After starting the 2016-17 NHL season with an incredible 13-1-1 record, the Canadiens have fallen back to earth, posting an 18-18-7 album since. The 4-0 loss to Boston on February 12 was their sixth in seven matches and it was the straw that broke the camel’s back for former Habs head coach Michel Therrien. The Canadiens declared two days later, on Valentine’s Day, so they would be moving on from Therrien and bringing Claude Julien back into the fold following his recent departure from Boston.
It became clear that players had grown tired of Therrien, and by many reports from previous players, that is not a major surprise. Julien will bring a much-needed personality change behind the seat in Montreal and should immediately command the esteem in a somewhat shattered locker area. This is a movement that can, if nothing else, calm the temptations of jaded lovers but should be a great long-term movement for the historic franchise.
BetOnline has put up several props related especially to the Habs and how the rest of their 2016-17 will perform to them. It is possible to bet on the OVER/UNDER for the number of points they’ll finish with, where they’ll endure when the final whistle blows on the regular period and the way their 2016-17 will end.
At this point, it looks like it would take an utter collapse for anyone to overtake the Canadiens for first place in the Atlantic. Despite their horrible run, they still sit up six points on the Senators and Bruins to the top spot and as we have seen from every trainer firing/hiring this seasonwe should observe an immediate increase from the Canadiens’ playwith. As of this writing, the Canadiens were on rate for 99 points and it’s unlikely that they get worse beneath Julien. I enjoy them to get OVER that 97.5-point total that’s been set for them and if they do, they will easily win their division.
There is some dispute among pundits on if the Canadiens have the ability necessary to generate a deep run in the playoffs and if this coach swap was a desperate move. The only problem with that debate is the Habs still possess Carey Price, the consensus best goalie in the NHL/world. No. 31 had obviously become frustrated with all the head coach in Montreal and it showed in his play. Julien should be able to get Price’s head screwed back and if he does, there is no limitation to what this team can perform.
Although the talent levels of the two teams can’t really be compared, this move feels much like the one the Penguins made in the midst of last season’s Stanley Cup-winning season. Mike Johnston had lost the esteem of the Penguins locker room and stale had grown. You may only tell the same motivational speech so many times before you become tagged as a blowhard and I believe that’s exactly how Max Pacioretty and the remainder of the Habs felt roughly Therrien.
With the depth of competition coming in the Metropolitan, it is going to be tough for the Canadiens to make it out of the East and I am not at all implying they go deep in the postseason. What I am saying is that using a highly respected coach in Julien now behind the seat, they have a lot better shot.
Montreal’s first match with Julien at the helm will come Saturday if the Canadiens sponsor the Jets at the Bell Centre. This is going to be must-watch tv and based on the small sample size which has witnessed that the Islanders, Blues and Bruins go a combined 16-5 up in games thus far under New York Rangers direction, the Habs should be a fantastic bet.