What’s old is new: Habs fire Therrien, name Julien as replacement

21, 2016, in the middle of a season where Bergevin would have been well within his rights to gas his coach, he said of Therrien: “If you’re ever in a foxhole, you want that guy next to you. The historically minded might go all the way back to last year, to the leadership group failings and the public excoriations of then-Hab P.K. 9, the one win in seven and three shutouts in five, the flailing special teams – all of it’s on the head coach.On Jan. At times like these, the tendency is to look for a pivot point.Was it Dec. 16, when Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, pulled at home against the San Jose Sharks, shot his coach a long, penetrating glare that may one day be found in the stink-eye hall of fame?Maybe it was Feb. He was sunk by poor goaltending and worse luck.Then again, so was Therrien (apropos of nothing, the last team to fire him in the month of February won the Cup a few months later). And before anyone asks, Weber is more of a Julien-type player than Subban.Speaking of which, everything that’s happened this season in Montreal can be viewed through the Subban prism.The superstar trade and coach firing are only related in that Therrien was rid of his go-to sin-eater in the off-season.The team’s 18-17-7 record over the past three months, the 5-10-2 record since Jan. Or Feb. 1 centre was placed on the wing of a healthy scratch from the game before. The shelling has paused for bye week. Price has been pedestrian in the past few weeks – exhausted and out of sorts. Subban. 9 in Phoenix, when the club seemed distracted, disjointed and often disinterested against the woeful Coyotes. The Arizona game was peculiarly un-Price-like.It seems all the more ominous in light of the fact that Price, along with Shea Weber and Max Pacioretty, met privately with Bergevin (who also met with Therrien).Then there were murmurs last weekend that Price was unimpressed at being rested on Saturday night at home – he is 46-7-5 on Saturdays over the past four years – in order to face Boston on the road Sunday.After a bad loss in that game, Price said, “We seem to have lost our identity.”Ouch.That identity will now be defined by the Julien approach to defensive-zone coverage.Goalie and coach have worked together with Team Canada, along with Weber. That’s what Michel is to me.”It’s time to fill in that hole and start on a new one. It resumes on Saturday against Buffalo. Julien is an elite one.Both are known as fiery characters, but Julien is also regarded as a strong tactician.This year he took an underpowered Boston club and fashioned it into the NHL’s best possession team. 7 Super Bowl parade, other teams, including the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, quickly inquired about the one-time coach of the year.It’s Bergevin’s good fortune that Julien decided there is unfinished business in Montreal.The Habs were allowed to contact him on Monday, and sources said a long-term deal was quickly sealed and signed Tuesday.If anyone knows the hurt of being jettisoned, it’s Julien: In 2007 he was punted as the coach of the New Jersey Devils three games before the playoffs started.You might say the 56-year-old, who grew up just east of Ottawa, landed on his feet.He has since added a Stanley Cup, an Olympic championship and a World Cup title to his résumé (as an assistant in the latter two cases).Therrien is a good coach. Hindsight is fun that way.That Michel Therrien, a man who was given a rare second bite at the apple in Montreal, would be replaced with Claude Julien, who took over for him in 2003 and now gets his own second shot, merely adds thicker crust to the intrigue.Tradition holds the every general manager gets one coach firing before the target is affixed to his back, and the Habs’ Marc Bergevin evidently decided to go ahead with his when a higher-quality, bilingual upgrade dropped into his lap.Conventional wisdom going into the Habs’ bye week was that Bergevin’s priority was to swing a trade – Montreal is thin at centre and could use another left-shot defenceman – to jolt his team, whose grip on the top spot in the Atlantic Division is faltering.Instead he fired a man who, while not his first choice upon taking the job in 2012, had become a confidant and a friend.“Today we hired the best available coach – and one of the league’s best,” Bergevin said in a team-issued statement.“I am convinced that he has the capabilities to get our team back on the winning track.”Well, he’d better.If changing the coach provides respite to players, the pressure isn’t about to ease on the front office to address the Habs’ shortcomings.In terms of Julien, the winningest coach in Boston Bruins history, time was of the essence.After Boston dismissed him during the Feb. 5, when the team’s former No.