Montreal Canadiens fire head coach Therrien, Julien named replacement

Montreal has suddenly fired Therrien and replaced him with Julien who was sacked as Bruins coach a week ago.

Julien is three games away from coaching his 1,000th career game, and has a career record of 538-332-10-117. What are the Canadiens' Sports Interaction odds going forward? They remain in first place in the weak Atlantic division, but a continued slump could easily put them in a position of having to fight for their postseason lives.

Bergevin had to ask for permission from the Bruins to talk to Julien, and some in the public are begrudging the Boston organization for doing that, considering the hatred between the Bruins and Canadiens and the stiff competition in the playoff picture - both now and possibly in the future. But Montreal is a league worst 1-5-1 since the start of February.

On Sunday, the Habs were listless in a 4-0 loss in Boston. His first game behind the bench for the Canadiens will be on Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets when the team returns from the bye week.

If Therrien was still the coach, Bergevin would be on the phone with 29 other general managers, trying to find a solution to the slide his team was experiencing. The difference being that those three franchises were struggling and remain out of the playoff field as things stand now.

Julien was sacked as head coach of the Boston Bruins exactly one week ago after almost ten years with the team. The Bruins decided Julien wasn't the coach for their plans, so they let him walk.

Fired by the Bruins on February 7, Julien was hired by Montreal (31-19-8) on Tuesday after the Canadiens fired Michel Therrien. Sutter's group in Calgary would fall well shy of a post-season berth in 2002-03, but in 2003-04, the Flames got into the post-season as the sixth seed in the West.

In that brief time off, Julien tried to balance keeping tabs on his old team but also starting to distance himself. He lasted through the 2005-06 season. A playoff matchup is very possible. Unfortunately, the two seasons that they were forced to sit out have been the most recent, lining Julien up as the next to fall in a frustrated Bruins organization. Bryan Murray replaced John Paddock after 64 games that year. He went 72-62-10-15 during his first tenure in Montreal.

Sometimes an in-season coaching change can spur a team to the Stanley Cup.

"There is a disappointment any time a coach isn't given a chance to finish the season", he said. Sidney Crosby & Co. took off under his replacement, AHL coach Mike Sullivan, and of course won the Cup.

Before Sullivan's turnaround, there was Sutter in 2011-12 with the Los Angeles Kings when he replaced Terry Murray. Assuming Price's struggles are just an aberration (a good bet considering he's arguably the best goalie in the world), the Habs are a playoff team that should only improve under Julien's guidance. He led the Kings to the Cup and remains in Los Angeles.

In mens' college basketball the Middlebury Panthers wrapped up their regular season in style, beating Plattsburgh State on the road 91-70 behind 30 points from their star forward Matt St. Amour, who also etched his name in the record books.

  • Julie Sanders