After beginning the 2016-17 NHL season with an incredible 13-1-1 record, the Canadiens have dropped back to earth, posting an 18-18-7 record 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 from Therrien and bringing Claude Julien straight back to the fold after his recent death from Boston.
It became evident that gamers had grown tired of Therrien, and by many reports from former players, that’s not a major surprise. Julien will make a much-needed character change behind the seat in Montreal and ought to immediately command the respect in a somewhat shattered locker area. This is a movement that will, if nothing else, calm the frustrations of jaded fans but ought to be a fantastic long-term movement for the historic franchise.
BetOnline has set up several props related especially to the Habs and how the remainder 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 will endure when the final whistle blows on the regular period and the way their 2016-17 will finish.
At this point, it appears like it would take a complete collapse for anyone to overtake the Canadiens for first place in the Atlantic. Despite their awful run, they nevertheless sit up six points on the Senators and Bruins to the best spot and as we have seen from every trainer firing/hiring this seasonwe should observe an immediate increase from the Canadiens’ playwith. For this writing, the Canadiens were on pace for 99 points and it is unlikely that they get worse under Julien. I like them to get OVER who 97.5-point total that has been set for them and if they do, then they will easily win their division.
There’s some dispute among pundits on if the Canadiens possess the ability necessary to generate a deep run in the playoffs and when this coach swap was a desperate move. The one problem with that debate is the Habs still possess Carey Price, the consensus greatest goalie in the NHL/world. No. 31 had obviously become frustrated with all the head trainer in Montreal and it showed in his play. Julien should be in a position to get Price’s head screwed back on and when he does, there is no limit to what this team can do.
Although the talent levels of the two teams cannot truly be compared, this move feels a lot like the one the Penguins made in the middle of last year’s Stanley Cup-winning season. Mike Johnston had lost the respect of the Penguins locker room and his strategies had grown stale. You can just tell the identical inspirational speech so many times before you get tagged as a blowhard and I believe that’s exactly how Max Pacioretty and the rest of the Habs felt roughly Therrien.
With the depth of competition coming from the Metropolitan, it’s going to be hard for the Canadiens to create it from the East and I’m not at all suggesting they move deep in the postseason. What I am saying is that using a highly respected coach in Julien now behind the bench, they have a lot greater chance.
Montreal’s first match with Julien at the helm will come Saturday if the Canadiens host the Jets at the Bell Centre. This is going to be must-watch television and based on the small sample size that has witnessed that the Islanders, Blues and Bruins go a joint 16-5 up in games to date under new leadership, the Habs ought to be a fantastic bet.