• Teams are not pleased about the so-called five-day bye weeks, conceded to the NHL Players’ Association in exchange for the 3-on-3 format in the All-Star Game. The Wild has its bye Wednesday through Sunday.
Through Saturday’s afternoon games, teams were 3-10-3 coming off byes. In February, teams coming off byes were 0-6-2, with five losing 5-1, 6-3, 4-1, 5-0 and 5-3.
It’s easy to explain why. Players are running to the Caribbean, Mexico, Las Vegas, wherever for five days without practice.
The Wild plays back-to-back home/road games next Monday and Tuesday against Los Angeles and Winnipeg, then at Columbus next Thursday. The Wild has two choices: Either not practice Sunday, then play back-to-back, or gather the team for a 5 p.m. practice.
Coach Bruce Boudreau will choose the latter just to get his team on the ice again. Conversely, the Predators played in Minnesota on Saturday without a practice other than the pregame skate.
Right now, bye weeks are all over the map. They are at different parts of the season, some starting early in the week, midweek or late. Some team schedules allow for practice the day before, some not. Some start at home, some on the road.
So look for the byes in future years to be tweaked to get some uniformity. Maybe an entire conference takes the bye together, maybe an entire division.
• Despite leading the Atlantic Division, the Montreal Canadiens fired coach Michel Therrien last week, replacing him for the second time in Canadiens history with Claude Julien. The Canadiens had lost six of eight, were shut out three times in that stretch and there were rumblings Therrien, five years in Montreal, was losing the room.