Alright, so I fell off the horse again...but I'm back now, with an update!
So, as we all know now, Guy Carbonneau was fired as head coach. Replacing him is GM Bob Gainey, and he is currently grooming the only-English speaking Hamilton Bulldogs head coach Don Lever to take over the role.
I love the move.
I also loved Carbo as coach, but a change was needed as the Habs struggled mightily for the most part of the season.
Lever (if he IS to become the Head coach in the near future as is the speculation) would basically be thrust into a role identical to the one Bruce Boudreau is in right now.
Boudreau came up from Washington's AHL affiliate to fill in for the then struggling Glen Hanlon, and, in short time, has gone on to win a Jack Adams award as coach of the year. The young players spent their time in the AHL under Boudreau's watchful eye, and they grew to like him. So, the transition from the AHL to the NHL was a brilliant move for both Boudreau and the Caps organization, and hopefully the same thing could happen right here.
Guys like Price, Halak, Lapierre, Plekanec, Higgins, Komisarek, D'Agostini and Pacioretty, to name a few, all spent time in the AHL under Lever, and they have tremendous respect for him. They certainly had respect for Carbo, but Carbo wasn't the guy showing them confidence at the tender ages of 20, 21 or 22. A bond exists with the coach who prepares you for the call-up to the big leagues...and hopefully they'll want to repay him ten-fold by showing him how well they've matured now at the NHL level.
Of course, there are some issues being dug up by certain media-types already. The main issue, OF COURSE, is the language barrier: Don Lever doesn't speak a word of French.
If he is going to bring the best out of this young team, WHO CARES? If he can possibly lead us to a Stanley Cup the way he led the Bulldogs to a Calder Cup, WHO CARES? What's the big deal about speaking a language that is spoken THE WORLD OVER, and not speaking a language spoken in far fewer districts of the planet? And how about the Markov's or the Kovalev's or the Koivu's and Kostitsyn's of the team? Should THEY demand a Russian, Belarussian or Finnish-speaking head coach? GET OVER YOURSELVES!! Put the team's best interests first! I am so fed up of the French-language-first rule...so fed up.
The Habs have gone 2-2 since the last posting on deadline day, two games which certainly overshadowed the 3-1 win in Dallas. The losses in Buffalo (5-1) and, more-so in Atlanta (2-0) are what did Carbo in. Under Gainey, the Habs used overtime last night to down the visiting Oilers 4-3.
The Habs now gear up for the Islanders tomorrow before hosting the Devils and Martin Brodeur, who could tie Roy's record with a win in his hometown.