Canadian and Canadiens’ troubles and what we learned in the NHL this past week

What we learned during the last week in the NHL - Canadiens

Canadiens forward Devante Pelly-Smith and Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf collide during a game at the Air Canada Centre.

(Claus Andersen / Getty Images)

What we learned during the last week in the NHL:

• The Montreal Canadiens’ plunge from first in the East to out of a playoff spot led General Manager Marc Bergevin to address unhappy fans through a news conference last week.

“It’s on me,” Bergevin said, adding that Coach Michel Therrien’s job is safe the rest of the season.

It is Bergevin’s fault for not improving the offense and relying so heavily on goaltender Carey Price, who has been injured since late November and isn’t expected back until next month.


• Canada’s NHL franchises and its dollar are being battered. All seven teams were outside a playoff position through Sunday’s games, and the Canadian dollar dropped to 68.78 cents U.S. last week before rising to just over 70 cents U.S. on Friday, where it remained Monday. The value of the dollar is a concern because Canadian teams get most revenues in Canadian dollars but pay players in U.S. dollars.

• It’s good to be king, but it’s not easy to keep your roster intact once you reach the throne. Eight of the 18 players who dressed for the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks at Florida on Friday were not on the team in June and six weren’t on the opening-night roster this season, as noted by the Chicago Sun-Times.

• Staying alive: With a four-game winning streak, Colorado is challenging for a West wild-card playoff spot. Goalie Semyon Varlamov has won four consecutive starts, stopping 138 of 142 shots in that span. Also defying doubters are the Arizona Coyotes, who are 11-2-2 against fellow Pacific Division teams.

• A judge in U.S. District Court in Minnesota presiding over a class-action lawsuit on concussions filed against the NHL by former players ordered several previously private and potentially embarrassing emails sent to and from NHL executives must be de-designated and unsealed.


According to the order, emails such as one in which Colin Campbell, the NHL’s senior executive vice president of hockey operations, called the Ottawa Senators’ athletic therapist “a freaking idiot” for his suggestions on how to treat and prevent concussions will become public once the court approves a process to do so.

The NHL might come off as unsympathetic, but that’s separate from the issue of whether it broke the law.

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