Two days after blaming P.K. Subban for a loss to Colorado, Montreal coach Michel Therrien insisted he has a “very good relationship” with the Canadiens’ star defenseman.
Therrien even called Subban a “lovable guy,” while maintaining that his remarks were never about the player, they were solely about the play.
“I would’ve said that about any player making that play at that time of the game,” Therrien told reporters today, per TSN.ca. “We’re very aware we have an exceptional athlete. We’re happy to have him. It’s our job to continue working with him.”
There does, however, continue to be a disconnect between what the coach thought about the play and what the player thought. Unlike Therrien, Subban did not consider it overly risky.
“I was in a strong position,” he said, per Sportsnet’s Eric Engels. “I wasn’t in a weak position. If I don’t lose my edge there, I think I probably bump the guy and put it down the wall.”
As an outsider, it’s impossible to say what the relationship between Therrien and Subban is really like. Likewise, it’s impossible to say if GM Marc Bergevin would really consider trading the 26-year-old.
But even an outsider can see, quite clearly, that this is a team in crisis. The Canadiens started the season 18-4-2. Since then, they’ve gone 9-23-2 and have fallen eight points out of a playoff spot.
According to Sports Club Stats, the Habs — who are unlikely to get Carey Price back — would need to go in the neighborhood of 16-6-2 in their final 24 games to give themselves a shot at the postseason.
Failing that, well, let’s just say April’s exit interviews could be interesting.