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maas_art

Have the players quit on Julien?

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Ive read/heard several analysts saying they believe the players are starting to quit on Julien.  This seems surprising as I feel like he's well liked but you have to wonder.

If nothing else, they are in a bad state of confidence right now & you have to assume MB is at least considering whether a coaching change would help.   Im not saying we should - i actually like a lot of the stuff Julien has done (and i think he's probably the best French-speaking coach out there, since thats obviously a self-imposed requirement) so i worry about who the heck we'd actually replace him with but it makes you wonder.

Would MB look internally at Muller or Ducharme perhaps?  Is Julien really on the hot seat?  Opinions? 

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Not in my opinion - there still seems to be reasonable effort given the shots on goal against Boston - it’s a lack of talent for the defensive zone and too many plugs that cannot score when we fall behind 

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The roster isn’t good enough, especially without Drouin. No coach is going to fix that IMO.

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I look at the way CJ and the players handle themselves in interviews. I see CJ pointing blame at this person or that person and can't help but think this is not the guy that should be behind our bench. Forget all of the line choices and everything else throughout the game. His systems are what is getting us into trouble defensively. He is having all the Dmen pinch in or joining the rush and guys like Weber and Chiarot who are positional players are in crashing the net then the puck goes the other way and our forwards or the lone Dman is being asked to cover 2 or 3 on 1's. Price is giving up trying to be superhuman cause he is probably sick of the lack of D this team has. KK looks lost, CJ himself looks like he is not sure what to do with the special teams. It is definitly time for a new Coach.and possibly a new GM as well. Hell Roy is available and look what he did with the Avs in one season eleven he would be better at this point.

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Have not heard of this happening lately. Back in the day it was the only way sometimes to get rid of a coach.

But that would explain the very poor play of Petry (worst game ever against Boston) Domi and Daneault. 

Personally would be very pleased if he went. No longer believe we need a french coach. Just some one who understands the new game and his team. PK should be an easy fix. But CJ has no idea. 

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Personally, I just don't see it. Not even two weeks ago, all the so-called experts had us making the playoffs and everybody was making fun of the Leafs. After beating Washington, we got screwed by the refs a few times, lost two games in OT, blew a 4-goal lead against the Rags in ridiculous fashion, and now were taken to the woodshed by one of the best teams in the league. To me, this doesn't look like CJ has lost the room all of a sudden. All of those games were winnable (with the exception of the last one) and they could all have gone either way. This is what happens when you have a mediocre roster with a massive hole on D, mixed with a couple of key injuries and several talented yet inexperienced players.

 

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I don't think the players have quit on the coach. A consistent, strong 5-on-5 performance throughout the season seems like they believe in what he's teaching them. The short-comings are on special teams and defensive zone coverage. Our goaltending has also not been good enough.

Not sure what can be done to fix these problems.

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28 minutes ago, ChiLla said:

Personally, I just don't see it. Not even two weeks ago, all the so-called experts had us making the playoffs and everybody was making fun of the Leafs. After beating Washington, we got screwed by the refs a few times, lost two games in OT, blew a 4-goal lead against the Rags in ridiculous fashion, and now were taken to the woodshed by one of the best teams in the league. To me, this doesn't look like CJ has lost the room all of a sudden. All of those games were winnable (with the exception of the last one) and they could all have gone either way. This is what happens when you have a mediocre roster with a massive hole on D, mixed with a couple of key injuries and several talented yet inexperienced players.

 

 

26 minutes ago, jennifer_rocket said:

I don't think the players have quit on the coach. A consistent, strong 5-on-5 performance throughout the season seems like they believe in what he's teaching them. The short-comings are on special teams and defensive zone coverage. Our goal-tending has also not been good enough.

Not sure what can be done to fix these problems.

The above highlighted statements make sense to me. That said, the problem with the penalty kill and specialty teams in general are, I believe, symptomatic and do relate to a coaching problem IMHO. Who plays where and when in these situations may be one part of what the problem is... and that is a coach's responsibility.

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Knowing from past experience how long it took MB to fire MT,,, I would say he's probably looking to sign CJ to an extension.

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Article I read ... he called out JK on the 6-5 loss the other day.    Article went on to say that's not how you develop young players and that CJ is 'scared' to call out vets like Weber/Price because that's when you start to lose the room.    To me, the 6-5 loss to NYR and the 8-1 to Boston are indicative of the first signs that CJ is losing the room.  He may not have lost it yet, but he's getting there.    It's ludicrous that you have a PP where they keep throwing Cousins out there etc ... his player management has always been puzzling if not downright frustrating. 

