Tag: Michel Therrien

Carey Price

Price, Therrien reach milestones as Habs beat Panthers


Carey Price made 24 saves as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Florida Panthers 4-1 on Sunday.

With the win, Price picked up his 42nd win of the season tying the Canadiens’ franchise record for wins in a single season. Price joins Jaques Plante and Ken Dryden as the only other Habs’ goaltenders to reach the mark.

Montreal has two regular season games remaining, which could allow Price to set a new club record.

The victory was also coach Michel Therrien’s 200th behind the Habs’ bench.

The news wasn’t all good for Montreal.

The Habs lost leading scorer Max Pacioretty in the first period. Pacioretty collided with Panthers’ defenseman Dmitry Kulikov. Following the hit, the 26-year-old lost his footing and hit his head on the boards.

Pacioretty was wobbly as he was helped to the Habs’ bench. He did not return.

Tomas Plekanec, Brendan Gallagher, Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau and Devante Smith-Pelly had the Canadiens goals.

With the win, Montreal moved two points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning for top spot in the Atlantic Division.

Aaron Ekblad had the lone Florida goal while Dan Ellis made 24 saves in the loss.

Price downplays start as Canadiens host Rangers

Carey Price

One can only wonder ‘what if’ as the Montreal Canadiens get set to host the New York Rangers at the Bell Centre Saturday night.

The Rangers and Canadiens of course met in last spring’s Eastern Conference final, which saw Carey Price go down with a knee injury during Game 1 after Rangers forward Chris Kreider ran into the Habs’ starter.

New York defeated Montreal in six games to advance to the Stanley Cup final where they lost to the L.A. Kings.

“The fact we lost Carey Price was a huge loss for us, but we’re never going to know if it would have been different,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien told NHL.com. “It’s easy to speculate about the result, but we’re never going to know. One thing we do know is [the Rangers are] a good hockey team, they work hard, they have a good structure and they’re tough to play against.

Price, who went 8-3 with a 2.15 GAA through the first two rounds of last spring’s playoffs prior to the meeting with the Rangers, is naturally downplaying the significance of tonight’s game.

“It’s not about focusing on individuals on a team, it’s about trying to win the game,” Price said. “That’s the only thing we have to focus on.

“They’re a good hockey club. There’s a reason they were in the Stanley Cup finals last year. They got great goaltending, and they play as a unit. It’s definitely going to be a good challenge for us.”

Forward Brendan Gallagher added tonight’s game won’t change what happened.

“We’re not going to be able to be back in that situation by winning this game,” he said. “I think it’s something that’s over with, we have to learn from it, be better for it this year, but we can’t be playing with vengeance in our minds.”

The Canadiens are off to a hot start at 6-1-0 and Price is in fine form at 5-1-0 with a 2.96 GAA.

The Rangers meanwhile have won three of four since an embarrassing 6-3 loss at home to the Toronto Maple Leafs Oct. 14.

Kreider, who will likely be booed relentlessly tonight by the Bell Centre crowd, had eight points in last spring’s eastern final and has started this season with two goals and six points through seven games.

“I would think now that the series has gone by, everyone is calmer and cooler,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said of the incident between Kreider and Price. “Everybody on both teams, and anybody watching, knows that was just a pure accident. It’s unfortunate it happened. I’m sure everyone knows it was a pure accident.”

Henrik Lundqvist (4-2-0) will get the start for New York.

Saturday concludes a two-game road trip for the Rangers while the Habs will head out on the road for a three-game western road trip beginning Monday.

Canadiens ink Therrien to four-year extension

Michel Therrien

Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin is keeping things busy the day after the Stanley Cup Final.

The Canadiens announced they’ve signed coach Michel Therrien to a four-year extension to remain behind the bench in Montreal through the 2018-19 season. Therrien re-joined the Habs as coach in 2012 and led them to the Eastern Conference Final this season.

“We’re very happy to have agreed to a contract extension with Michel Therrien for multiple seasons,” Bergevin said in the team’s release. “Michel is an accomplished and experienced coach who has instilled a culture of hard work in our organization while helping develop our young players. Michel and his coaching staff work in a unique and demanding hockey market and the team’s success over the last two seasons are a reflection of their excellent work. This decision reflects our desire for stability and consistency within our hockey operations department.”

