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Habs fire Therrien, name Julien head coach

16 February 2017

"We were just not playing our game, we were not the same team as we were earlier on", Bergevin told a news conference a day after dismissing Therrien and replacing him with Claude Julien.

Julien didn't go unemployed for long, as Montreal announced Tuesday it (again) hired Julien after cutting ties with Michel Therrien.

Therrien, 53, previously served as the Habs head coach from 2000-01 to just past the midpoint of the 2002-03 season when Julien was hired. However, he survived a long time as the Bruins' bench boss, he won a Stanley Cup in 2011, he was back in the finals in 2013, and there are plenty of first-placed divisional finishes scattered across his lengthy tenure with the Bruins. The Canadiens have won 24 Stanley Cups, an National Hockey League record, while the Bruins have won six. He was replaced by Bruce Cassidy, and the B's are a flawless 3-0-0 since his departure, with the last victory coming in a dominant 4-0 win over the Canadiens on Sunday night. If the Sens are able to take full advantage of their game deficit, then they would actually be division leaders in the Atlantic. However, they missed the playoffs a year ago in the absence of Carey Price, and after a hot start to this season their play has tailed off considerably.

"I am convinced that he has the capabilities to get our team back on the winning track", he added, bringing us to our second key takeaway: this move only reinforces how invested Bergevin is in having the Canadiens contend this season. This Canadiens team, however, is significantly better than the team he coached to a 72-62-10 record between 2003 and 2006.

Indeed, some may question the Bruins' wisdom in granting the Canadiens, a divisional rival, permission to talk to Julien, particularly given that Julien for many represents an upgrade on Therrien.

Julien, of course, was sacked last week by those very same Bruins.

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Julien, who coached the Canadiens between 2003 and 2006, became available when he was sacked in his 10th season with the Boston Bruins last week.

The move comes as the Canadiens continue to lead the Atlantic Division by six points. I consider that the time has come for our team to have a new breath, a new voice, a new direction.

But right now the Canadiens' fans will be looking at Julien, and I think the proper perspective is to take a big-picture outlook with him.

In womens' college hoops, the Norwich Cadets got a career game from Paige McNally, who double-doubled with 19 points and 13 rebounds, both personal bests, but in the final seconds two made free throws by St. Joseph's of ME sent the Cadets to a one-point loss, 68-67 in Northfield.

The coaching changes could be just what each team needed to make a playoff push and run.