One of my biggest concerns when Julien was hired to coach the Bruins was that he was fired 79 games into the 2006-2007 season with the Devils. Normally when a coach is fired it is because the team is not performing well, but the Devils were in second place in the Eastern Conference with 107 points. The reason Julien was fired from New Jersey? Well Devils GM Lou Lamoriello said it was a "lack of readiness to challenge for a Stanley Cup."
Well you don't say.
After the jump, more Anti-Julien goodness!...
You mean the guy who coached the team that blew a 3-0 series lead and a 3-0 Game 7 lead to Philadelphia didn't have his team ready to make a run at the Stanley Cup?
It's not just the results of the games. Julien is not the tactician that the Bruins need behind the bench. He's a defensive minded coach, but that defensive system limits the potential his offensive players have. Look at Phil Kessel. Kessel is a terrible defensive player and barely fit into Julien's defensive scheme. In fact, there were many times where Kessel didn't play defense and focused his attention on scoring goals. What happened? That one nut, acne riddled sonofabitch scored 30+ goals. Julien's system is known to hold players back. Look at Blake Wheeler, a guy many Bruins fans (definitely include me in that sentence) wanted out of town. The Bruins shipped him off to Atlanta and in 20 games the guy has 7 goals and 8 assists (15 points). Why can't we get players like that?
It's not just the system that pisses me off though, it's the way Julien handles his players. This season, Julien has been known to sit his rookies for periods at a time when they make a mistake, but won't do the same for his veterans. There was a game were Boston was hosting Buffalo and Nathan Horton made two turnovers that directly led to goals but Julien did not sit him for these mistakes. He's done the same thing to Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin - sitting them for the whole third period - for making mistakes out on the ice, so why not his veterans? Guys like Dennis Seidenberg and (more recently) Tomas Kaberle that have made a tremendous amount of defensive mistakes have not been punished for it.
I thought there was point this season where Julien had turned the corner and became the coach the Bruins needed him to be, but that has all come crashing down again when Chiarelli announced that Seguin will be watching the playoffs from Level 9 in favor of Michael Ryder. Really, Ryder? I'm sorry, but that decision isn't (and shouldn't) going to fly around here. Michael Ryder has been scratched recently for poor play and an inability to play defense and the only reason he's been playing the past few games is because Shawn Thornton caught a fucking skate to the face. So now with the playoffs coming around, the Bruins turn to Cloud Ryder and expect him to immediately become a playoff threat? Spare me.
Cloud has always been a favorite in Julien's eyes so it doesn't surprise me that the Bruins are going this route, but to say that they're giving Ryder the nod over Seguin based on playoff experience is a crock of shit. If that's the case, why isn't Brad Marchand being scratched as well? How many playoffs games has Marchand played in a Bruins sweater? That answer, ladies and germs, is zero.
So yeah, it's time for Claude to go. I don't want to hear "Well, who are the Bruins going to hire to replace him?" because that argument is bullshit. You don't keep a guy because you can't find a replacement for him. You can replace him with anyone and I hope the Bruins will get some no name coach who is motivated to win a Stanley Cup. No name coaches can do the job. No one knew who the fuck Dan Bylsma was until this season and he has the Crosby/Malkin-less Penguins playing good hockey.
- Random Thoughts -
- Congrats to Moshmont on winning the 7th Player Award. It was a toss up between him and Campbell in my eyes and either choice would've been appropriate.
- Binky finally scored his first goal as a Bruin. FINALLY.