Habs on Winning Streak
From most accounts (I didn't see the game), it was a solid performance despite being outshot 17-2 in the 3rd and a frightening 37-15 overall. According to Red's recap, Markov left in the 3rd with a shoulder injury. Great. Just in time for a tough road trip.
In the two games since the coaching change, Mike Ribeiro has scored three goals. He went scoreless in the prior 17 games. Jack Todd credits shorter shifts for the immediate turnaround.
Lollygagging for long shifts has always been Ribeiro's bugbear, and it has continued this year:
That's one misleading thing about the icetime stat. Coaches don't have direct control over players' icetime - they have direct control over their shifts. From that measure, it's pretty clear which forwards Julien trusted most. Among the forwards, Ribeiro ranks ninth in shifts/game. Thanks to his team-leading time-on-ice/shift, he is third in icetime. It's noteworthy that Alex Kovalev is #2 in coasting off the ice at the end of a shift. When you're the big-name free agent, you can get away with those sorts of things.
It might be going too far to suggest Ribs indifferent play cost Claude Julien his job, but it is clear that he was underperforming. If he tuned out Julien, how long will it be before he does the same to his new coach? Maybe it would be best to move him when his value is high.
In other news, Sportsnet's Jim Kelley suggests that either Theo or Julien had to go. This town ain't big enough for the two of 'em.
Finally, Mike Modano offers a ringing endorsement of Gainey/Carbo for Habs fans. I would hardly expect otherwise at the team's official website.