Does Michel Therrien Know What He’s Doing?
In a game that the Habs needed to win, a game that would've put them up 3-1 with the series headed back to Boston, Michel Therrien overplayed the unskilled defensive bruiser Douglas Murray...and we lost.
A 3-1 lead in the series would've all-but insured victory over the Bruins, but Therrien decided to try to beat the Bruins at their own game, with toughness.
Over the past few years the Canadiens have put more goals behind Tuukka Rask than virtually any other team, by refusing to engage the Bruins physically, and by beating their backside with speed.
Therrien put Murray out in overtime against Boston's Matt Fraser, Loui Eriksson, and Carl Soderberg, all who'd been shredding the Habs' defense "to the tune of a collective corsi share north of 70 percent". This means that when Fraser, Eriksson and Soderberg were on the ice, the puck was in the Habs' zone.
Therrien should've avoided putting in an immobile player like Douglas, and if he was looking for size, put in 22-year-old Jarred Tinordi who's rapidly developing into his 6-foot-6 frame, instead. Naturally, Fraser was able to beat the slow Murray for an overtime game winner:
Coaches all across the league keep old, big, slow-moving players like Murray because they're "glue guys," players who somehow manage to hold the locker room together, help the team, all while playing poorly and taking up roster space. Let's hope Therrien wises up tonight before this series takes a turn.