The Montreal Canadiens may sit fifth in the Eastern Conference and hold a slight cushion in one of the two wild card spots, but everything is falling apart. Saturday's 5-0 rout at the hands of the Washington Capitals was the latest listless effort and increased the temperature under head coach Michel Therrien's seat.
This is the Therrien coaching cycle. He comes into a new situation, improves them, then it all falls off a cliff. The Canadiens aren't as downtrodden as the Pittsburgh Penguins were in 2009 when they fired him and won a Stanley Cup four months later, but it's bad.
So when a potential replacement for Therrien lands a new gig, Canadiens fans hang their heads even lower.
On Monday, Swiss team SC Bern announced it had hired former Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Guy Boucher as their new bench boss. The contract is through the 2015-16 season. It's unclear whether or not there is an NHL out-clause, but it's a pretty safe bet should a team come calling, Boucher will be back.
Boucher has the ties to the Canadiens, having coached their AHL team in Hamilton before being hired by the Lightning. And with the situation getting hotter by the moment in Montreal, maybe this ends up being a Kris Letang-to-the-KHL situation where Therrien gets canned this week and Boucher is back in the NHL before coaching his first game with Bern?
The pressure is on for Boucher and Bern. The team's CEO, March Luthi said he "would throw up" if the team doesn't qualify for the postseason. "To miss the playoffs, would not be acceptable for our organization. That would not fit in with our philosophy."
A year after finishing second in the conference, having one of its players win the Norris Trophy and now touting eight Olympians, being unable to play their way out of the current malaise and missing the playoffs would probably make Montreal's fans vomit, too.
- - - - - - -
- Sports & Recreation
- Ice Hockey
- Montreal Canadiens
- Michel Therrien
- Guy Boucher
- Washington Capitals