Guy Carbonneau Says Goodbye as Inconsistency Catches Up with Montreal Canadiens

Matt EichelSenior Writer IMarch 10, 2009

It was only a matter of time.

Besides, what do you expect when the Montreal Canadiens have only won three times on the road in the last month and a half?

In the footsteps of other Eastern Conference teams who are massively underachieving such, as the New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins, Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey said goodbye in a somber tone to the former Canadiens captain and head coach Guy Carbonneau.

Now Gainey takes the bench boss job for the second time in three years. Can his presence bring about a world of change?

Gainey's comments regarding the inconsistency of the Canadiens' game from period to period and from game to game was the nail in the coffin of many games that were within reach to win.

As for Gainey's new approach to the young Canadiens squad, they will be more aggressive, more positionally sound, and a more disciplined team that will compete and maximize their scoring chances.

Gainey's last tour behind the bench saw the Canadiens lose a first round matchup against the Carolina Hurricanes in six games, despite being up by two games early in the series.

But in a season where there is tremendous pressure on both players, coaches, and management to get the job done, Gainey has taken matters into his own hands.

It was not to save his job that Gainey let Carbonneau go.  It was the simple fact that Carbonneau was not getting through to his players and the players simply stopped playing for a coach who was the assistant coach at the All-Star Game in Montreal.

Poor Carbonneau, everyone must say. It must be hard not having the players want you around anymore.

Truth is, that's how it goes in professional sports.

As for Gainey, the rest of the season is his to coach.  And beyond?

Names that come to mind as candidates to be behind the Canadiens bench in their 101st season are Larry Robinson, Michel Therrien, and Bob Hartley.

Patrick Roy may have even been on the list if it were not for his antics with the Quebec Remparts behind the bench.

As for the remaining 16 games in the NHL season for the Canadiens, the balance between golfing and playing a second season hangs in the balance.

So Mr. Gainey, again, we, sometimes impatient Canadiens fans, wait on you to deliver what we want and need: a winning team. A Stanley Cup winning team.