Montreal, QC, Canada (4E Sports) – Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien is not worried about his job amid growing clamor for a coaching change from fans after the team suffered their fourth straight loss Saturday.
“I’ve been in this line of work a long time,” Therrien said. “Honestly, it’s not something I’m preoccupied with. Our preparation for our next game and communicating with our players are the only things I’m concentrating on.”
The Canadiens lost their fourth straight outing , a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of the Washington Capitals where the Bell Centre fans turned on their team, cheering Casey Wellman’s third-period goal that completed the rout.
The loss Saturday was Montreal’s fourth in a row in regulation time by a combined score of 19-5 and dropped its record to 8-11-2 since Dec. 9. The Canadiens have allowed 50 goals and scored 24 at 5-on-5 in those 21 games.
According to Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges, the fans’ reaction should drive the Canadiens to perform better.
“That can and should be a motivating factor,” Gorges said. “Not because we have to necessarily please the fans, but more the feeling you had at that moment. The embarrassment. The shame. That should motivate you.”
Therrien barely made any changes to the lineup that lost two days earlier, sticking with the same forward lines and defense pairings that finished the game, with the exception of Louis Leblanc being replaced by George Parros on the fourth line because Leblanc was sick.
The message Therrien sent to the players was that wholesale changes aren’t necessary to get the team out of its current funk, and it was well received by the Canadiens.
“The best thing that he’s done for us is understand the situation,” Gorges said. “None of us are happy with what’s going on right now, and to come in and beat a dead horse doesn’t help. He’s come in with a positive attitude, showing us in situations where we’ve been successful and why we’ve been successful in those games and trying to reinforce getting back to that.”
P.K. Subban expressed confidence that the Canadiens would be able to find their way out of a midseason slump and regain lost ground.
“I know the guys in here better than any of you guys know them, I’m with these guys every day,” Subban said. “We don’t have any guys in here that are quitters, we don’t have any guys that are selfish or who are on their own program. Once you don’t have that, you have no reason to worry.”
The Canadiens will take on a hot Carolina Hurricanes at home Tuesday.