Claude Julien Set to Rest Players Before Stanley Cup Playoffs


Mar 21, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien on his bench in the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Julien Knows Postseason Facilitates Rest for B’s

Thinking about where the Boston Bruins sit in the playoff race now, you begin to wonder when coach Claude Julien will consider resting some of the B’s more crucial veteran players.

Rest can be huge down a playoff stretch that could definitely culminate a Stanley Cup date, in which case the time spent relaxing prior to the postseason will be significant.

Nine games remain before the regular season ends, and in addition to a clinched playoff berth, Boston has basically sealed the No.2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Julien believes that it will be necessary to give certain skaters time off leading up to the opening of the quarterfinals.

“It’s a plan that we’re probably implementing very soon, but to give them a rest now, by the time the playoffs start, that rest may not mean much,” Julien said, according to’s Mike Cole. ”I don’t want to leave it to the last minute, but probably a little bit more towards the end versus right now.”

As for specific players that may take time off, you could probably take a guess that certain Sochi Olympians–Tuukka Rask, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Loui Eriksson and David Krejci–will gather a game or two on the sideline.

Jarome Iginla is also a viable option for a rest, considering his age and importance to the Bruins chances in Stanley Cup territory.

Young defenders Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski and Torey Krug, who have all appeared in 55+ games in 2013-14, are also candidates worthy of taking a competition off for Julien.

“The real answer is that absolutely we want to finish as high as we can,” Julien said, “but we’re not going to jeopardize the players that probably need rest.”

It will be interesting to observe how Julien’s scheme in the remaining contests will strike a balance between winning and unwinding.