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lw gm What the Puck: Identical fragile Canadiens, however new coach not (but) responsible - The Times Hub

What the Puck: Identical fragile Canadiens, however new coach not (but) responsible

What the Puck: Identical fragile Canadiens, however new coach not (but) responsible

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Followers are already saying Dominique Ducharme is not the fitting man for the job, however that is absurd. Give him a while earlier than crucifying him.

Creator of the article:

Brendan Kelly  •  Montreal Gazette

Publishing date:

Mar 01, 2021  •  14 hours in the past  •  4 minute learn  •  58 Feedback

What the Puck: Identical fragile Canadiens, however new coach not (but) responsible

Dominique Ducharme has misplaced his first two video games because the Canadiens’ interim head coach. It is means too quickly to be calling for his head, Brendan Kelly writes. Picture by James Carey Lauder /USA TODAY Sports activities

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That is ridiculous. Now it’s Dominique Ducharme’s fault.

C’mon man. That’s what I’m listening to Monday and even by the requirements of the hysterical Habs fan/media tradition, that is an excessive amount of. Right here’s an concept. Are available in from the window ledge and provides the brand new interim head coach of the Montreal Canadiens every week or two earlier than calling for his head.

Ducharme has coached a grand complete of two video games and sure they’ve misplaced each of these video games, however it’s means too early to start out suggesting he received’t survive past Could. I stated it Friday. Ducharme didn’t coach a superb sport Thursday in Winnipeg. His concept was to reward the veterans and I can see the logic behind that.

He reunited the Phillip Danault-Tomas Tatar-Brendan Gallagher line. He took out Jake Evans and put Paul Byron at centre on the fourth line. He put within the struggling Carey Worth somewhat than the red-hot Jake Allen. And what occurred? After a sizzling begin, the Winnipeg Jets destroyed them.

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So yeah, Ducharme made a number of huge errors on his first shift on the manufacturing unit. He compounded these errors when he got here out after the sport and stated the crew cracked psychologically. Because the boss, you don’t say that after your first day at work.

However then the coach regrouped earlier than Saturday’s rematch with the Jets and his group performed a a lot better sport, outshooting Paul Maurice’s gang 41-21, solely to fall 2-1 in additional time. The massive speaking level is that Ducharme put out Danault and Joel Armia to start out additional time and I agree that was a mistake. You must put out quick gamers who can rating within the three-on-three format.

Placing out Danault is absurd. He hasn’t scored a purpose because the Sixties. Armia had a sizzling half sport Thursday, however he’s not fleet of foot and is nearly as inconsistent as Worth. So put out Jeff Petry (the third participant Ducharme began in OT), however crew him up with gamers like Nick Suzuki, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Tyler Toffoli or Brendan Gallagher. Actually, virtually any forwards apart from the 2 he despatched out. And it was lame for Petry to say the issue in OT is that the crew isn’t enjoying man-on-man. Once more, c’mon! Each beer-league participant in Montreal understands you need to cowl your man. However the Habs gamers nonetheless don’t know that? Actually?

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That stated, Ducharme will not be the issue. The issue is the crew, so in the end we ought to be trying lengthy and exhausting on the fellow who constructed the crew, Marc Bergevin. That is déjà-vu over again. That is trying like the identical kind of Habs crew we’ve suffered with for the previous a number of years.

They will’t rating. They’re a bubble crew that’s going to be combating for the final playoff spot. They’re fragile. It’s a crew constructed round an overpaid goalie who seems to have points between the ears.

Worth was seen Monday morning engaged on his personal with goalie coach Stéphane Waite. Bets are that Saint Carey will get the evening off Tuesday on the Bell Centre versus the Ottawa Senators, a.okay.a. Montreal’s Kryptonite. He’s being given a number of days off to drag collectively his sport? No matter. That is simply an excessive amount of. It has been years now.

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One excuse after one other. It’s the brand new child. It’s his canines. It’s rumours about his private life. It’s no matter. It’s sufficient. This yr he’s one of many worst beginning goalies within the league and, apart from a pleasant run in final yr’s playoff bubble, he’s been undependable for 2 or three years. It’s trying just like the worst transfer of the Berg period was giving Worth that ridiculous contract. Worth has 5 extra years after this season, at a cap hit of US$10.5 million. That’s the albatross that may guarantee this crew by no means turns into a contender throughout the Worth period.

My colleague Stu Cowan had a column Saturday highlighting that contract and the opposite albatross, Shea Weber’s 14-year US$110 million contract. Weber can’t sustain this season. Did you see him getting that penalty for tripping Mark Scheifele behind Allen’s web Saturday? He tripped him as a result of he couldn’t win the puck battle cleanly. Opponents are simply skating across the Man Mountain.

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Possibly that is who the Habs are. They’re a 9-6-5 crew. Look, Montreal will nonetheless in all probability make the playoffs, however it’ll simply be like so many different years the place they’ll be struggling proper as much as the final sport to earn that ultimate berth. They usually’ll get in as a result of regardless of the pre-season hype, this can be a mediocre division with three totally middling groups within the Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks and Ottawa Senators. That is the place this crew is at and that’s not Ducharme’s fault.

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