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 2

TAMPA, 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 2

CHICAGO - 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 1

RALEIGH, 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 1

WASHINGTON - Darcy Tucker scored twice, and Toronto ended the Caps' 14-game point streak.

SABRES

The 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.




BENGALS
Bar set at lofty heights
Daugherty: Times, they're a-changing
Strength coach Wood retires

NFL PLAYOFFS
Name-calling stirs up AFC opponents
Titans' kicker Nedney a study in perseverance
Williams aching to play Titans
Special teams give Eagles key edge
Keyshawn's stats drop, but Bucs' fortunes rise
Holmgren unlikely to jump to 49ers

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
OSU to celebrate like never before

REDS / BASEBALL
Graves a Red through 2005
Canada Hall nomination pleases Rose
As arbitration looms, Hunter hits jackpot
Latest All-Star gimmick a horrible idea

UC BEARCATS
Barker knows Bearcats need Moore on the floor
Huggins defends UC's grad rates

XAVIER
UMass men's program falls on hard times
Xavier Q&A

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Enquirer Tipoff page
Five questions with Carmelo Anthony
Catching up with Wally Szczerbiak
Knight milestone tempered by ugly IU divorce
UK's defensive focus on stopping Thomas
Johnson brothers set for Round 3
IU knows this: Win at home or lose the Big Ten
UC women extend home winning streak to 19

NBA
Yao Ming, do yo thing
NBA Today

TENNIS
Agassi holds up against Escude

GOLF
Baddeley shares lead with Goosen

HOCKEY
Habs fire Therrien, tap Julien as coach
Ducks, Cyclones, RedHawks lose on road

PREP SPORTS
Roger Bacon 53, Elder 48
Wyoming 46, No. 2 Madeira 40
NewCath 67, Highlands 42
Ohio boys: Bulldogs hang on against Taft
Ky. Boys: No. 1 Pioneers hold off Cougars
Ky. Girls: Fletcher finishes strong for Rebels
Prep sports schedules

REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT
Louisville officials opposed to arena next to park
Trophy Stakes today at Turfway
Fort Mitchell's Brauninger pleased with U.S. junior men's silver medal

PLAN YOUR DAY
This weekend's sports on TV, radio