The Montreal Canadiens have fallen into a 4-16-1 slump after starting off the season with a division-leading 19-4-3 record. On Tuesday night, they fell 4-1 to the Boston Bruins at their very own Bell Centre, and were thus knocked out of a playoff position. This was the Canadiens’ fifth straight loss, and the Bruins’ third consecutive victory. “I honestly hope that not one person will criticize the effort,” said Montreal’s frustrated head coach Michel Therrien, his voice cracking emotionally. “That has to stop. These guys are giving everything they have. Is the execution there? No, but that will come.”


The Canadiens outshot the Bruins 39-24, but their only goal came from defenseman Mark Barberio in the second period.

Boston’s Patrice Bergeron broke a 1-1 tie in the second period, and Max Talbot, Brad Pasternak and Brad Marchand, who scored the empty-net goal, also netted goals for the Bruins. With the win, the Bruins avenged their 5-1 loss to the Canadiens in the NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1. Both teams wore their jerseys from the Winter Classic game.

Rumors began circulating that Therrien could be fired if his team lost this game, although there is still no official word on this. It is likely that the Habs will not make a decision regarding their head coach until after starting goalie Carey Price returns from a lower-body injury, probably after the Jan. 31 all-star game. Backup goalie Mike Condon played in Price’s place on Tuesday.

The Bruins (24-16-5) will next host the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night, while the Canadiens (23-20-4) will next play the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Saturday.

MONTREAL, QC – JANUARY 19: Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins looks to play the puck past Andrei Markov #79 of the Montreal Canadiens during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on January 19, 2016 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

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