A collection of the latest news from around the world of hockey:
It was a rough day at the office for Matt Hendricks and the Oilers. [Copper N Blue]
Daniel Sedin now holds the Canucks record for most goals with the organization. [Vancouver Sun]
Habs fans, if you were hoping for a coaching change, you won’t be getting one, at least not for the remainder of this season. Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin went to bat for his beleaguered coach, and assured the world that he would not be fired. [Sportsnet], [Montreal Gazette]
That Michel Therrien won’t be losing his job comes as no surprise to me, for a few reasons. Firstly, the two have a very good relationship, and Bergevin believes that Therrien is the right guy to coach this team. Secondly, who is going to be a suitable replacement? Can another coach do better with this group? The Habs probably have three legitimate top-six forwards. That’s not on the coach. Granted, the player usage has been extremely questionable at times, but Therrien has had prior success with this group, and Bergevin, rightly or wrongly, has confidence in his coach. And lastly, the team’s best player has hardly played all season. It’s taking its toll. How does a goalie affect the goal-scoring you ask?
All due respect to Mike Condon and Ben Scrivens but neither are number one goalies in this league. And every time the Canadiens take the ice, they know they likely won’t have the best goaltender on any given night. They know they may have to score three or more goals to win. They don’t have that confidence that Carey Price has given them. The Habs can’t win with average goaltending, and that’s what they’ve been getting. They need a game-breaker, there is no question. Knowing your goalie can shut it down and give you a chance to win, and you may only have to score two goals, that makes a big difference.
Michel Therrien can’t score goals. He hasn’t utilized players in the best way it seems, but at the end of the day, the team just doesn’t have enough fire power. That’s on the GM. But Bergevin can’t in good conscience fire his coach when the team is without their MVP. That fact is buying Therrien more time. The team will start winning again when Price comes back. Unfortunately at this rate, it be may too late. The Habs have been exposed as a team not built to play catch-up. That’s on the coach. It’s up to Therrien to adapt the system. It appears as though he may be doing so, however, because they’ve had much better possession. But it’s not bringing any results, because they simply don’t have the guys who can put the puck in the net. And again, that’s on Bergevin.
I understand the frustration with coaching. I do feel as though Michel Therrien doesn’t utilize his skill guys nearly enough. It almost seems like he prefers to play the plugs over the finesse players. He doesn’t deploy P.K Subban to control the play as he knows he could. Hence why Subban has a measly three goals all season. Alex Galchenyuk may never reach his full potential in this environment, and that’s a real shame. But if Bergevin thought any of this was a problem, he’d make a change. And if Carey Price isn’t able to save the Habs, perhaps in the offseason that change will come.
In other news…
Maybe the Blues shouldn’t trade Kevin Shattenkrik just yet. [Today’s Slap Shot]
The Carolina Hurricanes are moving up the standings. [Globe and Mail]
Jonathan Drouin’s reputation has a taken a hit. [NESN]
Patrick Kane is having himself a historic season. [ESPN]
The Blue Jackets lost the game, and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. [CBC]
Andrew Ference is set to have season-ending hip surgery. [Yahoo Sports]
The Rangers have brought in Daniel Paille. [Full Tilt NYR]
And finally, Mike Babcock cares not for 3-0n-3 overtime. [Sportsnet]