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Earlier today Pierre Gauthier gave most fans an early Christmas gift, when he announced the firing of Jacques Martin. He also announced that Randy Cunneyworth would take over the head coaching position on an interim basis for the remainder of the season.
This was high on the x-mas wish list for many fans as Martin continuously made questionable decisions leading his team to 11th place in the Conference. Nobody expects that the coaching change will solve all of the Habs woes overnight but it does give fans new hope that the team might just turn things around this season and find a way to return to their winning ways.
Cunneyworth preached that he will coach the same way that he played throughout his career and that is to never give up and to play hard on every shift. He also mentioned that he will expect the players to be accountable for their actions and he will look for them to use their strengths to their advantage.
Whether or not the change will help the team make the playoffs remains to be seen and it could very well determine if Cunneyworth keeps the job past this season. There are already rumblings about the decision of having an Anglophone head coach and you know that a lot of fans will turn on him quickly if the team does not improve. On the flip side, if Cunneyworth can turn this team around and they go deep into the playoffs this whole topic will become irrelevant.
There are many rumors circulating that if Cunneyworth does not earn the job for next season that his replacement could be none other than Patrick Roy. Roy would be a very interesting choice in this city as it would bring a bag of mixed emotions and you know that Roy would have plenty of memorable quotes as a coach.
As of right now Cunneyworth is the man however and I for one am very excited to see what he does with this team. Will it all work out for the best? We don’t know but it sure as hell can’t be any worse than the defensive minded style that the team played under Martin.