Habs coach Claude Julien rushed to hospital, won’t coach rest of series vs Flyers

Mandatory Credit: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images
Mandatory Credit: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images /

Claude Julien will miss at least the first round series of the 2020 playoffs.

After the Montreal Canadiens played the first game of the first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers. on Wednesday night, Habs head coach Claude Julien was taken to the hospital for chest pain. His pain is unrelated to COVID-19 according to general manager Marc Bergevin. Julien is expected to miss the remaining games in the series against the Flyers, and assistant coach Kirk Muller will take over the helm of the team.

According to the Associated Press, the Canadiens are confident despite Julien’s absence. Team captain Shea Weber said the team’s game plan has not changed, and Julien’s condition gives them the extra motivation to bring home a win.

Montreal facing great odds yet again, this time without their leader

Montreal is no stranger to overcoming adversity after they pulled off an upset against the Pittsburgh Penguins to make it into the playoffs. The Habs are currently down 0–1 in the series against the Flyers after losing the opening game of the series 2–1 on Wednesday. Game 2 is set to be played on Friday night in the NHL’s Toronto bubble.

Muller will be a strong replacement for Julien despite the circumstances. He spent time as both a player and assistant coach with the Canadiens throughout his career, so he has a strong history with the organization. He’s also known for being a strong communicator and has worked with Team Canada’s hockey team in the past. If there’s anyone who can keep Montreal on track, its him.

Muller’s one big drawback? He doesn’t speak French, so he won’t be able to maintain the team’s language tradition. While diehard Habs fans might be bothered by the change, he’s their best option from a hockey perspective. We’re all wishing Julien a speedy recovery, and hopefully he’ll be able to return to the ice if his team makes it past the Flyers.

More. Canadiens vs. Flyers playoff schedule. light