For anyone thinking Michel Therrien’s job is in immediate jeopardy, think again.
“It’s not on the table at all. It’s not even close,” NHL insider Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports told Tim and Sid Wednesday when asked if firing the Montreal Canadiens head coach is an option at the moment.
Since Dec. 3, the Canadiens have gone an NHL-worst 4-16-1 and fallen out of a playoff position.
Something that goes hand-in-hand with the Habs’ struggles is the fact they’ve been without their star netminder.
“If you know a little bit of the relationship between Marc Bergevin and Michel Therrien there’s no way Marc’s going to fire his coach knowing that Carey Price is not the goaltender right now and wasn’t for the last two months,” Lavoie said.
The reigning Hart and Vezina winner hasn’t played since Nov. 25 as he recovers from a lower-body injury. Lavoie suggested Price could return sometime in the second half of February.
Despite the team’s recent losing ways, players are sticking by their coach.
“He’s been absolutely phenomenal during this [slump] and that’s what makes it so hard,” Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty told reporters Tuesday following a 4-1 loss to the Bruins. “I can’t believe how well he’s handled this and how positive he’s been with us. And night after night we haven’t been able to step up for him and that’s frustrating because we all believe in this room. We’re all on board. We all know that this is the way the game is supposed to be played.
“The execution was there earlier in the year, it’s been there for a lot of these games, just we haven’t gotten the results we want. I can’t credit him enough for the way he’s handled this. I know if I were in that situation I wouldn’t be able to handle it as well and I think that’s what motivates me and my teammates to go out there and execute better the game plan, and the system, because we know it works.”