What a week, and it’s only Thursday! With the Sens winning both of their games against the Habs, you might have noticed a slight spring in your step. Have the overall prospects for the season changed much at all? No. But who cares? These wins are fun! Let the good times ride, baby.
- Speaking of the good times, the times aren’t so good in Montreal where Marc Bergevin decided he’d seen enough after Ottawa’s comeback victory on Tuesday night and relieved Claude Julie and Kirk Muller of their duties. Dominique Ducharme will take over on an interim basis.
- Though the timing of the move may have come as something of a surprise, the Habs have been a bit of a disappointment relative to expectations so far this year. Matt Drake over at our SB Nation sister site Habs Eyes on the Prize had even written that Montreal should be considering a coaching change before the firing was announced.
- Over at RDS, François Gagnon had some interesting thoughts that can perhaps be summarized as: if Bergevin says Julien’s a good coach, then why is he firing him? A question worth pondering, indeed.
- Meanwhile, the 32nd NHL coaching job is set to open in Seattle next year and Bruce Boudreau has indicated that he’s interested in leading the Kraken. Before Julien’s dismissal, I would have had Bruce as easily the best available candidate, but that interview process just got a lot more competitive.
- Over at the Athletic, Ian Mendes shares five storylines ($) from Tuesday’s match-up. We’ll learn a lot more at practice today about Stepan’s injury status, but as Ian points out: we are likely to learn how the Sens really feel about Logan Brown now that there’s a real opening at centre.
- Our beautiful, terrible son Brady Tkachuk has earned himself a write-up over at Defector ($). A must-read.
- On Monday, Artemi Panarin took a leave of absence from the New York Rangers after his former KHL coach, Andrei Nazarov, told a Russian newspaper that Panarin had physically assaulted a young woman while the team was on a road trip in Latvia in 2011. Nazarov also claims a criminal case was opened against Panarin but that it was shut down by political interference and a 40k euro bribe. On Wednesday, the KHL issued a statement to ESPN that they had never received a complaint against Panarin. There are multiple conflicting stories at this point, no victim has come forward, and Panarin denies any wrongdoing, but the NHL is investigating nonetheless.
- NHL.com has been running a series of stories for Black History Month about some of the sport’s lesser-known black builders and players. This feature about black coaches in Macon, Georgia, was particularly interesting.
- Lastly, Blake Bolden, Boko Immama, Quinton Byfield, and Akil Thomas had an interesting conversation about growing hockey for people of colour