BROSSARD, Que. — Goaltender Carey Price will be out of action another three or four weeks and coach Michel Therrien's job is safe for the rest of the NHL season.
Those were the key points beleaguered Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin made Thursday as he met with the media in a bid to calm fans' anger and frustration a free-fall that has seen the team drop out of playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
The Canadiens have won only five games since star goalie Price was injured in late November. He was expected back after the Jan. 31 all-star game, but Bergevin said last year's Hart and Vezina Trophy winner will be out longer.
"It's slower than we expected," he said. "There hasn't been a setback.
"I don't know exactly the date, but I don't think he will be back (before) three weeks or a month."
There have been calls for Therrien's head, but Bergevin said emphatically that his head coach since 2012 and the entire coaching staff will finish out the season.
Bergevin said he alone is responsible for any problems the team is having.
"It's on me," he said more than once.
He said he has looked at making trades but hasn't found one that fits. He added he will not make a trade just to shake up the squad if it means sacrificing the club's future.
Bergevin said a recent minor deal that sent defence prospect Jarred Tinordi to Arizona "had to be done," but said he was not at liberty to say why.
He also had a vote of support for struggling 37-year-old defenceman Andrei Markov, who was booed during a 4-1 loss Tuesday to Boston.
"He's not a spring chicken, but I believe he will bounce back," he said.
Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press