Claude Julien Knows Best for the Boston Bruins


Dec 23, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien watches his team play against the Nashville Predators during the third period at Bridgestone Arena. The Bruins beat the Predators 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

The decision-making of Claude Julien has been quick and controversial lately. Julien decided to pull Tuukka Rask when the Montreal Canadiens gained a 3-1 advantage in the 2nd period of Thursday night’s game. Could he have waited a few extra minutes maybe? Yes.

Chad Johnson, Rask’s backup, wasn’t the antidote for the B’s either.  The former AHL goalie let up another goal, essentially solidifying the Canadiens’ 4-1 victory.

Julien: “I don’t feel like I have to explain everything…”

After the game, Julien said that he didn’t have to tell the media why he pulled Rask. He stressed the fact that the defeat was a “team” loss. He implied that his reasons for pulling Rask weren’t based on the goalie’s individual performance.

“This isn’t going to be one of those things where we’re going to make a big story out of a pulled goalie,” Julien said. “Our team was poor tonight, OK? So maybe some times you pull the goalie for different reasons. And I don’t feel I have to explain everything to you guys, because there are a lot of decisions I make that are for inside that dressing room and not for everyone to share.”

Julien’s Philosophy Is Winning

Julien was upset with the media, and to tell you the truth, I understand why he was agitated. His team, up to that point, had been rolling over opponents with ease. Then, the Habs come to the Garden, and his whole team falls apart suddenly. Julien was right. The pulling of a goalie, in my mind, is a customary action that every coach exercises several times a year in the midst of probable defeat. He is not blaming or singling out Rask. The team was playing poorly overall, and pulling the starting goalie is the only legitimate lineup change he could make.

Julien kept Rask on the bench and started Johnson against the Edmonton Oilers earlier today. The goalkeeper kept the Oiler’s goal tally at zero, saving 22 shots altogether.  The Bruins netted four goals, demolishing Edmonton 4-0 to get back on the winning track. Julien is a great coach, and his decisions are made in the interest of winning hockey games. That’s his job, and that’s what Bruins’ fans want. That’s what the media should understand.