The Canadiens caused a big surprise last night by eliminating the Toronto Maple Leafs in seven games. The rise from 3 to 1 in the series is the hot topic all over town today, and it’s understandable.
Let’s face it: Montreal would never have won this series without the contribution of its star goalie, Carey Price. The latter has been phenomenal in virtually every game and gave his club a chance to win every night he was in goal.
But we must also underline the work done by the head coach of the team, Dominique Ducharme. The coach made changes to his roster (although they weren’t often unanimous) and it ultimately worked seeing the recent results.
Ducharme placed great faith in his youngsters and the strategy paid off. In yesterday’s game, although he didn’t have the last change, he didn’t seem to be afraid to send the trios of Kotkaniemi and Suzuki against that of Matthews and the youngsters once again did well.
Before yesterday’s game, Kotkaniemi, Suzuki and Armia had participated in 18 of the Habs’ last 23 playoff goals – so it’s normal to see the youngsters Nick et KK get more ice time.
By winning this series, especially the way the team did, we can start to believe that Dominique Ducharme will become the (real) head coach of the Canadiens. The word “acting” seems to be dropped from the conversation and it is deserved.
The same goes for Marc Bergevin. As Martin Leclerc explains so well in his most recent column, it would be a bit absurd to see the two men being fired for the next season:
Under these circumstances, it is difficult to see how Geoff Molson could fire Marc Bergevin. And it is even more difficult to see how the DG could dare to dismiss a young coach that he himself had placed in an extremely difficult situation and who ended up, against all odds, by pulling a huge rabbit out of his hat. – Martin Leclerc
Marc Bergevin’s pact with CH will expire at the end of the 2021-2022 season and it would not be surprising to see him sign a contract extension.
Unless there is a turnaround where Bergevin decides to quit and the new GM appoints a (new) head coach … It would be rather astounding for such a scenario to occur, but it is a hypothesis like any other.
A lot of
– He was the Canadiens’ best player.
– Bad news for Intrepid Gatineau.