Michel Therrien

Montreal names Michel Therrien head coach (yes, again)


In Montreal, what’s old is new again.

That appeared to be the case late Monday night as TSN’s Darren Dreger reported Montreal GM Marc Bergevin planned to hire former Habs coach Michel Therrien as his new bench boss.

Dreger says the announcement will come within the next 24-48 hours, meaning the Canadiens might wait until the end of the Stanley Cup finals to present Therrien as the 31st coach in franchise history.

The LA Kings, up 3-0 in the Cup finals, can close out the series with a win on Wednesday night.

Therrien broke into NHL coaching in 2000 with the Canadiens, taking over for Alain Vigneault and orchestrating a 16-point increase (and playoff appearance) in his second season at the helm. He was fired in 2003.

Following the lockout, Pittsbugh tabbed Therrien to coach its young, inexperienced squad, highlighted by then-rookie forward Sidney Crosby. The team showed steady improvement under Therrien from 2005-06 onward, highlighted by a trip to the Stanley Cup finals in 2008.

Therrien was fired by the Penguins 57 games into the 2008-09 season and was replaced by Pittsburgh’s current head coach, Dan Bylsma.

Therrien’s known as a tough, no-nonsense coach that will, ahem, speak his mind:

It’s an interesting hire to be sure. Therrien will join the likes of Newsy Lalonde, Leo Dandurand, Cecil Hart, Claude Ruel and Bob Gainey as two-term Canadiens coaches with only one player — Andrei Markov — remaining from Therrien’s first stint in Montreal.

Update (8:55 a.m. ET): Done deal. Canadiens officially name Therrien their new head coach.

Price paid: Devils come back against Condon, Canadiens

Mike Condon, John Moore,
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If nothing else, the New Jersey Devils seem like they won’t be the sort of team a contender can essentially mark off as a “W” on their calendars.

The Montreal Canadiens may not be in a position to take opponents lightly with Carey Price on the shelf, but whatever the case may be, they saw their four-game winning streak end in frustrating fashion on Saturday.

After falling behind 2-0, the Devils scrapped their way back into it, eventually riding a John Moore overtime goal to a 3-2 OT win.

If Montreal needs an obvious bright side to look on considering this hiccup, Alex Galchenyuk‘s hot weekend may be a good thing to look at.

Tonight’s loss may smart a bit anyway, however.

Metro’s best? Capitals keep winning, pass Rangers for division lead

Jonathan Bernier; Matt Niskanen; Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau

If you want to summarize the Capitals – Maple Leafs game in one sentence, you could do worse than:

“Washington is hot as Jonathan Bernier is cold.”

The Caps reeled off a 4-2 win against Toronto on Saturday, giving them five straight wins. They also jumped into first place in the Metropolitan Division today, as they keep climbing while the New York Rangers are experiencing some growing pains.

Again, James Reimer can’t get healthy and back in Toronto’s net too soon:

With this win, Washington is now 17-5-1, leading the Metro by one point with 35 standings points. They also hold a game in hand against the Rangers, and no other Metro team even has 30 right now.

Measuring stick stretch begins

Tonight’s game began a “prove-it” month-and-change for Washington.

This contest began a three-game road trip, and they’ll also play six of seven away from Washington.

It’s pretty rough through the start of 2016, really. The Capitals will only enjoy three home games through Jan. 9.

In other words, the Capitals seem like a convincing East contender, but look out if they remain hot through the next 5-6 weeks.

Video: Evgeni Malkin leaves Oilers spinning


Yes, there’s a lot of drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Penguins, whether it’s founded on serious problems or merely speculation.

It’s easy to get swept up in all of that and ignore the fact that, hey, they still have Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Those two can really heal wounds with their on-ice play, and in Saturday’s case, Malkin is taking over against the Edmonton Oilers.

His spin-o-rama goal above was a real jaw-dropper. He also scored Pittsburgh’s second tally:

These highlights feel like Malkin’s way of saying “It’s going to be just fine.”

Update: It wasn’t enough for a win, however, as the Oilers beat the Penguins 3-2 via a shootout.

Lightning’s first fight this season: Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo

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Fighting is down more or less across the board in the NHL, but the Tampa Bay Lightning might be the franchise least interested in dropping the gloves.

Ryan Callahan vs. Kyle Okposo already has some name recognition to it, yet it gets some bonus points for being the Bolts’ first fighting major of 2015-16.

It … probably loses those bonus points in being run-of-the-mill.

Hey, be fair; the Lightning are clearly out of practice.