After making a coaching change early this morning, Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin and interim head coach Dominique Ducharme met the media Wednesday afternoon from Winnipeg.
Bergevin spoke to the media first.
"I saw a team that was lost, a team with no direction." - Marc Bergevin, noting the effort from the players was always there and that was proof Claude Julien had not lost the room.— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) February 24, 2021
"Quarantine or no quarantine, Dominique Ducharme was my guy." - Marc Bergevin— Jared Book (@jaredbook) February 24, 2021
Says he's a new-age head coach and has had success and his voice is what the team needs.
#Habs GM Marc Bergevin: "Claude is very good coach but sometimes the players need a new voice"— Priyanta Emrith (@HabsInHighHeels) February 24, 2021
Bergevin also said that the shortened season added urgency to his decision. He says the interim tag is to give everyone time, and it will be revisited at the end of the season.
"We had two 8-game losing streaks last year, and I saw a pattern I didn't want to repeat."— Marc Antoine Godin (@MAGodin) February 24, 2021
- Marc Bergevin
Bergevin also says that Ducharme, despite being the interim head coach, has 100% control of the bench, and 100% of his support.
#Habs Bergevin says he can’t pinpoint when players stopped responding to Julien’s messaging but he saw a pattern emerging that reminded him of the two 8-game winless streaks from last season and didn’t want to wait any longer to make this change.— John Lu (@JohnLuTSNMtl) February 24, 2021
Bergevin isn’t concerned about the higher spotlight on him and his role after the decision he made today saying he stands behind his decisions 100%.
He also puts responsibility on his players.
"The bar is high, I have confidence in you, but every player who wears a Montreal Canadiens uniform needs to do more." - Marc Bergevin's message to his team this morning.— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) February 24, 2021
Marc Bergevin says he wanted to give Claude Julien and Kirk Muller a chance to regroup with the week off, and what he saw after that week off led to his decision.— Jared Book (@jaredbook) February 24, 2021
Bergevin also said that he went through several options before making his decision, but decided Ducharme was the best choice.
"Our special teams need to be a lot better." - Marc Bergevin— Jared Book (@jaredbook) February 24, 2021
"Our d-zone coverage, we're chasing our tails too much." - Marc Bergevin on one of the aspects of how the Canadiens are playing that he wants to see change.— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) February 24, 2021
There were several others. Power play, penalty kill, etc.
Marc Bergevin says that the hardest thing for him was going from a team with pace, and engaged to start the season to a team that was chasing their tails.— Jared Book (@jaredbook) February 24, 2021
Pour Bergevin, ce qui a changé : « We were playing with pace, was engaged. Playing our identity which is speed. We lost that. We are not in sync. »— Daphnée Malboeuf (@DaphneeMalboeuf) February 24, 2021
#Habs GM Marc Bergevin says it was tough emotionally to inform Claude Julien and Kirk Muller they were being let go this morning.— Priyanta Emrith (@HabsInHighHeels) February 24, 2021
#Habs GM Marc Bergevin says he will not be conducting any interviews throughout the season for the full-time head coach job; says the full-time gig will be Dominique Ducharme's to lose.— Priyanta Emrith (@HabsInHighHeels) February 24, 2021
"I didn't come here to smile and tell jokes. I said during camp we mean business... Expectations are high and I'm trying to right the ship and I expect the players to respond."--Marc Bergevin.— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) February 24, 2021
Dominique Ducharme spoke to the media after the general manager. He’s not daunted by the expectations that come with the job.
"If the bar's too high, we're in the wrong sport."--Dominique Ducharme on expectations the Canadiens will make the playoffs and go far.— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) February 24, 2021
Ducharme says Alex Burrows will be heavily involved in the power play. Says Luke Richardson will be responsible for penalty killing.— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) February 24, 2021
"If you made a movie and told me it would end with me becoming coach of the Montreal Canadiens, this probably wasn't the way I would've expected it to happen."--Ducharme, on taking over for Julien, who he says he has immense respect for.— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) February 24, 2021
"I didn't take the highway (to being an NHL head coach), I took the side roads. But I'm proud of that." - Dominique Ducharme, who thinks his winding path made him a better coach.— Аrpon Basu (@ArponBasu) February 24, 2021
#Habs Dominique Ducharme says he hasn't spoken to Claude Julien or Kirk Muller yet; says it's been a crazy day & he knows it's a difficult day for both Claude & Kirk.— Priyanta Emrith (@HabsInHighHeels) February 24, 2021