Canadiens GM backs Therrien as coach, sour on Galchenyuk at center

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Montreal Canadiens head coch Michel Therrien, back, looks on against the Colorado Avalanche in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Montreal Canadiens head coch Michel Therrien, back, looks on against the Colorado Avalanche in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014

Montreal Canadiens head coch Michel Therrien, back, looks on against the Colorado Avalanche in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Montreal Canadiens were eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the second round by the Tampa Bay Lightning, losing the first three games of the series before rallying to still lose in Game 6. 

Some people felt that coach Michel Therrien’s inability to activate the team’s offense and its power play, curious lineup decisions and historic diminishing returns as coach would be enough to seriously evaluate his future with the team.

GM Marc Bergevin is not one of those people.

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"I have no reason to make any changes when it comes to our coaching staff. They are doing great work,” he said during his end of season press conference. "Michel Therrien is doing exceptional work. I'm disappointed anyone would think otherwise."

Hopefully Mike Babcock still has the receipt for that French Rosetta Stone he purchased…

Therrien is in his second tour of duty with Montreal, having completed his third season. He’s made the playoffs in all three seasons, twice finishing atop the division. Their offense ranks in the bottom third of the league, coming in at 2.61 goals per game this season, the lowest among all 16 playoff teams.

As for the Habs’ power play, Bergevin said it will be a priority and that he’ll meet with the coaching staff next week to determine next steps.

Some other notes from the Canadiens presser:

* The team plans on making a big push to sign defenseman and trade deadline acquisition Jeff Petry.

* Bergevin had no issues with the team’s four-headed no-captain setup. “I don’t think it hurt us this year. Looking back, I thought our leadership group did every well.”

* The biggest news was about the Canadiens’ center spots, as young standout Alex Galchenyuk got anything but a vote of confidence from Bergevin as far as his future being in the middle and not on the wing.

"Will Alex Galchenyuk be a full-time centerman? Only time will tell,” he said, adding that Galchenyuk’s play this season has determined which position he current belongs in.

"Chucky is not there yet... He might never be a centreman. He might be, he could be," he said.

Galchenyuk is 21, a former third overall pick, and had 20 goals and 26 assists this season. He's also set to become an RFA this summer.

As far as improving that center spot … well, easier said than done according to Bergevin: 

TRADE DENIED!

* Finally, he said that Mike Weaver, Manny Malhotra and Sergei Gonchar will not be back with the team next season.

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