So far, Jacques Martin hasn’t exactly had raving success as new coach of the Montreal Canadiens. So the question is, is he the right man for the job?
It was certainly important to find a French-Canadian coach, or at least one who is perfectly bilingual. The Montreal French media in particular wouldn’t have accepted anything less, and a non-French-speaking anglophone probably would have been run out of town. And I’m a big supporter of Bob Gainey, and I feel he knows what he’s doing. It’s a new team, after all. This could take some time to come together.
But it’s been disastrous so far with Martin behind the bench. Giving hell to Sergei Kostitsyn in a closed practice is one thing. Giving hell to Kostitsyn with the media there, which in turn was shown for all to see, is another. Some players need to be treated with kid gloves. Maybe Kostitsyn’s one of them, and maybe Martin was wrong to go about it this way.
Playing with Carey Price’s headspace by starting Jaroslav Halak in only game three in Calgary, after Price had played well against Toronto and Buffalo. Price then proceeded to implode the next night in Vancouver.
I’m under the impression Martin’s not there to make friends, just to coach, and that’s great. I don’t mind that. You can’t be pals with the players when you’re the boss. Scotty Bowman wasn’t exactly Mr. Popularity either.
I also know what you’re thinking. It’s only game seven. It’s a new team and will take time. We’ve been hit by injuries, including our best player, Andrei Markov. There’s many reasons why it’s not time yet to look at the coach. But I am because I’m an impatient man. When the team’s near the bottom, down in Leafs’ territory, it’s a bad thing.
I have a friend who knew Martin on and off the ice in Ottawa, and he questions the hiring of Martin in Montreal. Without going into further details, he simply thinks the track record isn’t great, especially come playoff time.
This is Martin’s playoff record and you be the judge. And no, it’s not that flattering. But even that may not mean a thing because we have to make the playoffs first.
1986-87 – lost in first round
1987-88 – lost in 2nd round
1995-96 – missed playoffs
1996-97 – lost in first round
1997-98 – lost in 2nd round
1998-99 – lost in first round
1999-2000 lost in first round
2000-2001 lost in first round
2001-2002 lost in first round
2002-2003 lost in Conference final
2003-2004 lost in first round
2005-2006 missed playoffs
2006-2007 missed playoffs
2007-2008 missed playoffs