Canadiens fire Therrien; appoint Julien as head coach

Amy Irvin  The Hockey Writers

Amy Irvin The Hockey Writers

Former Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien was out of work for a whole week. It is also the second time Julien comes in to coach the Canadiens after they have relieved Therrien as head coach.

Julien was sacked last Tuesday by the Bruins, with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 2011.

"I said that very honestly when I was let go by the Bruins I really felt like I should maybe sit back and let the season finish", Julien said Tuesday in a conference call. Under Julien's watch, the Bruins won the 2011 Stanley Cup.

"Claude brings credibility, experience, and is a proven Stanley Cup victor", said Bergevin, who perhaps strained credibility a bit when he stated he didn't make his decision based on the timing of the Black and Gold relieving Julien of his duties last week. The team has more Stanley Cups by far than any other NHL club, but the last one was hoisted in 1993, and for hockey mad Montreal that might as well be the Jurassic era.

After his first stint with Montreal, Julien coached the New Jersey Devils before being hired by the Bruins in 2007. Everyone knew it wouldn't take long for Claude to get a job, and the Canadiens gig is certainly one where Julien could have success nearly immediately. They persisted even in the best of times.

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So Julien's now coaching the Bruins' archrival, 10 years after he first came to Boston and six years after he led Boston to its only Stanley Cup championship in the past 54 years.

With the legalities out of the way, Julien can now turn his attention to breathing some life into a Canadiens team, that as of late, has looked disinterested. Julien now starts his second tour with Montreal, hoping to get the Atlantic Division leaders back on track. Many feel the only reason that Therrien lasted as long as he did is because whoever they replaced him with had to be fluent in French.

Julien was the head coach of the Canadiens from January 2003 to January 2006, and he had a record of 72-62-10-15 in 259 regular season games with the team.

Julien has coached 997 regular-season games and will hit the 1,000 milestone behind the Canadiens' bench on February 23. After the win, Bruins player David Pastrnak explained, "We wanted to get the win for Bruce, the first win, so I think we all came a little bit more energized and we did a good job as a team".

Claude Julien now steps in to try to stem the tide, and he'll have a few days to get to know his new team before the Canadiens take the ice. He was named the NHL's coach of the year in 2009. The Canadiens won 5-4 in overtime behind two goals and two assists by Pacioretty, but Montreal blew a 2-0 lead and then a 4-3 lead before getting a goal from Alex Galchenyuk to win it.

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