When Claude Julien took over for deposed Michel Therrien as head coach for the Montreal Canadiens one week after being fired in Boston, more than a few eyebrows were lifted for several reasons.
After an 0-2 start under Julien, Montreal has gone 5-0 since and is starting to build back on the lead they held previously in the Atlantic Division. The Habs like every team that has let a head coach go this season has gotten a positive jolt. What has Julien brought in his second tour of duty with the Canadiens?
You Cannot Spell Canadiens Without a 'D'
Coach Julien has always been a wise defensive master and he quickly picked up on the fact his goaltender Carey Price was seeing too many quality chances. The coach made adjustments to play more zone compared to man-to-man defense under Therrien and the defense has gotten tighter than a pair of women's skinny jeans and Price's play has also improved with fewer quality chances faced.
With this modification, the team has been given ways to help the offense get back on track, which will immensely important come playoff time.
Even with the upcoming road trip, Montreal looks like a pretty good choice for NHL picks in the next couple of weeks.