In case you somehow, some way missed the news last week Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien was forced to leave his team and travel to a local Toronto-area hospital after he experienced chest pains late in the evening one night. Julien is in stable condition now, but things were touch and go for a short while and the entire hockey world held its breath as it waited for information from Julien and the Canadiens organization.
It turns out that Julien is expected to make a full recovery, but assistant coach Kirk Muller has been filling in for Julien and will continue to do so throughout the Habs' Stanley Cup Playoff run.
Today, Muller provided a brief update on Julien's condition, having spoke to his head coach yesterday.
Check it out:
"Yes, yeah I spoke to him yesterday and he told me he's getting our for a few walks, which is great news. So, again the most important thing is his health, so that was really good to hear. We had a good chat yesterday to get caught up."
Fantastic news! Muller played coy when he was asked if he and Julien were doing any conspiring or gameplanning over the phone, but one would assume with a hockey nerd like Julien that he couldn't help but talk shop even though he's meant to be recovering. In any case, Julien's and Muller's Habs have an enormous game on the schedule today with the puck set to drop on Game 4 of their opening round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers at 3pm ET. The Flyers hold a 2-1 series advantage and are poised to take a 3-1 stranglehold if the Habs can't muster more effort in Game 4.
While the Habs absolutely railroaded the Flyers and young goaltender Carter Hart in Game 2, Hart brushed it all off for Game 3 and pitched his first career Stanley Cup Playoff shutout. It was a performance that garnered praise from not only fans and analysts but from Hart's counterpart Carey Price. Price, as it turns out, is Hart's childhood hero so to hear this words must have been music to Hart's ears:
"Their goaltender played well," Price said after last night's loss. "Sometimes you gotta tip your hat to a hot goaltender. We did all the right things to win."