Saturday, January 18, 2003
Habs fire Therrien, tap Julien as coach
The Associated Press
MONTREAL - The Montreal Canadiens have turned again to an NHL coaching novice to lead them back to their winning tradition.
Claude Julien became the storied franchise's 26th head coach Friday. He replaced Michel Therrien, fired by general manager Andre Savard after Montreal won just twice in its previous 12 games.
Julien coached the Canadiens' AHL affiliate in Hamilton, Ontario. He's the fourth straight choice by Montreal without NHL head coaching experience
"To be able to realize a dream of having the privilege and the honor to coach this team is unbelievable," Julien said. "When Andre called me and offered me the job, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to do it."
Julien was in his third season as coach of Hamilton. The Bulldogs, who became the Canadiens' shared affiliate with Edmonton this season, lead the AHL with 72 points and a record of 33-6-3-3.
"I like to think of myself as a coach who gets the players to buy into my system," Julien said. "You see the successful teams around the league, it doesn't matter who they have on the roster, but they're all playing the same system.
"Everybody's on the same page, and that's basically what I want to do here in Montreal."
The Canadiens will send a fifth-round draft pick to Edmonton - which originally hired Julien - as compensation. If Montreal makes the playoffs, the pick would become a fourth-round selection.
Julien, who played 14 games with the Quebec Nordiques from 1984-86, will make his debut tonight.
Penguins 3, Lightning 2TAMPA, Fla. - Rookie Sebastien Caron made 29 saves as Pittsburgh beat Tampa Bay.
Caron has won all three of his starts and allowed just three goals in 218 minutes in four career appearances. Among his saves was an impressive stop on Martin St. Louis during a short-handed breakaway.
Pittsburgh's Mario Lemieux sat out for the fourth time in five games because of a nagging groin injury.
Thrashers 3, Bruins 1 ATLANTA - Ilya Kovalchuk scored the tiebreaking goal and Bob Hartley remained unbeaten as Atlanta's coach.
Joe Thornton returned after missing five games with an elbow injury, only to get ejected in the first period for jumping into a fight.
Canucks 4, Blackhawks 2CHICAGO - Brent Sopel scored the tiebreaking goal on a power play with 6:42 remaining to lead Vancouver over Chicago.
The Canucks handed the Blackhawks their first regulation loss since Dec. 15.
Devils 2, Hurricanes 1RALEIGH, N.C. - Joe Nieuwendyk scored his 500th career goal and Martin Brodeur stopped 33 shots for his NHL-leading 24th victory for New Jersey.
Maple Leafs 4, Capitals 1WASHINGTON - Darcy Tucker scored twice, and Toronto ended the Caps' 14-game point streak.
SABRESThe NHL gave a group led by Arena Football League team owner Mark Hamister a third one-week extension until Jan. 24 to complete its purchase of the Buffalo franchise, which filed for bankruptcy protection this week.
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PLAN YOUR DAY
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