Just a little blurb from The Hockey New’s Scott Morrison (posted on CBC)
So another good coach has bitten the dust.
It was nice knowing you, Guy Carbonneau. And happy 100th anniversary.
Apparently it was Carbonneau’s fault that a team that had Stanley Cup aspirations went bad this season, from contender to dog. Apparently it was his fault that Alexei Kovalev needed to be sat down for a couple of games because of his indifferent play. Apparently it was his fault that the phenom goalie suddenly became mortal.
And on it goes.
But we all know the story. Can’t move the players, so fire the coach. Tom Renney, Michel Therrien — they got the pink slip and the t-shirt, too.
The fact that the team never gave Carbonneau the top centre they knew they needed, or replaced the injured second centre, or took until a week from the trade deadline to acquire a point man for the power play doesn’t matter.
In fairness to general manager Bob Gainey, he remained patient and he gave Carbonneau a lot of time this season — not to mention a new contract. But ultimately we can only conclude that he believes the pieces that are there are better than Carbonneau had them playing, and the players were not responding and would not respond to him moving forward.
The timing of the firing — on the heels of 3-1 win in Dallas no less, and with two improved performances from Carey Price — is interesting in that the Habs play the next four games at home and nine of the next 10. A critical time, in other words.
And Gainey clearly had to be watching a few other factors, like the fact that the Penguins and Rangers have both responded positively to coaching changes. And the Rangers, Penguins, Panthers and Hurricanes, four of the teams the Habs are battling for a playoff spot, are all red hot. Of course, they all got their new coaches some added help, but we digress.
Too bad for Carbonneau, but every coach that has been fired this year had his best player underperforming and his goaltender struggling. Add another to the list.