The Jack Adams award is given to the NHL head coach that has been seen to have done the best job with their team in any given year. To have Bruins head coach Claude Julien’s name in the running for the award is a no-brainer. Julien (who won the award in 2009) has done remarkable things for this organization during the 2013-14 season, and even more throughout his tenure with the Black and Gold.
Julien has been the head coach for the last seven seasons. The Boston Bruins have never failed to enter the playoffs with him at the helm. The Bruins have seen the Stanley Cup Final twice in the last three season, and they’re going into this year currently tied with the St. Louis Blues for the highest point total in all of the NHL. They have a commanding lead over every other team in the Eastern Conference, and a solid double digit lead over the Montreal Canadiens and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Bruins are first in the NHL in GF/GA differential. It’s a plus eighty one, (and likely to go higher when they take on the Flyers today) due to the Claude Julien system. The Black and Gold have the league’s second lowest goals against average at 2.09. (Again, two-way defensive minded hockey has been the key there.) When it comes to playing with a man short or on the power play, the B’s have remained in the top third in the league. The Bruins special teams squad now ranks third in the league on the power play (20.9%, 45-for-215) and eighth on the penalty kill (84.2%, 213-for-253).
When it comes to Julien’s overall contributions as a head coach, he’s had a remarkable career here. His record, (currently 308-164-63 for a .635 win percentage) is one of the best in the ninety year history of the franchise. Like Bruins forward Jarome Iginla, Julien has had a milestone-filled season. (The other fair similarity is that Claude Julien is Hall of Fame bound for his own contributions to hockey.) Julien notched his 700th career game as a head coach in Boston with a 3-1 victory over Columbus on October 12th. He earned 400th career win as a head coach when he got himself an early Christmas gift last December with a 6-2 win against the Nashville Predators. Two weeks later, he tallied his 500th game as the Bruins head coach in the 4-1 over the Winnipeg Jets, and capped win number three hundred as the B’s head coach in a 2-1 win at home against the Phoenix Coyotes last month.
To some of the Boston Bruins, he’s the only NHL coach they’ve ever played for. For many of the rest, he’s the best coach they ever played for. While the current buzz is centered around Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy being the likely winner this season, Claude Julien has certainly made a case to earn his second Jack Adams.