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Habs coach Therrien on facing Pittsburgh: ‘It’s going to be special’

Mar 1, 2013, 7:50 PM EDT

Michel Therrien Getty Images

Montreal bench boss Michel Therrien isn’t holding back in expressing anticipation over playing his former team.

The Canadiens will host the Penguins — the club Therrien took to the Stanley Cup finals in 2008 — on Saturday night, the first time he’s faced Pittsburgh since being sacked in 2009.

“It’s going to be special, I’m not going to hide it,” Therrien told the Canadian Press. “But I’ve got some great memories of my time in Pittsburgh.

“There are some players I know well. I have a lot of respect for them. But to play against your old team as a player or a coach is special.”

The 2008-09 Penguins were a heavy Cup favorite after losing to Detroit in the finals the year prior, yet never were able to get things going.

After posting a 27-25-5 record through 57 games, the team made the decision to replace Therrien with Dan Bylsma…and the Pens went on to win their first Stanley Cup in 17 years.

A number of the Penguins that played under Therrien are still with the team: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Pascal Dupuis, Tyler Kennedy, Matt Cooke, Brooks Orpik, Chris Kunitz and Mark Eaton, to name a few.

Therrien says he remembers the team fondly and is looking forward to facing them at the Bell Centre.

“It was a challenge. No one expected us to be in a Stanley Cup final that quickly,” he explained. “We’re in first place now and they’re in second, but playing against that team is a challenge even if Malkin (concussion) is out.

“There’s only seven or eight guys left on that roster since I left, but the identity is always the same.”

  1. eigglesnosuperbowls - Mar 1, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Iam truly not saying this to get a reaction ! Crosby should watch himself in this game this HABs team is sneaky dirty ,especially at home !

  2. Nofoolnodrool - Mar 1, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Iam truly not saying this to get a reaction ! Crosby should watch himself in this game this HABs team is sneaky dirty ,especially at home !

    Of course you are you live for the comments dude! If you ever Said anything intelligent I would agree with you, but you don’t so I can’t.

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - Mar 1, 2013 at 8:17 PM

      Ok but I hope I don’t have to say I told you so genius ! Trust me,,, I want him in the lineup for Thursday’s night game their genius,those tickets down at the Wells Fargo ain’t cheap like your old lady their genius !

  3. thebadguyswon - Mar 1, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    What the Habs are is very deep on defense. And the addition of Brandon Prust added a much needed dose of badass.

    • govtminion - Mar 1, 2013 at 9:53 PM

      Tacking on Ryder means they’ve got a pretty solid looking power play unit too. Watch the penalties, Pittsburgh!

  4. killerpgh - Mar 1, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    If he thought the Penguins defense was “soff” back when he was the coach I would love to hear want he thought about them the past 2 or 3 games.

  5. steelers88 - Mar 1, 2013 at 11:24 PM

    The Penguins will be white washed tomorrow night. I’m predicting a 5-0 Habs win. I’m sorry Penguins fans but the Penguins won’t win the Cup this year. In fact I think they might be bounced in the first round again. The reason why is because they have a terrible work ethic and don’t seem to care. They always seem to get outworked which is unusual for a Penguins team. Something has to be done I think they should fire Dan Byslma.

    • sportsfreak13 - Mar 2, 2013 at 1:38 AM

      Stick to football man. We’re on a 2 game slide that has exposed some glaring weaknesses. It’s not the end of the world. They have showed earlier on this season how they can play when their all on their game and paying attention to details. Why would you fire bylsma and risk a new coach changing the system mid season when your first in your division. This is just the ebs and flow of a hockey season. Don’t overact. Did the LA kings look like a cup winning team during game 42 of last years regular season?

  6. blomfeld - Mar 2, 2013 at 12:34 AM


    To hell with Saturday night pal. What’s going to be “special” is if we LA Kings meet “you people” this June in the final. And if it comes to be, God willing, then that will mark 20 years since we met “you people” in the final last time … you remember, that little dust up where “you people” saw fit to carry the day by resorting to cunning and treachery calling out the “supposed” length of McSorley’s stick in-order to gain an advantage. Well this time around “you people” won’t be dealing with any of this Mister “Nice Guy” Gretzky stuff. Nor sir, “you people” will be dealing with the new “battle-proven” and supremely “victorious” LA Kings, who couldn’t give a rat’s ass about you or your precious “Les Habitants” history. So do win this weekend and please promise to make it to the “high ground” this June, where we’ll be waiting for “you people” !


  7. steelers88 - Mar 2, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    I just think they just aren’t that good either they aren’t deep enough in offense this year. I think their overrated I also think Penguins fans are living in the past with the 2008-2009 Cup team they defiantly aren’t that team not even close to being that good.

    • sportsfreak13 - Mar 2, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      You do know that come game 62 of the regular season in 08-09 that cup team didnt even look close to being a playoff team let alone a cup contender. Things change in hockey realy fast and trust me when i say being deep enough on offense is not their problem at all. You dont need your third and fourth lines constantly putting pucks in the net. When healthy our top 2 lines are more dangerous then anyone else in the league(neal line 2, 2nd in the league in goals, crosby line 1 top in the league in assits). The problem is paying attention to the defensive breakdowns and limiting the amount of turnovers in the netural zone. When playoffs come around any one of the 16 teams can win the cup, its all about matchups and how well your playing at the time. Right now were #2 in the east so i wouldnt panic.

  8. csilojohnson - Mar 2, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    A coaching change right now would be the dumbest thing the Pens could muster. Just short of trading Crosby and Malkin. Commands us one of the best coaches in the league. Every team goes through ups and downs. They will get back on track.
    I’m just grateful that steelers88 is not the teams GM.

  9. steelers88 - Mar 2, 2013 at 10:42 AM

    Well they need shakeup this team up somehow. Make a trade for a top 6 winger. I just love how people assume that the Penguins will make the playoffs. Steelers fans said the same thing earlier this year and looked what happened.

  10. steelers88 - Mar 2, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Even if the Penguins do make the playoffs. I don’t think their consistent enough on defense to go deep in the playoffs. I don’t think they can beat teams like the Flyers and the Devils.

    • sportsfreak13 - Mar 2, 2013 at 11:14 AM

      So how does a top 6 winger help us there?

  11. steelers88 - Mar 2, 2013 at 11:48 AM

    Paul Martin will not play tonight.

  12. steelers88 - Mar 2, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    Pens lines- 14-87-9
    92 ( Vokoun Starting in net.)

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