The freefall that the Montreal Canadiens find themselves in will not cost Michel Therrien his job, said GM Marc Bergevin during a Thursday press conference. Actually, according to Bergevin, the head coach and his staff are safe “regardless” of how the rest of the season plays out.
Here’s his full exchange with TSN 690’s Tony Marinaro:
MARINARO: “It’s the second time you’ve addressed your team and the second vote of confidence in a 23-day span. This vote of confidence that you’re giving again today, are you prepared to say that it’s a vote of confidence for the coaching staff between now and the end of the season, regardless of what happens or not willing to go that far just yet?”
BERGEVIN: “Yes, I’m going this far.”
MARINARO: “Michel Therrien and the entire staff will be here regardless of what happens…”
MARINARO: “…the entire season?”
BERGEVIN: “It’s on me. It’s on me.”
That last response was the theme of Bergevin’s answers when talking about Therrien’s job security.
“All the critique should be directed at me,” Bergevin said. “I’m the guy that provides the players. I’m the guy that put this team together. And it’s on me and me only. Michel Therrien and the coaching staff I believe extremely in them. The players also do. They’re not going anywhere. We’ve got to get through this together. The plan hasn’t changed.”
The GM addressed the Canadiens players for 20 minutes on Thursday morning before they head out on a short two-game road trip to Toronto and Columbus. Their current 4-16-1 run since Dec. 3 has taken them from tops in the Eastern Conference to one point out of a wild card spot. Their shooting percentage has dropped three-percent over that time and their save percentage has decreased by 3.4-percent.
On that last point, Bergevin added that Carey Price’s recovery from a lower-body injury is going slower than they expected and the netminder could be out another 3-4 weeks. There’s currently no timetable on a return. It'll be Mike Condon and Ben Scrivens for the foreseeable future.
“Did I think we were going to dip this much? No," Bergevin said. “We have to find a way to win without Carey Price. That’s a fact.”
- - - - - - -
MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY: