BROSSARD – It was a season of great expectations.
After the best start in franchise history, the Montreal Canadiens failed to make the playoffs for the second time in five years.
“It’s pretty difficult talking to you here,” said Alex Galchenyuk on locker clean-out day.
Pacioretty, Subban say there’s no rift in Canadiens dressing room
Galchenyuk hits 30-goal mark as Canadiens down Lightning 5-1 in season finale
Canadiens shut down star players Carey Price, P.K. Subban for the season
“This time of the year, you expect to be in the playoffs. It’s the first time in my career I’ve missed it and there were big expectations.”
The majority of the blame will be put on Carey Price‘s injured knee – but it doesn’t stop there.
The team ranked 16th in the league in goals scored.
READ MORE: #OTwithKelly: A lament for the 2015-2016 Montreal Canadiens
A total of 46 different players suited up for the Habs and finding chemistry together was difficult.
In December and January, the team picked up 13 out of a possible 50 points.
“Can we have done better? Should we have? Yes,” said General Manager Marc Bergevin.
“Are we happy here today? No.”
Things went from bad to worse this season as off-ice controversies plagued the team – especially between captain Max Pacioretty and star defenceman P.K. Subban.
READ MORE: Pacioretty, Subban say there’s no rift in Canadiens dressing room
“If you could bring the camera in the wives’ room and see P.K. playing mini sticks with my son after the game I don’t think I’d be asked this question,” said Pacioretty.
“We like each other, we play together, we respect each other,” said Subban.
“Do I have to go over there and make out with him to show my affection? What do you want?”
It turns out, a hug was enough to seal the deal.
Team owner Geoff Molson, head coach Michel Therrien and Bergevin met the media together.
Rumours turned to Therrien and if the team’s dismal performance meant the end of his time in Montreal.
READ MORE: Habs forward Alex Galchenyuk’s girlfriend arrested for domestic violence: reports
Bergevin was eager to put that rumour to rest.
“It’s my job to address the team moving forward, but Michel will be behind the bench opening night,” said Bergevin.
The focus now is on the off-season what moves the general manager will make.
He said he is not trying to trade core players Subban, Price or Pacioretty and the team emphasized over and over they are united – even if it is in defeat.