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Michael Ziegler
Education: Bialik High School Class of 2013, Dawson College Class of 2015, McGill Political Science Student. Born and raised in Montreal, the Canadiens have always been a big part of my life. What started out as a way to blow off some steam after a tough loss in the 2011 playoffs eventually became a popular hit with Facebook friends around the internet. On PGT, I like to dissect each and every Habs game and promote discussion about the team. Other interests: Aside from Hockey and sports in general, I love music. During the summer I work for Camp Wingate, a sleep-away sports camp just north of Montreal. Favourite places in Webspace: If you are looking for the latest news around the NHL, visit NHL.com For more Montreal Canadiens talk, visit Allaboutthehabs.com, or hockeyinsideout.com

Season In Review: Michel Therrien

For part 2 of the Season In Review series, we will be taking a look at Habs coach, Michel Therrien.

Therrien was hired late last season to replace interim head coach, Randy Cunneyworth. After being fired by the Habs in 2003, Therrien went on to coach Pittsburgh before returning to Montreal for his second stint with the Habs.

So, let's get down to business. Therrien had a great regular season and nobody can take that away from him. He seemed to press all the right buttons at the right moments. The result was not only a more exciting team to watch, but overall, a much better team on the ice. All of this, with essentially the same core of players, give or take a few. The team jumped from 15th place in the East to 2nd place, all while winning the Northeast division.

But here's the problem. Nobody remembers a good or even great season if you don't show up in crunch-time (see 2007 New England Patriots). While Therrien and his squad were great during the regular season, they were outright embarrassed in the playoffs after the Senators sent them packing in 5 games. While it's true that there were tons of injuries and Carey Price definitely wasn't on top of his game, I, for one, believe that coaching had a lot to do with the team's lack of success in the playoffs. Very rarely did Therrien use his home ice advantage for match-ups. One could say he even had too much confidence in some players that didn't deserve it. That's where David Desharnais comes in. Don't get me wrong, I like Davey and I think he's a good player. I just don't think he's our best center and I definitely don't think he should be playing 20+ minutes a game. In fact, I think he's a third line center (behind Pleky and Eller) and is good for about 12 minutes a night. Desharnais was constantly given opportunity after opportunity all while Alex Galchenyuk was nailed to the bench. Even though it seemed as if there was a scoring chance every time Gally stepped out on the ice. But Therrien failed to see that. He also failed to notice that Desharnais managed just 1 shot the entire series. Yes, ONE shot. Oh, and it came in game 7, by the way.

So, yes, Therrien had a fantastic regular season. In fact, I even think he should have been a finalist for the Jack Adams award. But if there's one thing I've learnt while watching hockey for the past 12 years, it's that you find your true identity during the playoffs. Therrien showed us exactly what he's all about; Unable to create match-up problems, unable to identify struggling players, but worst of all, Therrien had very little trust in his rookies, players like Brendan Gallagher and Galchenyuk who were such key parts of the team during the regular season. While this worries me, I'm willing to give Michel another chance before I make up my mind. Hopefully, with a matured squad and a matured coach, our Habs can take their regular season success and translate it into a deep playoff run come next season.

Final word: Great regular season, but a very poor playoffs. Need a full season to make final decision.

CHeers

Follow me on Twitter: @Zignasty2point0

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