I'll be interesting to see how they play tomorrow, if its another lack luster effort then maybe he is in fact losing the room.

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1. I do not think the players have quit on Julien. We went through this same losing streak last year at this time. In fact, we seem to be a team that plays well in October in general and then hit a skid towards late November and Deember every year. The Habs played better last year after the losing streak and they likely will again this year. Losing streaks happen. Julien is a veteran coach and I don't see him panicking about this.

2. The problem for me is not the losing streak. It's that the team is just not good enough to win a Cup. The team is better than how they've played the last two weeks, but it's not good enough to be competitive in the long run. At best, we're shooting to try and win home ice in the first round and be maybe the 4th or 5th best team in our conference. We're not legitimately battling for the President's trophy or the Cup and we would need a heck of a magical run to go deep in the playoffs, if we even make them at all. Even if they turn it around and start winning games again, the team has too many big holes to be a contender.

3. I don't think Petry or Danault have quit on Julien. Those are two players who have been given every advantage by the coach, so they really have no reason to quit on him. Guy Boucher said he thinks Petry is playing nervous, as are a lot of other guys. When you lose, you play nervous. You want to try and avoid making mistakes that sink the ship, and when you play to avoid mistakes, that's how you make more of them. Domi maybe has a grudge about losing his center spot briefly, but he's going to be a loose cannon no matter who the coach is, quite frankly. I think Julien still has the support of Weber, Price, Danault, Petry, and Gallagher and that's his leadership core. If he has those guys, he has the room.

4. Much of this falls on Bergevin's lack of ability to address the LHD problem. Mete has improved this year, but he's a 2nd pairing D man in an ideal world. Kulak has also played well but he's a 3rd pairing guy. Chiarot is a 3rd pairing guy at best as well, and Reilly has been a tire fire. I don't understand why he and Chiarot play over Kulak. Bergevin is apparently off to Russia to meet with Romanov soon, but that's not a short-term solution. In the end, Julien has made it known he isn't happy with his D corps, and he shouldn't be. Price has played well for stretches but isn't winning games by himself for the most part. And with Drouin out, the Habs lack the firepower to make up for their defensive weaknesses. Julien is probably doing a decent job with what he's been given. His system is decent. He's got the team skating well and playing high-event hockey, which is fun for fans and the right strategy if you think Price is better than the goalie across the ice.

5. What can Julien change? Number one in my eyes is swapping Danault and Kotkaniemi. I get that Julien loved Bergeron and thinks Danault is his second coming. And I get that he likes to lean on two-way players. But Kotkaniemi is a creative offensive player and elite passer and we're making him play with Byron, Armia, Lehkonen, Weal, and now Cousins. His line was the best one on the team to start the year when he drew Drouin as a linemate, then Julien split them up and it was all downhill for JK from there. We need to give JK offensive linemates or we're wasting his skill and frankly ruining his development. Danault is a better fit as a shutdown 3C than JK and he won't be hurt playing that role, not to mention his past chemistry with Lehkonen. That switch needs to happen, and Julien needs to stop giving Danault all the advantages of linemates while letting JK drown in the bottom half of the line-up. Second, as I alluded to, Kulak needs to be in the top 4. He's one of your top two LHD, whether we like it or not. He's got the best possession numbers on the team when paired with either Petry or Weber, so he needs to be there. We can't keep playing Reilly. It should be Kulak-Petry, Mete-Weber, Chiarot-Fleury until we can find a better LHD. If you can trade for a player like Gostisbehere, then I'd still line up Kulak-Petry, Ghost-Weber, Mete-Fleury. Kulak still deserves to be in there, even if he wasn't given the contract Chiarot was or can't play on the PP. Lastly, Julien needs to keep his grinders off the PP. In fact, I wonder if the 4th line needs to be changed up a bit anyways. The 4th liners need to be good penalty killers to some degree, and our PK has been crap. They shouldn't be on the 1st PP wave. Thompson and Cousins have played well, but Cousins shouldn't be on the 3rd line or PP and Weal probably shouldn't even be in the line-up. If the Habs want a little bit of a spark, then why not call up a younger player to get some energy? Why not add Jake Evans to your 4th line or Michael McCarron or Ryan Poehling or Alex Belzile instead of lining up Weal. My 2 cents.

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The team has quit on Bergevin, not Julien. 

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10 minutes ago, habs1952 said:

The team has quit on Bergevin, not Julien. 

