Time to Bid Claude Adieu

With the Bruins coverage on this blog lacking as of late, I am going to do my best to step in for our Salisbury-Clayton-esque Bruins boys and do my best to provide some kind of coverage to those out there that follow this blog and are avid Bruins fans.

If Claude Julien is to be grateful for one thing this Holiday season, it would be that he is an NHL hockey coach and not on the television show, The Apprentice. Surely if the Bruins coaching job was like being a competitor on the show, Donald Trump would have certainly uttered his famous catchphrase, “You’re fired” by now.  I am not one to usually call for the coach’s head on a platter but after watching Julien behind the bench for the past 3 years.  Julien came to Boston in June of 2007 and has been mediocre at best during that time.

In a region where the Celtics have the best record in their conference, the Patriots are the best team in the NFL, and the Red Sox just broke the bank to stack their roster, the Bruins are the proverbial red headed step child in Boston.  It is not that the Bruins lack talent, because they have an abundance of it in guys named Chara, Savard, Krejci, Thomas, Rask, Lucic, Horton, and Seguin.  But for the past three and a half seasons it seems the team plays with no fire.

Last year the Bruins were up 3 games to none against the Philadelphia Flyers and lost the best of seven series.  They were up 3-0 in Game 7 at home and couldn’t close it out.  A side note, the Bruins were playing against the Flyers third string goalie if memory serves correctly.  After that historic meltdown, I  started to sip the Julien haterade.  This is a coach who hasn’t been able to get out of the 2nd round of the playoffs in his entire coaching career.  This is a coach who led a team to a monumental losing streak where the team didn’t win a single game in January of 2010 but were able to sneak into the playoffs. But let’s forget about the past because Boston is a “what have you done for me lately?” kind of sports town.

At the time of this writing, the Bruins are 8th in the Eastern Conference with 38 points.  It boggles my mind that the team with the best goalie (statistically, and yes Tazzi I am saying this) in the NHL is 8th in the Eastern Conference and 16th in the NHL in points. Tim Thomas has a ridiculous save percentage of .948 and a goals against average of 1.70.  To put this in perspective the next closest goalie in save percentage is Ondrej Pavelec with a .943 save percentage and .1.82  goals against average.  Pavelec is on the Thrashers and they have the 5 seed in the East at this time.  The back up goalie Tuukka Rask’s record is 2-7-1 and he has a save percentage of .927.  Does Julien actually have a strategy going forward or is his motto “let’s get hall of fame goaltending and pray for the best.”

As team president Cam Neely has made personnel moves ensuring he puts a quality product on the ice.  He and Peter Chiarelli proved to be savvy during the summer when they traded the train wreck known as Dennis Wideman for Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell.  This was an absolute steal.  Horton is a proven goal scorer, just what the Bruins needed.  But Julien’s style of play has limited what Horton is capable of doing.  The offense has no aggression.  Yes, last night they had 45 shots on Jonas Hiller of the Ducks and were shut out.  But not many of those shots are actual scoring chances.  I could sit out there and shoot the puck 45 times too and I don’t know how to skate.

The bottom line in all of this is Julien needs to go.  Everyone in the NHL seemingly knows how to beat his teams. His style of play focuses on goal prevention with no effort put into getting a formidable attack going to score goals.  The D to D passing is frustrating as all hell to watch and usually causes turnovers that lead to easy goals for the opposition.  Lou Lamoriello pulled the trigger on Julien when he was in New Jersey citing the team’s “lack of readiness to contend for the Cup.”  Isn’t that what is going on right now in Boston and has been for the past three and a half seasons?

The Bruins are boring and continue to lose.  The fan base is restless and with the recent successes and
splashes other area teams have made the Bruins are bordering on anonymity.  Firing Julien wouldn’t only be a shake-up, it would be the right thing to do.  The saddest thing in sports is wasted talent, and Claude Julien is doing a hell of a job wasting the talent he has on this Bruins roster.


One Response

  1. bruin fan here…keep it up!

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