RECAP | Canadiens – Red Wings: No Skates for Habs Coach

Canadiens Lineup

Forward lines

Tomas Tatar – Phillip Danault – Jordan Weal

Jonathan Drouin – Nick Suzuki – Joel Armia

Ilya Kovalchuk – Max Domi – Artturi Lehkonen

Paul Byron – Nate Thompson – Nick Cousins

Defence pairings

Ben Chiarot – Shea Weber

Brett Kulak – Jeff Petry

Xavier Ouellet – Victor Mete

Goaltenders

Carey Price – Charlie Lindgren

Scratches

Brendan Gallagher (lower body), Dale Weise

Injuries

Game Report

The Montreal Canadiens were established in 1909. The Detroit Red Wings were founded in 1926. There is a deep history between these two Original Six teams.

Yet in all the games played and seasons that have gone by, this is the first that the Detroit franchise has swept the Canadiens in a four game season series.

Let that sink in a bit. The last place Red Wings with a record of 15-43-4, owned the Habs this season. Twenty-seven percent of Detroit’s wins have come against the Canadiens.

Needless to say, fans were in a snarly mood after watching their team lose to the lowly Wings. So who’s to blame? 

Some point the finger at the head coach, others the general manager and even the owner gets a fair share of criticism. We can agree that all three have contributed in some way.

But, there’s a strong feeling that we are close to the end for Claude Julien.

There is a long list of issues to cite which can be attributable to the head coach. The Canadiens have looked unprepared, they lead the league in bench minors and giving up goals at the ends of periods.

Special teams are still an issue, and the Habs suffer the most third period collapses in the NHL, nine if you are counting (including tonight.)

Also, as evidenced tonight, Julien is fond of publicly shaming younger players. Nick Suzuki was blamed for the loss in this game for his role in the Red Wings winning goal. 

But more than any other reason, Julien has lost the players. It’s obvious in the way they break down on the ice, making mistakes, sloppy play and a lack of attention to detail. They have stopped listening to his message.

Prior to the game, Canadiens players were challenged by Julien to show some pride in beating the worst team in the league. In the end, they did not win this one for their coach.

And Julien can no longer hide his frustration. The coach said, “I can’t put my skates on and play for them.” That comment, with the coach tossing his team under the bus, will not be received well by players.

The divide has only grown wider. The coach set himself apart from the players.

Marc Bergevin can’t let this get worse. There are still 20 games to play for the 23rd place Canadiens. 

The Canadiens head to Washington, DC to play the Capitals on Thursday. 

Plus / Minus

▲  Carey Price, Jeff Petry, Artturi Lehkonen

▼  Xavier Ouellet, Ben Chiarot, Victor Mete, Max Domi, Ilya Kovalchuk, Tomas Tatar, Jonathan Drouin,