Rabid Habs

Michel Therrien Is A Good Coach & Habs Fans Need To Get Over It!

Habs head coach Michel Therrien Photo Credit - Getty Images

Really Habs fans trust me on this, I am not trying to be controversial. So before you send me an angry response (and I am expecting a lot of them) or tweets please just read what I have to say and then you can give me your respectful two cents. Michel Therrien is a good coach. Yes I said it and he does have his supporters even if they are few and far between.

For a lot of Habs fans MT did not stand a chance. When he was introduced as head coach on June 5, 2012 it was received quite negatively by a large pocket of Habs fans. They remembered MT as the fiery, sometimes unstable and unproven 37 year old coach. Habs fans were right back then, but it was more a case of MT not being ready (thanks André Savard) for the job than anything else. Fast forward 15 years later and here are the top 3 reasons Michel Therrien is a good coach.

1) Marc Bergevin

If MT is the most hated member of the Habs management team, then MB is probably the most liked (he has received some recent backlash for not acquiring a top 6 forward) but most Habs fans believe he is doing a good job. He has also earned respect around the league as being one of the GMs that others listen to for guidance and was recently added to Canada’s management team for the World Cup of hockey. So why would this guy, who is widely respected, hire and stick with a bad coach? It’s quite simple. He would not. If MB thinks MT is a good coach (and he clearly does), then that speaks volumes on its own.

2) His record

Does MT like players who are defensively responsible? Of course, all coaches do. Does MT hate scoring? Of course not. A good coach, coaches to the strengths of his team and right now the strengths of the Habs are goaltending and keeping the puck out of the net. If anyone thinks MT would not like to add some more scoring, they are fooling themselves. Because of this, his system is defensive and there are many 2-1 games. The Habs, as they are built now, are simply not a team that can open it up and be successful. That being said the key to all sports, especially in coaching, is you are judged by wins and losses. As we all remember in the last season before MT, the Habs drafted Alex Galchenyuk with the 3rd overall pick. The reason they were able to do that is because they finished with the 3rd worst record in the league. Enter MT and since then the Habs have put up 107pts (pro-rated), 100pts and 110pts in his three seasons as coach. They have also played in 6 post season series during the last three years. Argue what you want MT haters, but he has put together three solid seasons in a row. The numbers don’t lie.

3) Accountability and Hard Work

When the NHL went to the salary cap system, the league was hoping and got parity. 30 teams that could spend equal money and thus create and even playing field. On any given night, any team can beat any team. What’s my point? What really separates great teams from good teams is having players accountable for their play each game. The teams that work harder on a any given night is usually the team that wins. You can say what you want about MT, but he holds his players accountable and the Habs over the last three seasons have been a hard working team. The team also has one of the tightest locker rooms in the league. Two of the few players that have called MT out were Rene Bourque and PA Parenteau and if you look in the dictionary under “players who don’t give it there all” those two would be at the top of the page. The reason they don’t like MT is simple, he expected them to give 100% each time they were out there.

Conclusion

Is MT a Scotty Bowman or Toe Blake? Certainly not. But he is also not a Mario Tremblay or Michel Therrien from 2000. Like everyone, life experience has made him better at his job and with three 100-point seasons under his belt, Michel Therrien is a good coach and he is not going anywhere anytime soon. So Habs fans, it is time to get over it, give credit where it is due and get ready for the 2015-2016 season.

Go Habs Go!

Follow me on Twitter @scottobrien99.

10 Comments

  1. Jason

    July 15, 2015 at 10:53 am

    The reason why MT was not fired is because there are no other French caches available, any other team in the league would’ve fired this guy and that’s just a fact

  2. John

    July 15, 2015 at 10:54 am

    Well said Jason, I don’t think MB is a fan of this guy, who is? He does nothing but ruin players careers and he has to go

  3. Andrew Fearon

    July 15, 2015 at 1:09 pm

    Interesting post, it’s well written, but there are also counter arguments for all of the points you made (although I suppose there is for all opinions). I myself am not a Therrien hater or lover, I’m kind of on the edge about him.
    Good job 🙂

  4. Scott

    July 15, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    I respect your opinion but he has three 100 point seasons. Pretty sure most teams in the league would be happy with that. Thanks for the read 🙂

  5. Scott

    July 15, 2015 at 3:35 pm

    Thanks Andrew for the read. Most of my friends are not MT fans so i am used to lively debates.

  6. Dime Store Cynic

    July 15, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    My problem with MT has nothing to do with the his previous stab at coaching a Habs team, but the way he uses players today (or this past season). His defense first team structure is hindering creative players and we are seeing them sent away. PK is one such player that could use a little bit more room to do his thing, yet he too is held back. And then there is the over reliance of players, such as Markov, leaving nothing in the tank come playoffs. MT can be outcoached in the playoffs, so if we are happy with 100+ point seasons but no cup at the end of the year, then MT is your man. Me, I want to see a coach that can make something work (Power Play) and admit that it might be his fault and not the players.

    GDR.

  7. Thomas

    July 15, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    The coach the Habs need to get rid of is NOT Therrien but their AHL coach Sylvain Lefebvre.
    That guy is simply terrible. His team has never made the playoffs with him at the helm. His coaching decisions are questionable and dumb. This is the coach that needs to go. Not Therrien.

  8. Scott

    July 15, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Hi GDR. I admit i wasn’t a giant fan of how he handled PK but i just dont think the Habs have enough offense to open it up. Thanks for the read and your insight.

  9. Scott

    July 15, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Hi Thomas. I can’t say i follow much AHL but it seems the farm team should be doing much better than they are. Quality players and with the crop of guys going down this year a losing season will probably be the end of SL. Thanks for the read.

  10. jd

    July 23, 2015 at 5:26 am

    I have heard that excuse over and over. But since Therrien has never “opened” it up we will never really know if it can’t be done. It’s like a science experiment that was never run. If it’s never run we will never know the results. Players such as Eller (who is given the worst line mates, buried on the 3rd line, and constant defensive starts) and Galyenchuk (who was given 13 games to play center) are creative players who could easily replace MT fave David Desharnais but MT wants to run a safe defensive system. And the funniest thing is that Montreal isn’t even really good defensively by any analytic that you can name. In shots against and possession against Montreal is at the bottom of the NHL. The thing that saved them is peerless goaltending. With the current roster this club should be able to score more goals at least on the PP, but again MT and his coaches adopted a lazy approach to this aspect of the game because it doesn’t fit in with his defense first approach. Unless he actually gives the freedom to his players to actually show their offensive talents (and only then if it fails) can you say what you said. But right now it is an empty statement backed by a lack of evidence. MT is a bad coach and fans will have to be satisfied with making it to the playoffs (which is nice) but never winning the SC under his watch. If he couldn’t do it with the safe strategy he ran when he was wit Pitt (with Crosby and Malkin in their primes) he has no chance with the Habs and the Habs have no chance with him.