Canadiens have no answers about their dismal slump
Published Thursday, February 4, 2016 3:02PM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 5, 2016 7:36AM EST
The Montreal Canadiens are continuing the dismal slump and the poor play is taking its toll on the players and on management.
Over the past two months the Habs have won just five games, and lost 21. That's twice as bad as the next worst team in the league, and a success rate of .200 is almost unheard of in professional sports.
That type of play has many people second-guessing coach Michel Therrien, and he seems to be feeling the strain.
"It's understandable," said hockey reporter Francois Gagnon.
"If someone in that dressing room understands the pressure it's Michel Therrien. Everyone is firing him. And there's some reason to fire him if you look at the stretch where the Canadiens are are going down the drain."
Therrien's record over the past 26 games is objectively worse than past coaches of the Canadiens who were fired.
Randy Cunneyworth was 8-11-7 in his final games with the Habs, while Jacques Martin was 12-8-6 before being replaced by Cunneyworth in 2012.
Guy Carbonneau was fired in 2009 when the Canadiens went 11-14-1. Carbonneau had taken over from Claude Julien when the Habs went 8-13-5 in the 2005-06 season.
Therrien himself was fired from the Canadiens when the team started the 2002-03 season fairly well, but then won just 2 games in a 12-game stretch.
The new low point of the season was Wednesday night as the Buffalo Sabres came back to win in the third period.
Brendan Gallagher can't explain it.
"It's nobody but ourselves. We're letting down each other... You run out of ways to describe it," said Gallagher.
Dale Weise is at a loss for words.
"I don't... we just got to find a way. I don't... I don't have the answer," he said.
Captain Max Pacioretty is trying to maintain morale among his teammates.
"Ultimately we've got to make sure that we can make a difference out there in any shift," said Pacioretty.
This Saturday the Canadiens face one of the few teams in the league lower than them in the standings: the Edmonton Oilers. They play the Hurricanes Sunday afternoon.
Montreal Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien and players Lars Eller, left, and Tomas Fleischmann watch the final minutes of the third period as they face the Buffalo Sabres in NHL hockey action Wednesday, February 3, 2016 in Montreal. The Sabres beat the Canadiens 4-2. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson