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Breaking: Montreal fires head coach Jacques Martin’s assistant, Perry Pearn

Oct 26, 2011, 6:51 PM EDT

Montreal Canadiens GM, and head coach Martin attend the funeral of former NHL hockey coach Pat Burns in Montreal

With the Montreal Canadiens off to their worst start in 70 years, many figured it was only a matter of time before someone’s head rolled.

Not many figured it’d be the assistant coach’s head, though.

According to the Canadian Press, Montreal has relieved assistant coach Perry Pearn of his duties. The Habs announced the move just prior to tonight’s home date with the Philadelphia Flyers.

The first question many asked upon hearing the news is: Why Pearn? Why not Jacques Martin? The most likely answer is that Pearn was in charge of Montreal’s power play, the same lethargic unit that’s scored three times in 32 opportunities — 9.4 percent, second-worst in the NHL.

But to blame Pearn for the anemic man advantage is a joke. He’s been without his best offensive defenseman (Andrei Markov) and his top net-front option was Mathieu Darche. There was also something strange going on with Erik Cole, who was signed this summer to provide offense but averaged just 1:48 of ice time with the man advantage. (Of note, Martin got testy with a reporter the other day for asking about Cole’s lack of involvement on the PP.)

As for the timing of the move? Some real amateur hour stuff. The announcement came just 90 minutes before game time and to make matters worse, Pearn had been on the ice at the Canadiens’ skate in the morning. Fairly bizarre move by a traditionally classy organization.

Looking ahead, it’ll be really interesting to see how the Canadiens respond tonight. The Habs were already getting ripped for being winless at the Bell Center and didn’t seem to need any additional distractions.

  1. garys79 - Oct 26, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    Let’s hope this move fires up the players (no pun intended).
    If they have heart they will respond knowing they cost a man his job.
    It is now time for the leaders on this team to stand up and take charge.

    by the way the title is a bit misleading, looks like Jacques was fired, you can simply change it to “Habs assistant fired”, thank you!

  2. icelovinbrotha215 - Oct 26, 2011 at 11:56 PM

    Idk how an assistant coach is responsible for the team’s play. Oh well, it worked against the Flyers. Unfortunately.

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