Ex-Canadiens coach Carbonneau critical of management's inactivity during slump

Shaun Best / REUTERS

Guy Carbonneau knows what it's like to fall short of expectations in Montreal.

The former Canadiens bench boss, who was let go late in the 2008-09 season, now works as an analyst for RDS and empathizes with calls for current head coach Michel Therrien to be fired as the club drops further down the NHL standings.

For Carbonneau, however, the fault lies more with management than coaching.

"I just find it odd that they haven’t made any move to get this team better," Carbonneau told Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette. "I know it's a little late now and I can understand. But if they thought in September that they had the team go to the Stanley Cup ... I don't know."

Even through the first few weeks of the season, Montreal looked like a legitimate contender, putting together an early record of 19-4-3. Since then, their performance has been nothing short of disastrous.

Carbonneau believes management clearly erred in not finding a better replacement for NHL MVP and injured goalie Carey Price, on top of failing to solidify key spots in the lineup.

"You see the same thing we’ve seen over the last 10 years, which is no No. 1 centre, no No. 1 right-winger," he continued, "and that's not to disrespect the guys that they have there. But we keep talking about this, we keep mentioning it.

"When you don't have that and you lose your best player and probably the best player in the NHL for a long period of time … if they expected Mike Condon to replace Carey Price they were mistaken. I don't know who made that decision, but there was something wrong."

Carbonneau posted a coaching record of 124-83-23 during his three seasons with the Canadiens and amassed 77 points in 66 games at the time of his firing. From the sounds of it, he'd be up for the task if called upon once again.

"I enjoyed my three years," he said. "Was it easy? Nah, not always. But I would go back tomorrow morning. Somebody (from an NHL team) calls me tomorrow morning, I’ll go back behind the bench, no problem."

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Ex-Canadiens coach Carbonneau critical of management's inactivity during slump
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