The Montreal Canadiens have fired Jacques Martin as their head coach and replaced him on an interim basis with Randy Cunneyworth.
The Canadiens are tied for tenth place in the Eastern Conference with the Washington Capitals at 33 points, two points back of the Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils for a playoff spot.
The move comes as a bit of a surprise in my opinion because the Canadiens were playing decent hockey, as were in the thick of things in the East.
But a major reason for the Canadiens struggles this year has been goal scoring. At 82 goals, only the New York Islanders have scored fewer goals in the Eastern Conference. Still, the team were playing solid defense, and Carey Price has been very good in between the Canadiens’ pipes, with a 2.29 goals against average.
Cunneyworth gets his first NHL head coaching assignment. The former NHL left winger played in 866 games with the Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, Winnipeg Jets, Hartford Whalers, Chicago Blackhawks and Ottawa Senators from 1980-1999. Over the last three years, he has been an assistant in Atlanta and Montreal.