Therrien’s decisions are always under a microscope in Montreal and this season, in spite of the success the team had, he faced harsh questions about his lineup decisions. In particular his use of Douglas Murray in the postseason as opposed to Francis Bouillon or Jarred Tinordi in the early rounds seemed to rankle Habs supporters.

At the very least, the Habs must be sold that Therrien’s ways are good for Carey Price and P.K. Subban as they’re both going to be there a long time.

Now that Therrien has four more years, Bergevin hopes the success the team had this season can be built upon and get the Canadiens back to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1993.

Therrien won’t give Brassard, Rangers a ‘free pass’

Michel Therrien

For anyone who though Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien was making veiled threats towards New York Rangers forward Derick Brassard, the Habs coach made it clear that wasn’t the case.

Therrien made it clear yesterday that he and his team knew just what Brassard, who returns in Game 4 tonight, had injured when he exited Game 1 of the series after a big hit from Mike Weaver. In speaking with reporters after morning skate today, Therrien clarified what he meant yesterday.

“He’s an important player,” Therrien said of Brassard. “That line got a lot of success, against the Penguins. He’s a good player. There is no free pass. We’re in the playoffs.

“But the intention is not to hurt the guy. I mean, come on. There is no hockey player that’s going to go on the ice, there is no hockey coach going to ask to hurt the player. But you have to play hard. We have to play Derick Brassard hard like we have to play all those New York Rangers hard with emotion and the best playoff hockey. No one’s got a free pass.”

Therrien added the Rangers are doing the same thing to their best players, including P.K. Subban who he says has been on the receiving end of “cheap shots” all series.

The gamesmanship between Therrien and Rangers coach Alain Vigneault in the past few days has been outstanding if you’re into the off-ice ways to work the game. It might be driving fans to foam at the mouth with some of the statements being made, but as Therrien told French media, it’s Shakespearean in a way — The play is the thing.

Vigneault responds to Habs practice flap, Therrien’s injury knowledge

Alain Vigneault

Saturday was the day for the Montreal Canadiens to sound off about their thoughts on Derek Stepan’s jaw injury, Michel Therrien’s knowledge of what Derick Brassard’s injury is, as well as kicking Rangers coaches out of their practice session.

Sunday turned out to be the day Rangers coach Alain Vigneault returned serve.

Following the Rangers morning skate in preparation for Game 4 Sunday night, Vigneault spoke with reporters about what went down yesterday. AV didn’t hold back.

Regarding his coaches being tossed from Habs practice yesterday in which Therrien cited a “gentleman’s agreement” not to watch each others practices, Vigneault said no such thing was in place.

“Well, we were treated very unfairly yesterday,” Vigneault said. “There is no rule. There was no agreement between both teams. That is the exception, not the rule. I mean, I’ve been asked in the past to do this on a couple of occasions. Usually the coach calls me or the GM calls the GM, never happened. What happened yesterday was uncalled for.

“Without a doubt, my staff handled it with a lot of class, just like our team, play whistle to whistle, don’t get involved with the other stuff. We’re very credible. This is the National Hockey League, and that type of behavior, we’re lucky it didn’t escalate.”

Vigneault was asked about Therrien’s comments saying he knew what Brassard’s injury was and helped eliminate the elephant in the room as to what that was about.

Let’s put it this way, I hope nothing happens to Brass, the player, and Michel could be in trouble,” Vigneault said.

As for Stepan’s availability tonight, Vigneault said he’s out indefinitely and resting at home following jaw surgery. As for Daniel Briere’s comments saying reports of his injury were “fishy,” the Rangers coach isn’t giving that a second thought.

“I can’t comment on their players saying Step’s injury is fishy,” Vigneault said. “We’re trying to play whistle to whistle. We’re trying to do the right things. I know in the hockey world we were painted as dishonest and dishonorable; we’re not. We follow the rules. We follow the rules on the ice, and we will follow the rules off the ice.”

The war of words takes its action to the ice for Game 4 at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN.