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11-12-2003, 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Habber
Whatís your guys assessment of CJ after the first 16 games?

Iím still not sold on him. While I like his system, I donít think heís got the players fully committed to it. He seems like a good prep coach, but his in-game abilities are not great. As many of us have been noting lately, he has been making some poor decisions. Some of the weaknesses I have seen from him this season:
-Refusal to shorten the bench. Itís like he has 1-2-3-4 stamped on his forehead. A good example was last night in OT, he still rolled four lines. He has to realize that our best offensive players are going to get those goals for us and get Saks on every 2nd shift in OT and late in games.
-The way heís handled Markov and Hainsey. The confidence of both guys is totally shot. Markov has gone to the clear cut no.1 to 4 or 5.
-Personnel decisions. How Audette hasnít been scratched is beyond me.
-Too many too many men on the ice penalties. Whether or not these have been totally his fault, these penalties always fall on the shoulders of the coach.
-Inability to get players to fully commit to the system and give it their all every night. We have been great some nights, and god-awful others.

I see CJ as a similar situation to AS. Heís a decent coach, but not a great coach and this organization deserves more. I think he would do well as an assistant, and I am hoping that BG brings in a high profile guy before the season is out. I canít help but imagine how different things would be if we had an elite coach. Look what Lemaire has done in Minny, or Hartley in Atlanta, I just canít see CJ getting those kind of results.

Some of you may jump on me and say we should give him a chance. I say we can't afford to give him the chance. I like the guy and think he may be a great coach some day, but he needs to go through some growing pains and I am sick of the Habs being a development team for coaches. We need somebody who can do the job very well right now, not somebody who is going to be making rookie mistakes

I agree that Julien has made numerous mistakes so far this season. But I think we should give him another 16-20 games before we even consider making any drastic changes...we should be a little more patient to see if he improves on these mistakes and thus demonstrates that he is moving in the right direction...Don't forget, he's a rookie in this league too.

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