Sunday, January 22, 2017

Beleaguered Claude Julien lobs a verbal volley in at Bruins Front Office

Claude Julien's hot seat is getting hotter by the period in Boston.

The Bruins are slipping, and after going 3-5-2 in their last ten games, they are clinging by the claws to third place in the Atlantic Division. Problem is, they have played 50 games already, and when one peeks at the points per game NHL standings, the Bruins aren't looking so hot.

The Bruins (1.04 ppg) are actually behind Toronto (1.15), Carolina (1.07), Philadelphia (1.08), and when those teams make up their games in hand things might even look worse for Julien and the Bruins.

If they don't make the playoffs that will make three consecutive non-playoff seasons for the storied franchise.

There are those that believe that Julien has been handcuffed by the poor roster decisions of management, and evidently Julien, who has been the subject of firing rumors from the last few weeks, made it clear that he's one of those believers after today's 5-1 shellacking in Pittsburgh.

"This is a team that needs all 20 guys going to win," he said (see video above for the full statement). "We don't have enough talent to think we can get away with a mediocre game."

Julien is the longest-tenured NHL coach, but he may not last too much longer if he keeps lofting verbal volleys, albeit subtle ones, in the direction of the Boston front office.

Julien hinted that he's in no mood to fixate on his job security earlier in the week, stating that he was in no mood for "shock journalism."

He also went on a long and interesting ramble about how he doesn't have time to worry about his job--it's not up to him.
Here's the meat of that discussion, thanks to WEEI's Ty Anderson:

In Julien's defense, the Bruins are among the best possession teams in the NHL, and they've fielded a relatively young, inexperienced blue line and done quite well with them. Many feel that the club, which has the lowest 5-on-5 PDO in the NHL, per Puckalytics, has been snakebitten and will soon turn things around.

Whether they will, and whether Julien will be there to guide them if they do, remains to be seen.