I mean seriously… there can’t be anyone left other than Jacques Martin himself, and maybe a few of his family members, who think he’s doing a good job as coach of the Montreal Canadiens.
The team is in permanent 6th-to-8th place mode, getting mediocre draft picks, and really going nowhere. They’re boring as hell to watch, and frankly, he’s just uninspiring. He’s doing no better and no worse in my opinion than Michel Therrien, Bob Gainey or Guy Carbonneau did. His “system” is basically the same as Therrien and Carbo had: Allow as many shots against as possible and rely on your goalie to be a superstar while doing the bare minimum offensively. Martin’s dream of a big win in 1-0 or 2-1.
I’m a fan of great goaltending and low-scoring games – but not when it’s the result of next-to-zero offensive pressure. The best example of Martin’s ineptitude is PK Subban… the kid is a friggin’ superstar-in-the-making, but the only way he’s going to see the ice as long as Martin is his coach is if he plays to Martin’s style. The coaching is stifling a great talent – Subban should be carrying the puck, taking risks, and having fun. Instead, he’s being muzzled. It can’t be fun for him, and it’s certainly no fun to watch.
Football players are drafted into systems – generally a player will be selected or traded for who fits the system. Same for baseball – you trade for a position you need to fill. Hockey players can’t be chosen to fit a system, rather, the system has to be developed around the players’ abilities.
Martin is more interested in shoehorning guys like Scott Gomez and Mathieu Darche into the powerplay than having guys like Mike Cammalleri and Subban actually take some risks and create offence.
It’s time for change and if Pierre Gauthier can’t see that, then he’s got to go to.
I’d like to see Pierre McGuire in the GM chair at the Bell Centre asap. As for the coach? There aren’t a ton of options due to the language issue (like it or not, it’s not going away, so let’s deal with it)… Frankly, could Patrick Roy be worse than Martin? Bob Hartley and Marc Crawford are not the answer – they are old-school NHL coaches who haven’t had success in over a decade, and every time they leave a team that team gets better.
I just hope the hunt is already on.