Michel Therrien's players said a lot of things about him during his tenure as coach of the Penguins.
Not many were meant for publication. Fewer were flattering.
But even those who were most critical of how Therrien interacted with his players -- and, some said, with others whose paths he crossed -- recognized the positive impact he had on the franchise.
Specifically, how he helped to lay the foundation for the Stanley Cup they won a few months after he was replaced by Dan Bylsma in mid-February 2009.
"I don't know if I always agreed with the methods," defenseman Brooks Orpik said. "But I think he came in and brought a lot of stability and instilled a lot of discipline to an organization that needed it."
Orpik is one of eight current Penguins who played for Therrien in the NHL. The others are forwards Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Tyler Kennedy, Pascal Dupuis, and Matt Cooke; defensemen Mark Eaton and Kris Letang; and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
Therrien was a candidate for several coaching jobs after Penguins general manager Ray Shero fired him, but didn't get one until June, when he was brought back for a second stint in Montreal.
The Canadiens finished last in the Eastern Conference in 2011-12, but enter their game at 7:08 p.m. today against the Penguins at the Bell Centre atop the East and on a 7-0-2 roll.


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