Montreal Canadiens: Looking Back at Michel Therrien’s Second Stint With Habs

MONTREAL, QC - MAY 6: Michel Therrien of the Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - MAY 6: Michel Therrien of the Montreal Canadiens. (Photo by Francois Laplante/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) /
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Montreal Canadiens
MONTREAL, QC – JANUARY 19: Head coach of the Montreal Canadiens Michel Therrien. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images) /

Could they have another great year in 2014-15?

The following year Price was back and the team still looked pretty similar. Pacioretty, Desharnais, Gallagher, Galchenyuk and Plekanec were still in the top six and Markov and Subban were carrying a heavy burden on defence. PA Parenteau and Jiri Sekac showed up but didn’t fit in well with their new team.

Still, without any improvements and a complete lack of star power, the team finished first in their division and second in the league with 110 points. The Montreal Canadiens won 50 games for the first time since 1989 when players like Patrick Roy, Larry Robinson and Bob Gainey were on the team.

Yes, Price was fantastic but fans biggest complaints in this season were Sekac, Eller and Parenteau were not playing enough top line minutes and youngsters like Sven Andrighetto and Charles Hudon should have been given longer looks. I think time has proven that none of those players deserved first line minutes at that time in their careers, or ever, unless you were the Toronto Maple Leafs trying to tank for Auston Matthews and you put Parenteau on the top line.

The Habs ousted the Ottawa Senators in the first round, but lost to a tough Tampa Bay Lightning opponent in six games in the second round. The Lightning won the first game 2-1 in overtime and won Game 3 by the same score with a goal in the final seconds of regulation.

The 2015-16 season was Therrien’s first bad year behind the bench in his second term. They had to play 70 games without Price in goal and ended up with a 38-38-6 record which gave them 82 points in the standings. Considering Mike Condon was the team’s best answer in goal and he started 55 games, having as many wins as regulation losses wasn’t a terrible fate.

It was enough however, to turn the heat up extremely high on Therrien.