Thursday, October 27, 2011

Scapegoat, thy name be Perry!

The Montreal Canadiens became the first NHL team to push the panic button in the 2011-12 season, with the local squad mired in a horrendous start, 1-5-2, the Habs pushed Perry Pearn off the plank prior to their October 26th game with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Pearn, a close friend of Jacques Martin's was told 90 minutes prior to game time that his services would no longer be required behind the bench.  His duties supervising special teams and defensive play no longer required.

Granted, those were two areas of the game where the Canadiens were lacking these days, but they haven't exactly excelled in other categories either, from offence to defence and all points in between this edition of Les Habitants has been less than formidable!

The dismissal of Pearn so early into the season, reeks of scapegoat, an offering if you will to the Gods of Hockey in Montreal, all that was missing from Wednesday's announcement was a lava flow from the Bell Centre.

Montreal, off to its worst start since 1941 hasn't had much in the way of success since they appeared as the opening act for the Winnipeg Jets rebirth, that win was the Habs only victory of the year prior to the tossing of Pearn over the side, five other losses and two ties their claim to fame thus far in the NHL season.

Perhaps the decision to remove Pearn was a wake up call to the team that their performance was not acceptable and that other potential changes may be in the wind, regardless, for one game the message it seems hit home, the Habs took to the ice on Wednesday and administered a thorough thrashing of the visiting Flyers.

An effort that perhaps might have been nice two or three games ago, the win came far too late for Mr. Pearn, but might have been enough to buy head coach Jacques Martin a bit of time, though one has to wonder if he's feeling secure in his job these days, considering the pressure cooker environment of Montreal and the quest for someone to carry the can when things go wrong.

We're not sure that canning the assistant coach is the magical elixir to turn around a terrible start, the simple fact is that the Canadiens at the moment more resemble the Hamilton Bull dogs as opposed to an NHL ready squad, injuries have taken their toll on the starting line up and some of their more recognizable names have certainly had their struggles in this early stage.

The dismissal of Pearn perhaps provides a valuable lesson for Mr. Martin, who may want to keep his back close to the glass behind that bench, just to be on the safe side.

National Post-- Pearn the scapegoat for Canadiens' dismal start
CBC-- Canadiens look to keep rolling in Boston
Toronto Sun-- Habs fire assistant coach
Sportsnet-- Should the Habs make major changes
TSN-- Canadiens fire assistant coach Pearn prior to home game
Montreal Gazette-- Work life with 21,273 bosses
NBC Sports-- Jacques Martin cares not for your wishes to fire him
Globe and Mail-- Reeling Habs fire assistant coach

Pearn while the first to feel the axe, surely won't be the last in the coaching ranks to find himself summoned to the GM's office, through the year, morbid as it may be, we track the departures and arrivals from this link on our blog...

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