I see it more that Bergevin has quit on the team. He's told the media countless times that it's too hard to be good at being a GM. He's made some good trades, but he hasn't addressed the biggest problems.

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Yeah, a coach can only work with what he has. i think the guy's really do still work hard for the coach the problem is still  the same as it has been for a few years now too many holes in key spots. first pairing LHD would drop a lot of guys into better positions we have a lot of good young centers right now but they need some time yet. we are a little short on talent on the right wing too. put it all together and if the guys don't play pretty much a perfect game every night they are toast that is on the GM pure and simple, he has had enough time to sort this out. he has failed pure and simple.

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11 minutes ago, ramcharger440 said:

Yeah, a coach can only work with what he has. i think the guy's really do still work hard for the coach the problem is still  the same as it has been for a few years now too many holes in key spots. first pairing LHD would drop a lot of guys into better positions we have a lot of good young centers right now but they need some time yet. we are a little short on talent on the right wing too. put it all together and if the guys don't play pretty much a perfect game every night they are toast that is on the GM pure and simple, he has had enough time to sort this out. he has failed pure and simple.

I will counter this by saying. The coach sets lines and D pairings, as well as special teams lines. Is 

Tatar-Danault-Gallagher 

Lehkonen-Domi-Suzuki

Cousins-Kotkaniemi-Armia

Hudon-Thompson-Weal 

Chiarot-Weber

Mete-Petry

Kulak/Reilly-Fleury

Really the best line up? Then send out

Tatat-Danault-Armia-Cousins-Weber

Weal-Domi-Suzuki-Lehkonen-Petry or some other crap combo really the best we can ice on the PP?

How about

Danault-WealChiarot-Weber

Thompson-Cousins-Mete-Petry on the PK? Those are CJ's favorite types of lines. 

Also you spoke about the systems being good. My opinion is the systems suck even at 5 on 5. I don't know how many times this year I have saw Weber or Chiarot behind the oppositions net leaving their partner to deal with odd man rushes. Also over the last 4 or 5 games I have seen the other team send a guy out to our blue line while the puck is being dumped into their end by us cause they know odds are they get the puck and can send that guy on a breakaway which again is an adjustment the coach has to make mid game. Drop a D man back and only send him in the o zone when we have possession. And for God's sake Weber and Chiarot are only effective when they play the positional game not the offensive drive the net game.

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2 hours ago, campabee82 said:

Also you spoke about the systems being good. My opinion is the systems suck even at 5 on 5. I don't know how many times this year I have saw Weber or Chiarot behind the oppositions net leaving their partner to deal with odd man rushes. Also over the last 4 or 5 games I have seen the other team send a guy out to our blue line while the puck is being dumped into their end by us cause they know odds are they get the puck and can send that guy on a breakaway which again is an adjustment the coach has to make mid game. Drop a D man back and only send him in the o zone when we have possession. And for God's sake Weber and Chiarot are only effective when they play the positional game not the offensive drive the net game.

I think our play at even strength is what has kept us in the playoff race during the first quarter of the season. We're currently tied for 5th in GF at 5-on-5 and even though that stat is somewhat volatile, it indicates there's a trend that was also present last year. For as long as I can remember, we mostly had to rely on the man advantage to score goals at all, which is a disaster once the playoffs start and the refs put their whistles away. IMO that change is directly related to Julien, he has followed a similar sustainable approach to offense in Boston.

On the other hand, our special teams are trending in the opposite direction, which is also a systems thing. The PP is definitely better than last year but the PK is abysmal and that's totally unacceptable when you have guys like Weber, Chiarot, Danault, etc. out there for most of the night. We don't have the star power to keep up with the PP of teams like Edmonton, Tampa Bay, Washington, or even Vancouver, but we should be good enough defensively NOT to bleed high-danger scoring chances and goals against while short-handed.

Just to be clear: I'm not a huge Julien fan and I don't agree with a lot of his lineup decisions. I also didn't like that he sort of singled out KK while speaking to the press recently, he didn't blame him for the loss specifically but it's just not how you handle kids these days if you want to get the most out of them. I do think, however, that he's a very competent and experienced coach who's above and beyond his neanderthal predecessor and that he's not the reason for our current our losing streak. As others have said, this team is flawed and streaks happen, there's only so much you can do as a coach.

