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Michel Therrien is, of course, in his second stint as head coach of the Montreal Canadiens. He's having more success this time around (55-29-10 compared to 78-77-22-14 from 2000-2003), yet he's far from perfect. There are ways in which he could do a better job behind the Habs bench.
One issue is with his ice-time allotment. Some of his decisions are just puzzling.
Rene Bourque cannot continue to receive more ice time than Alex Galchenyuk (when he's healthy), or Brandon Prust for that matter.
Raphael Diaz should not be the second-most used player while short-handed, nor should he come close to averaging two minutes more short-handed time than P.K. Subban per game.
Brian Gionta has no business being on the ice at even strength more than Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plakenec and Brendan Gallagher.
The list goes on and on. And ice time isn't the only issue.
The Canadiens are a frustratingly inconsistent team, and part of that blame has to fall on the coaching staff.
When they're at their best, the Habs can look like legitimate Stanley Cup contenders, like they did on January 11 when they beat the Chicago Blackhawks.
On other nights, such as January 8 against the Philadelphia Flyers, they look like they would have a hard time competing for the Calder Cup (the AHL championship trophy).
Some teams in the NHL are good enough to get by with a 90 percent effort on occasion. The Canadiens are not one of these teams. Therrien must ensure his club is ready and willing to compete each and every night.
And finally, we arrive at the P.K. Subban situation. Enough is enough, already. Let the man play.
Yes, he took a stupid penalty. But that's what you get with a player like Subban. That fire and intensity is part of what makes him special.
It's quite simple—Subban is the Canadiens' best player, and they aren't nearly as good of a team without him on the ice. They need him to win. Especially when they're down a goal or two, like they were in Philadelphia last week when Therrien decided a roughing penalty was worth an extra 10 minutes on the bench.
It's time Subban receives the star treatment he deserves. He will take a bad penalty now and then. But guess what? All star players do that from time to time.
Subban is beyond the stage in his career where he needs to be sent messages. Next time it happens, Therrien needs to tell him it was dumb, get him back on the ice and move on.
Because one thing is for sure—if Subban gets frustrated and quits on Therrien, his tenure as coach of the Montreal Canadiens will come to an abrupt ending.