey Coach.

I don't feel that he's the best man for the team of Habs as currently assembled, but the roster can still be tweaked, I've been wrong before, and I am certainly willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.


  1. defence, while boring, wins in this league. If you look at the teams that succeeded in the playoffs, they're all boring, defence-oriented teams. Therrien will at least provide some colourful post-game material(anything is better than Jacques Martin's sleep inducing answers)

  2. Pierre! where have you been??

    defence may when win when you have a good team. The Habs aren't gonna be good, so they might as well be fun to watch. Therrien-teams are boooring. I was hoping for P. Roy - he would be entertaining, plus his Quebec team plays up-tempo.