On consecutive Tuesdays, two veteran NHL head coaches lost their jobs. On Feb. 7, the Bruins fired Claude Julien. One week later, on Valentine's Day, the Canadiens whacked Michel Therrien -- and replaced him with Julien.
Montreal is leading the Atlantic, six points ahead of Boston. The Bruins are six ahead of the Sabres in the division. This cannot be reassuring to Buffalo coach Dan Bylsma, whose team has underachieved and whose players seem unhappy with his grinding style of hockey.
NHL coaches have the worst job security in sports. Once the team isn't "responding," management begins looking for someone to inspire the troops. Montreal GM Marc Bergevin used a trinity of cliches, saying the Habs needed "a new energy, a new voice, a new direction."
The Pegulas aren't likely to can Bylsma this soon after failing with Rex Ryan. But if the Sabres struggle, and if the players (especially Jack Eichel) keep muttering about the system, Bylsma won't be long for Buffalo. If first place can get you fired, maybe the Sabres should raise the standard, too. Let's hope he makes it past Tuesday.