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3 hours ago, ChiLla said:

I think our play at even strength is what has kept us in the playoff race during the first quarter of the season. We're currently tied for 5th in GF at 5-on-5 and even though that stat is somewhat volatile, it indicates there's a trend that was also present last year. For as long as I can remember, we mostly had to rely on the man advantage to score goals at all, which is a disaster once the playoffs start and the refs put their whistles away. IMO that change is directly related to Julien, he has followed a similar sustainable approach to offense in Boston.

On the other hand, our special teams are trending in the opposite direction, which is also a systems thing. The PP is definitely better than last year but the PK is abysmal and that's totally unacceptable when you have guys like Weber, Chiarot, Danault, etc. out there for most of the night. We don't have the star power to keep up with the PP of teams like Edmonton, Tampa Bay, Washington, or even Vancouver, but we should be good enough defensively NOT to bleed high-danger scoring chances and goals against while short-handed.

Just to be clear: I'm not a huge Julien fan and I don't agree with a lot of his lineup decisions. I also didn't like that he sort of singled out KK while speaking to the press recently, he didn't blame him for the loss specifically but it's just not how you handle kids these days if you want to get the most out of them. I do think, however, that he's a very competent and experienced coach who's above and beyond his neanderthal predecessor and that he's not the reason for our current our losing streak. As others have said, this team is flawed and streaks happen, there's only so much you can do as a coach.

I agree that he is not the reason for our current streak. However I feel like the only reason why we are good at 5 on 5 is cause of a every night a few players stand out and play well not so much the system implemented by CJ. His system like I said above is being exposed multiple times on a nightly basis giving up odd man rushes. I don't know how many times we have said thanks to Carey for bailing us out on a breakaway chance or a 2 on 1 and its only November.

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3 hours ago, campabee82 said:

I agree that he is not the reason for our current streak. However I feel like the only reason why we are good at 5 on 5 is cause of a every night a few players stand out and play well not so much the system implemented by CJ. His system like I said above is being exposed multiple times on a nightly basis giving up odd man rushes. I don't know how many times we have said thanks to Carey for bailing us out on a breakaway chance or a 2 on 1 and its only November.

I'm on this page ... I think our success at 5v5 is in spite of CJ, not because of him.     The only thing saving our bacon 5v5 is team speed, but our overall player usage and systems really aren't working.   Our PK is dead last and our PP is middle of the pack.     

Consider this ... we're the 3rd least penalized team in the league (which shocked me when I just looked it up) .. averaging 6:37 mins a game ... imagine how much worse our record would be if we were averaging 10+ minutes a game that the three most heavily penalized teams were.    That's on the coach.     If you're PK sucks that bad that your last in the league, its up to the coach to figure it out.

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FWIW i also dont think the players have given up on him (despite what some of the pundits say) but I do think that if this streak doesnt end soon MB may well consider changing coaches.   If you start winning now, its no big deal but another 4 or 5 loses could basically tank the season & that would likely mean MB's job. So a panic move may be to change coaches, to spark something in the players (you cant fire the players as the old saying goes) but I would say its pretty unlikely unless things dont improve for a while (which i also think is unlikely). 

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14 hours ago, habs1952 said:

The team has quit on Bergevin, not Julien. 

How soon will Molson quit on Bergevin?   

 

 

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2 minutes ago, CANADIENS27 said:

How soon will Molson quit on Bergevin?   

 

 

He gives no sign of it but you have to wonder if he's considered he's been sold the emperor's new clothes... 

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41 minutes ago, maas_art said:

He gives no sign of it but you have to wonder if he's considered he's been sold the emperor's new clothes... 

I think it may start creeping more and more into his mind depending on how many more games are not sold out for the rest of the year.

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1 hour ago, maas_art said:

He gives no sign of it but you have to wonder if he's considered he's been sold the emperor's new clothes... 

You can only go through so many coaches until you realize the problem ain't the coach. And, IMO, as it stands now, it ain't the players either. It's the quality of players. Bergevin needs to make a deal that may cost more than he wants to pay but it's either sink, tread water or swim. I'd prefer to swim. 

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40 minutes ago, habs1952 said:

You can only go through so many coaches until you realize the problem ain't the coach. And, IMO, as it stands now, it ain't the players either. It's the quality of players. Bergevin needs to make a deal that may cost more than he wants to pay but it's either sink, tread water or swim. I'd prefer to swim. 

Yeah, that's what I'm seeing as well. The players are doing what they can but it's just not enough. It's not like half the team is massively underperforming or in major slumps, everyone's more or less performing at their expected level. Sure some could be better, but there are also some surprises, so it pretty much evens out. On the other hand, we still have the same fat hole on defence we had last year, we're still lacking a legit star forward, and we're still sitting on a big chunk of unused Cap space for some reason. That's all on Bergevin and no one else.

