June 15, 2011; Vancouver, BC, CANADA; Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien hoists the Stanley Cup after game seven of the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena. Boston defeated Vancouver 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE

Critical (Boston,) Mass achieved.

The frenzy of the free-agency and the trade markets ususally get teams to whip out their checkbooks. Some of these deals will affect the shape of a franchise for the foreseeable future (Minnesota Wild).  A lot of the teams in the league are pushing their salary caps to the brink to try and score the best hockey talent possible. The Bruins have chosen not to follow that path. They have made a considerable effort to keep all their key players as part of the team.

“We made the commitment to try and keep the core of this team together following our Cup win. We embarked on signing some key players, before free agency (Chris Kelly, DanielPaille,  Shawn Thornton). We feel we’ve gone a long way keeping this critical mass together for this team.” offered  Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli. “One of these components in this critical mass…. is our coach Claude Julien.”

Since Julien took over the position of head coach in 2007, the Bruins have never missed the playoffs. Julien has a record of 36-27(.571) in the postseason. In his five seasons in Boston, Coach Julien has accumulated a record of 228-132-50(.678 point average). Claude Julien was chosen as the  2009 NHL coach of the year. In the Bruins storied history, he has a total of 410 games coached(3rd overall). His 228 wins place him fourth for total wins within the franchise.

This is the third NHL team Julien has coached for. He spent three years with the  Montreal Canadiens, and one season with the New Jersey Devils. (Once again, we the people of Bruins Nation need to thank other people in the NHL for our good fortune. This time, we can thank the short temper of Devils GM Lou Lamoriello.) Julien was quite happy with the extension. He expressed his thoughts at the press conference. “When I first came here, my goal was to try and win a Stanley Cup here in Boston.  We’ve accomplished that. Now my goal is to win another Cup for this Boston franchise. I remain hungry. I think I remain committed and dedicated to understanding that the expectations here in Boston are always very high and I love that kind of standard.”

Our team is healthy, our team is young. The Bleacher Report stated that the Bruins are ‘the most dangerous team in the NHL.’  We have the 2011 Stanley Cup Championship core lines still together. Horton and McQuaid are cleared to play. Tuukka Rask has the complete confidence of the front office to be the starting goal tender. There certainly will be no hangover coming out the blocks this season. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m practically vibrating to see the season start.


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