Breaking news yesterday at around 5:00 PM was that one of the worst coaches in the league, Michel Therrien, was summarily dismissed so that the Montreal Canadiens could install a former coach at the helm, Claude Julien. The Bruins needed a change because their coach could no longer mask the inadequacies of the GM, and the Canadiens were quick to snap him up because (a) he can speak French and (b) he’s much better than Therrien ever was.
A Julien-coached Habs team with Price at the net is likely to go far, and I’d like to glumly agree with Mike Babcock’s words when he said:
Babcock on Julien: "I was hoping he was going out West"— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) February 14, 2017
Mike says he's happy for Claude, knows how special it is to coach in city like MTL
What does this mean for our division? Probably that the Habs are stronger, the Bruins are weaker, and it’ll take a masterful coach to bust the Bolts past the Habs when we meet them in the first or second round, someday.
Atlantic Division news
Because our division is the most interesting right now.
Why Steven Stamkos might not be himself on the ice until Christmas. "I'd say it took probably a year and a half to get back to feeling back to normal," Parise said. "That's what my therapist said, six months to heal, a year you feel better. But to get back to that level for me, I feel like it was almost the following Christmas." [Tampa Bay Times]
Stand corrected. #tblightning Jon Cooper the longest-tenured coach in Eastern Conference.— Joe Smith (@TBTimes_JSmith) February 14, 2017
Hockey Santa, please let the Canadiens face the Bruins in the first round of playoffs. "Please, please, let them build up enough momentum that when they meet and clash, they beat each other into exhaustion. Let Brad Marchand run Carey Price. Let Weber slap his enormous...shot all over the place. Let Julien say obnoxious things about the Bruins organization to all the French media that will make Don Sweeney scramble for Google Translate." [Raw Charge]
Instant Analysis: Claude Julien becomes head coach of the Canadiens. [HEOTP]
Claude Julien can bring a lot of positive changes to the Montreal Canadiens. "Since he took over in Boston during the 2007-2008 season the Bruins are fifth in the NHL in score-adjusted Corsi (shot attempts towards net, adjusted for the score) at 52.63%, by comparison in that same stretch Montreal is 18th, at 49.45%." [HEOTP]
Firing Julien may now prove tenure-defining mistake for Sweeney, Neely. "Claude Julien is a Montreal Canadien again. The former Bruins coach has found employment barely a week after being let go by the Bruins, and from a black-and-gold perspective it's the worst possible place he could land up...a divisional rival who also happens to be the deadliest foe the Bruins could envisage." [SCOC]
Claude Julien GIFs: A retrospective. "Good day. As I’m sure you’ve heard, Montreal hired Claude Julien just like we all predicted. In order to help us all try to process this, please enjoy this gallery of classic Claude GIFs." [SCOC]
Claude Julien Named Head Coach of Canadiens. "You may be our rival once again, but we won’t forget what you did for us in Boston." Aw. [SCOC]
Red Wings to Celebrate Hockey is for Everyone Month this week in Detroit. "Activities will be highlighted through Hockey Is For Everyone Awareness Day at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday, Feb. 18, when the Red Wings square off against the Washington Capitals at 2:00 p.m. (Fox Sports Detroit & 97.1 The Ticket)." [WIIM]
And on the other hand:
Hockey Is(n’t) For Everyone. “Is there a better metaphor for exclusivity in the NHL than a team halfheartedly throwing a “Hockey Is For Everyone” night while doing absolutely nothing to help make hockey, you know, accessible to everyone?” [SSS]
WTH of the day
Vermette's getting a game misconduct for abuse of officials. I didn't see what he did, but they're saying he slashed the official— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) February 15, 2017