This blog is being temporarily interrupted to talk about the latest chapter in the most storied franchise in all of sport. This is only a temporary interruption, and there is no need to adjust your URL. We at Tattered Sleeve thank you for your understanding
And there was indeed great rejoicing.
So that's the end of Claude Julien's career as coach of the Canadiens. GM Bob Gainey made the only sensible move on a team that simply wasn't responding to their coach any longer. Gainey will be behind the bench himself for tonight's game against the Sharks, with Guy Carbonneau back in the Habs' fold as Assistant Coach, replacing Rick Green.
Gainey still has lots of support in the office, what with Andre Savard, his very capable assistant, looking after the daily minutiae of running the club, but La Presse is suggesting he won't be in the coach's chair very long before turning it over to Carbo (who just happens to be the last Habs captain to bring home a Cup). I mean, who can forget Carbo vs. Gretzky in the Cup run of '93?
In the '93 Final, the Habs faced Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings, and in game one the "Great One" had a goal and two assists and the Kings won 4-1. Carbo approached coach Jacques Demers and requested he be allowed to shadow number 99 the rest of the way. Montreal won the next four games.
So mark Carbo's return as an interesting (and welcome) development, as it had appeared up to now that Doug Jarvis (currently staying on as an Assistant Coach) was being groomed for this. Carbo had been an assistant Habs coach for two seasons when Gainey (then the Dallas Stars' GM) plucked him out to bring him back to Dallas.
One thing about the Gainey/Carbo/Jarvis trio: they are three of the sharpest hockey minds in the game today, and all were known for having a terrific work ethic - with several Stanley Cups under their belts - throughout their illustrious playing careers. If anyone can inspire the current team with all its talent to shape up, work hard and follow the coach's game plan, it's these guys.
I liked Julien a lot, despite his habit of putting too many men out on the ice so often it made me question his ability to handle pressure. But the team's been in a tailspin worse than Martin's Liberals. This move had to be done, and bringing the much-respected Carbonneau back will really boost their chances of making a run at the Cup this year.
Oh and, Mr. Gainey? I know you're probably busy preparing for tonight's game right now and all, but I was just thinking how you will soon need a new assistant coach for the defence corps... and how a big guy like Mike Komisarek - who hasn't really learned how to use his size effectively yet - could benefit from someone who may have a good idea of how to help him out in that regard. Was I daydreaming or did a not-so-little bird just tell me there's just the right ex-teammate of yours out there, and he's available right now?
This is where the Habs season turns around. Sadly, politics doesn't usually work quite like hockey, even in Canada. Well, we'll take what good news we can get, eh?
We now bring you back to your irregularly scheduled blogging.
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