Breaking News – Guy Carbonneau Fired
Reports coming out of Montreal are stating that Head Coach Guy Carbonneau has been fired from the club, effective immediately. Replacing Carbonneau behind the bench will be General Manager, Bob Gainey.
While the Habs started out on fire this season, they have faltered of late; due in large part to injuries and the lackluster play of Carey Price. Much was expected of the Habs this season, as they were thought to have the inside track to the Cup because of their performance last season. It hasn’t been easy sailing, however, as the team has faltered late in the season and has been sliding down the standings, where they currently sit 5th in the Eastern Conference and are just 5-4-1 in their last 10 games.
Gainey takes over behind the bench with a career record of 188-205 with 60 ties and 3 OT Losses. He also coached the Minnesota North Stars improbable run to the Stanley Cup Finals in the 1990-91 season.
While the firing of Carbonneau will likely juice the team, it is hard to say whether or not this was the right move for the organization. I would be inclined to say that Gainey may have jumped the gun a touch on this move, as Carbonneau has played a large part in the fantastic turn around that this organization has had in recent years; bringing the Habs back into the picture in talks about the Stanley Cup. The organization has hit a rough spot, but oftentimes (as I believe the case to be here) the coach becomes the scapegoat for the underperformance of his players.
Carbonneau is likely partially to blame for the Habs slide, but the fact remains that Gainey is inheriting a team that is struggling greatly; due not only to coaching issues, but to a lack of execution by the players. While the firing of Carbonneau may provide a temporary solution for the team’s ills, the players should not get a free pass by any means. Alexei Kovalev has been atrocious for much of the season, and Sergei Kostitsyn has also not performed up to expectations, leading to his demotion last month. The team has also had injuries to various key players throughout the season (Robert Lang is out for the season, while Saku Koivu, Chris Higgins and Alex Tanguay have all missed time with injuries) and a goalie that has failed to live up to the high expectations that he had leading up to the season.
The bottom line is that, while Carbonneau may have had something to do with the team’s struggles, the team will continue to struggke until heir best players decide to be their best players and take accountibility for the shoddy performance of this team.