The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

Therrien_medium

The Montreal Canadiens are expected to announce that Michel Therrien will be hired as the new[old] head coach of the team. A decision that has seemed inevitable for a few days now, but still looks terrible.

Defenders of Therrien will cite his trip to the Stanley Cup finals with the Penguins as evidence that Therrien is a good coach, but this is faulty reasoning at best, and ignorance at worst.

Here's a handy chart to show the coaching records of recent Habs coaches. I don't believe coaching records to be the most accurate way to judge a coach, for example Guy Carbonneau was a terrible coach with a great record, but this doesn't look good for Therrien.

Name Games Wins Losses Ties OTL Point % Win %
Guy Carbonneau 230 124 83 0 23 58.9 53.9
Bob Gainey 57 29 21 3 4 57.0 50.9
Jacques Martin 196 96 75 0 25 55.4 49.0
Claude Julien 159 79 62 17 8 53.1 45.3
Alain Vigneault 246 104 105 33 4 49.8 42.3
Michel Therrien 190 77 77 22 14 50.0 40.5
Randy Cunneyworth 50 18 23 0 9 45.0 36.0

As you can see, only Cunneyworth in a small sample lead the Canadiens to a worse record in his tenure than Michel Therrien did. But perhaps judging only by Habs coaching is unfair? Let's eliminate Carbonneau and Cunneyworth because they've both only ever coached the Canadiens, and see how these coaches have done in their NHL careers.

Name Games Wins Losses Ties OTL Point % Win %
Claude Julien 648 347 218 17 66 60.0 53.5
Alain Vigneault 738 391 260 33 54 58.9 53.0
Jacques Martin 1294 613 481 119 81 55.1 47.4
Michel Therrien 462 212 182 30 38 53.2 45.9
Bob Gainey 472 194 211 63 4 48.2 41.1

Once again Therrien comes second last. Is this really the best that Marc Bergevin can offer us with a month long coaching search? This is what's offered as the new face of the Canadiens? There is no coach available anywhere in the world that Bergevin sees as a long term solution for the Habs? I call BS on it. This is a decision made by an organization afraid of risk, but they'll get no reward from it.

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