Perry Pearn

Fired Montreal coach: “To be let go this early is tough to take”

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Former Montreal Canadiens assistant coach Perry Pearn spoke with Sportsnet Magazine today about the circumstances which led to his controversial firing.

Clearly, he’s still a little perturbed with how the situation unfolded:

I’m a proud person, I think I’m good at what I do, so I can’t help but be disappointed that what’s happened has happened.

Do I think it’s my fault the Montreal Canadiens had a bad start? I’ll take my share of the responsibility. Our power play wasn’t as good as it should be; our penalty-killing wasn’t as good as we wanted it to be. But to say I’m the only reason we had a bad start, no, I don’t accept that.

And I’m sure that’s not the point of me being let go, is that it was all my fault. It was a way of sending a wake-up call to everybody that things had to change.

The ‘sacrificial lamb’ angle has been played up by numerous media types, with most contending the move smacked of Habs GM Pierre Gauthier buying himself some time. Time for what, exactly?

Possibly for the likes of Andrei Markov, Chris Campoli, Scott Gomez and Ryan White to return from injury. Maybe to orchestrate a more meaningful deal than the Petteri Nokelainen trade. Perhaps to get his ducks in a row for a head coaching change, should it ever come to that (remember, the coaching heir apparent was supposed to be Kirk Muller, but he left to take Nashville’s AHL gig.)

Pearn also added that “if you’re sitting today from the general manager’s standpoint, he would have an argument it worked,” alluding to the fact that Montreal has gone 2-0 since his dismissal. This, of course, ties into the old “you can’t fire the players” adage. GMs can’t fire players, but they can make players feel incredibly guilty for getting a guy that had no business losing his job fired.

After that, I guess the hope is that pangs of guilt will motivate players to better on-ice performances. (Motivational Guilt: 3 out of 10 NHL GMs approve!)

It might sound like an awful way to run a hockey team but hey, the Habs are rolling.

Royal beating: Lucic, Kings crush Bruins 9-2

As Boston Bruins' Patrice Bergeron (37) looks on Los Angeles Kings' Milan Lucic waves to the crowd after a tribute to him was played on the screen during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
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The Boston Bruins welcomed Milan Lucic back on Tuesday. Maybe they shouldn’t have extended such a warm welcome to the Los Angeles Kings overall, however.

You won’t see many games as lopsided as this one, at least in 2015-16, as the Kings walloped the Bruins by a humbling score of 9-2.

Lucic wasn’t just there, either, as he scored a goal and an assist in his quite triumphant return to Boston.

Tuukka Rask had a short night in Boston’s net, yet it wasn’t as if Jonas Gustavsson enjoyed his time. It was a pretty sound beating by all accounts.

This dominant win is a heck of a way for the Kings to begin an imposing seven-game road trip, which continues against the New York Islanders on Thursday. The Bruins probably want to burn the tape on this one themselves, as they’re about to head on a six-game road trip.

Video: Evander Kane believes he won his fights vs. Alex Petrovic

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The Florida Panthers are beating up the Buffalo Sabres where it counts – on the scoreboard – but Evander Kane was happy to highlight his perceived victories in a couple bouts.

Buffalo’s power forward fought Alex Petrovic twice on Tuesday, and Kane wasn’t shy about holding up a “2-0.”

You can watch the second fight above, and the first one below, via Hockey Fights by way of MSG:

This GIF might just say it all, really:

Update: Apparently they fought again moments after this post went up.

Probably safe to call it a rivalry between the two, right?

The Panthers ultimately won 7-4.

Fight video: Yes, a visor-breaking punch

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Some hockey players resist the urge to wear a visor, at least if they’re given that choice.

Perhaps a few will say “Hey, Nathan Beaulieu will just punch it off anyway.”

Maybe not, but Beaulieu provided a rather unique moment in his fight with Cedric Paquette during the Montreal Canadiens – Tampa Bay Lightning game. You can watch that bout in the video above, and see a cut on the Lightning pest’s face from that blow.

Want it in GIF form? OK then:

Sending a message: Flames scratch Gaudreau, Monahan, Bouma

Calgary Flames' Sean Monahan, left, celebrates his goal with teammate Johnny Gaudreau during the third period against the Carolina Hurricanes in an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, in Calgary, Alberta. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press via AP)
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Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau figure to be a big part of the Calgary Flames’ forward group, both in the present and the future.

That said, it the very specific present, they’ll be watching Tuesday’s game from the press box.

After an unsatisfactory practice amid flailing playoff hopes, Flames head coach Bob Hartley made a big statement tonight, taking Monahan, Gaudreau and Lance Bouma out of the lineup as healthy scratches against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Wow.

It’s amusing timing, too, as the Maple Leafs will roll with a bit of a skeleton crew of their own after that splashy Dion Phaneuf trade.

Some background

Sportsnet’s Mark Spector was there for the practice, which was unusually short at 25 minutes.

“He wasn’t happy with the way we were practicing,” David Jones told Spector. “It’s a little embarrassing when we’re not (making) five-foot passes.

“I think he was pretty pissed off about the way things were looking.”

Call it a combination of poor execution and maybe a tardy arrival … perhaps from a Super Bowl party or two?