Randy Cunneyworth might be the least envied coach, interim or otherwise, in the league.
Not only does Cunneyworth slide in after Jacques Martin’s firing he also has to deal with half of Quebec hating that he’s even there because he doesn’t speak French. The Canadiens’ schedule does nothing to help him out right away either.
After taking a 5-3 beat down from New Jersey on Saturday, Montreal gets to deal with Boston tonight. Not only is the game in Boston against a hated rival, but it’s a Bruins team that is relentlessly beating opponents down. Rivalry games are a different sort of beast usually, but with Montreal in tumult at the moment, things don’t shape up well for the Habs.
On Wednesday, Montreal follows up a grueling game with Boston with back-to-back nights in Chicago and Winnipeg against the streaking Blackhawks and the tough-at-home Jets. If you thought the complaints against Cunneyworth’s interim appointment were annoying now, just wait til Christmas rolls around at the end of the week and Quebecois and Anglophones alike in Montreal are trying stuff his stocking with coal and pink slips.
If the Canadiens are serious about getting locked into the playoff race and doing something to give the coach a break, they’ll figure out a way to finish the week with more than three points in the standings. Then again, maybe the players could be just trying to find a way to get Pierre Gauthier canned too.