Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadiens Players Feel Positive Vibe from New Coach Claude Julien

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadiens Players Feel Positive Vibe from New Coach Claude Julien

Article excerpt

Julien holds first practice with Canadiens

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BROSSARD, Que. - Carey Price says it feels like a brand new season is starting for the Montreal Canadiens with Claude Julien now at the helm.

Julien ran his first practice with his new team on Friday, three days after replacing Michel Therrien as Montreal's head coach. Julien's first game behind the bench will be Saturday afternoon against the Winnipeg Jets.

For Price, Julien's arrival feels like a fresh start.

"He has a positive vibe to him," said Price, who was on Team Canada with Julien at the World Cup of Hockey in September. "Every time I've worked with him he's been easy to talk to. He was very positive, very upbeat.

"(Today) kind of felt like a new season."

The goaltender's comments were echoed throughout Montreal's dressing room after their hour-long practice on Friday, which capped off the team's bye week.

"Guys are getting a bit of a clean start," said captain Max Pacioretty. "We got a boost of energy and came into this practice feeling refreshed from the break."

Added defenceman Nathan Beaulieu: "He (Julien) is enthusiastic and excited to be here. He seems like a guy who accepts challenges and wants to win under all circumstances."

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin fired Therrien on Tuesday, hoping to breathe new life into his team and put an end to a prolonged slump.

Montreal, though still leading the Atlantic Division, has one win in its last seven games and is 6-10-2 since the first week of January.

The Habs started the season 13-1-1 but have been playing .500 hockey ever since (18-18-7). Montreal has only scored 10 goals in seven games this month, with half of those coming in the team's only win in February -- 5-4 against Arizona.

Price says the players were simply no longer responding to Therrien's message.

"We weren't playing with as much enthusiasm as maybe we should have been," he said. …

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