Saturday, 17 December 2011

Why Canadiens fired Jacques Martin and what Randy Cunneyworth will do for Habs

Deer - meet headlights
First, I want to make it abundantly clear that I am not a so-called insider, nor do I pretend to know what the Montreal Canadiens are thinking in firing Jacques Martin and replacing him with assistant coach Randy Cunneyworth. These are merely educated hockey assumptions. See, unlike some of my blowhard media cohorts who claim to know why certain things are done, the truth is NO ONE ever knows why the Canadiens do anything. They're so tight-lipped, they should also be the keepers of the Caramilk secret.

Here's what we do know. Martin liked his veterans and always reluctantly played his youth, unless pressed into it. We also know that whenever his team got a lead, NO ONE was permitted to push the tempo, EVER! And the man loved to juggle his lines. I'm sure players were known to get dizzy under his stewardship. Finally,  with Martin, it was also about how players played without the puck. Heaven forbid he acknowledge how they play with it.

So why Cunneyworth? Well, he's already there and under contract, did a great job in Hamilton last year, knows some of the younger players well from his time with them last season in the AHL and he's got character and leadership skills. He'll trust the younger players on this team a little more than Martin, who played Louis Leblanc an astounding 50 seconds following his Thursday first NHL goal versus Philadelphia. And Mathieu Darche got 17 minutes. That's right. Mathieu Darche.

What I love about Cunneyworth is that he is unpolished from a media perspective. You saw him looking like a deer in the headlights in the media, meaning we might get some slip-up sound bytes, very uncharacteristic of a Habs coach in recent years. He was banging his hand on the press conference table and making noise unbeknownst to him. Hey Randy - there's a mic on. You can't be sighing deeply into a mic. We CAN hear you!

This should get interesting. I still say you jettison some vets and get some high picks, tanking the season to possibly get a top five June draft selection. Look at what happened the last time they got one in 2005 - Carey Price.

The jury is still out, the future is unknown and Cunneyworth has some French lessons to take. Can you imagine, the second question today at the press conference was about him not speaking French. Talk about petty from the French media. Get a grip and give the guy some time.

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1 comment:

  1. I agree 110% with you. leblanc after the goal if anything schould have been double shifted and he was on an emotail HI and I'm sure that would have led to better plays.
    Also as long as someone on the coaching staff can address the media no problem if not the head need the best qualfied person as head coach not the 1 who can adress the media in both languages,