(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Amidst turmoil that owner George Gillette is selling the team, Vincent Lecavalier is heading to Montreal, the Kostitsyn brothers are part of a drug ring, and the constant injuries plaguing some of the Canadiens, March proves to be the most difficult month for the Canadiens.
The Habs go 5-5-5, losing games and points that they should have won, such as on March 12 against the Islanders. Bright spots include a 4-3 overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers as well as a 3-2 overtime win over the Tampa Bay Lightning in which Saku Koivu provided the winning goals.
Yet, the main focus in on the coaching change. After concluding a western road trip with a 3-1 win in Dallas, Guy Carbonneau is fired as head coach and replaced by general manager Bob Gainey.
The move comes as a surprise to many, since the Canadiens had seemingly come out of the their post-All-Star slump, going 6-3-1 since the arrival of Mathieu Schneider.
Those games included a 3-2 win over the President Trophy winning San Jose Sharks and a 3-0 blanking of the Vancouver Canucks.
However, Gainey takes the reigns and the Canadiens stumble through March and manage to stay in the race to the end.