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A few comments on some of the points raised above:

- Yes, the PK is awful. And yes, we have players who you would think would do well there, starting with Price. To me, that's yet another reason to question Danault being on the top line at ES. Why not play JK between Gallagher and Tatar at ES and let Danault play the 3C spot and concentrate more on being a shutdown guy and being more fresh for the PK? One of the best ways I like to look at how good a penalty killer is doing is scoring chances given up per ice time... at 4v5 this year, Danault is worst on the team in this statistic, followed closely by Weber, Chiarot, and Armia. In Danault's case, however, his numbers are pretty similar to where he was the last two seasons, so it's showing he has never really been as good on the PK as everyone believes him to be. Weber's numbers were great when he was in Nashville and his first season here. They were bad in his 2nd year here, a bit better last year, and now back to being bad this year. Chiarot, likewise, was decent in Winnipeg's system but not very consistent year to year. Armia has actually been a pretty decent penalty killer most of his career, outside of one bad year in Winnipeg and then this year. Our best penalty killers this year by that statistic have been Fleury, Mete, Thompson, Byron, Petry, and Lehkonen, and Suzuki has the best numbers of all but in reasonably limited ice time. All that to say that the guys you think would be good at the PK have been bad. Maybe that's because they're overrated in that role... Weber for example is thought of as being stellar defensively but he's not the quickest at getting to loose pucks, and that's a big part of being a good penalty killer. Ditto Chiarot. But maybe it's also that guys like Weber, Chiarot, and Danault are being asked to take on big minutes at ES as well, so they're just not that rested come PK time. You wonder if it might help our PK to cut back their ES minutes and/or to throw in some guys who are faster and better at loose puck recovery. Thompson and Lehkonen seem to be doing well, but how about trying out Suzuki, Kotkaniemi, or Domi in a PK role... get them more involved, give them something to build on in terms of contributing to the team. I don't see how it can be worse than what we already have.

- You would have to think MB's time is running out and that there may not be a 3rd coach in it for him. He's had one of the worst runs in club history in terms of failure to make the playoffs and poor finishes in the standings. He stuck it out with his friends Michel Therrien and Sylvain Lefebvre for way too long. And he chose a decent coach in Julien, but it's not like Julien was an inexperienced guy who took some time to find his footing in the NHL. He's a veteran coach. So if MB has gone through two coaches with reasonably long chances to prove themselves here, there's no proof he can do better picking a third guy. I'm also largely worried that we'll go right back to the same pool of candidates and that the French media is going to rah rah for Carbonneau or Bob Hartley or Guy Boucher or Patrick Roy or so on... same list every time. Outside shot that Ducharme or Joel Bouchard get a chance and I'd give Bouchard more of an edge in that race. Muller isn't the answer IMO.

- Julien has always had very good 5v5 teams. We saw a significant improvement in our system and play after he took over from Therrien, who had no system whatsoever other than dump and chase. So I think there's enough evidence to say Julien deserves some of the credit for that. He also deserves blame for the PK this year and last year's PP, but again, I'm not sure who's walking in the door to do better. Special teams usually falls on the assistant coaches' backs, so unless the Habs are planning on overhauling the entire coaching staff, special teams probably don't change much even if you swap your head coach. Again, I think the biggest issue we have is the lack of any decent caliber of defenceman on the left side. We have depth players only. And so you can throw out Weber or Petry all you want, but for close to 100% of the ES minutes, you have one of Mete, Kulak, Reilly, or Chiarot on the ice. Those guys aren't winning games for you, they're just keeping you in it at best. It took MB a long time to find solutions at center and it's taking him just as long to figure out the LHD position. You just can't have such key holes in your line-up and expect to win consistently. You need a top 20 center in the league and a 2nd-line center who is top 50. It's debatable whether we even have one top 50 centerman on our team still, despite Domi's success last year. And you need to have at least one D pairing you can throw out confidently for 23-25 minutes a night, and we're missing half of that. Throw in the failure to maximize our cap spending and the fact that we sat on Niemi and his awful play last year and missed the playoffs by a hair, something that might not have happened if MB had found a better back-up. Then he goes out and signs one of the worst options in Kinkaid when others like Lehner and Reimer and McElhinney were available, not to mention Primeau and Lindgren maybe being better than Niemi and Kinkaid in our own backyard.

 

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