Canadiens fire Therrien and hire Julien


Claude Julien

Claude Julien is returning to Montreal where he’ll replace fired Michel Therrien.

Well, it finally happened. The Canadiens had seen enough of Michel Therrien. Montreal has been in a terrible slump. Even with a healthy Carey Price and Max Pacioretty scoring at a great clip, the time had come for them to fire Therrien.

The move comes on the heels of an uncompetitive 4-0 shutout defeat to the Bruins. With the Habs in their bye week, it was a perfect situation. They have hired Claude Julien. It’ll be his second stint behind the Montreal bench. He’s been one of the best coaches in the league. He lasted a decade in Boston winning a Stanley Cup and coming close to winning another.

Eventually, Bruins clown Cam Neely won and got Julien axed. Everyone knew it was gonna happen. At least Boston has responded so far to new coach Bruce Cassidy winning their first three games to get within six of the slumping Canadiens. With the Senators also right there and having an extra five games to make up, the move makes plenty of sense.

Julien is a big upgrade over the predictable Therrien, whose odd line combinations and fights behind closed doors with personnel were hurting the team. Big acquisition Shea Weber has stopped scoring. They recently got back Brendan Gallagher. Alex Radulov has also cooled off. But most notably, the Habs stopped competing for Therrien. They went through the motions and watched Zdeno Chara score a shorthanded goal.

So, now Julien takes over in Montreal. A place he’s familiar with. It should be interesting to see how they respond. But also takes Julien’s name off potential coaching vacancies which could be in Florida, Brooklyn and Las Vegas. Too bad.

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About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included two stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil games. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has scored Berkeley Carroll basketball games since 2006 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. From players, coaches to administrators, it's a first class program. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree.
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