Boston Bruins: Should Claude Julien Remain Head Coach?


When Charlie Jacobs took over control of the Boston Bruins at the beginning of this year, he promised the fans results. He also implied dire retribution if the team didn’t make the playoffs.

“For us to be a team that’s out of the playoffs is absolutely unacceptable,” said the new Bruins CEO to the media in January. “Everybody in the executive offices is fully aware of how I feel. They feel the same way, which brings us to this evaluation process. It’s fluid right now. I can’t say that any moment we have a final decision, other than to say it’s been an utter disappointment and a failure. A complete failure.”

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Three months later, the Boston Bruins ended up in the same place they were when Jacobs made that statement. In ninth place and out of the playoffs. When the Bruins were in ninth place in January, they were behind the Toronto Maple Leafs (who had just fired Randy Carlyle).

For all of Jacobs’ talk, there has been a limited amount of action over at Delaware North (the company that owns the B’s). So far, only two players have been notified that they won’t be re-signed next year. While letting go Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell makes sense, the B’s should have been ready to do more on day one.

Charlie Jacobs needs to do more for the organization than announce another round of ticket increases for next season. He needs to keep his promise to the fans and be prepared to make sweeping changes to the team. This includes a total evaluation of the Bruins’ front office. From Cam Neely on down, the organization needs to be examined and perhaps changed.

Claude Julien has to be seriously evaluated by the organization moving forward. When Julien was brought on-board, his defensive-minded, two-way hockey system helped get the Bruins back into the playoffs. The Black and Gold then went on a seven-year playoff run.

The Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011. They did that playing against a team that was superior to them (at least on paper). Julien’s coaching was certainly a factor in the Bruins win over the Vancouver Canucks. Julien’s system was studied at length by other teams who wanted to mirror Boston’s success.

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  • Claude Julien’s system gave the Bruins success, there is no questioning that. The biggest problem with the Julien system is that it never properly evolved. It was always considered good enough. Even as this year progressed, and it was becoming clear that there were cracks in the foundation, changes to the system weren’t really made.

    Julien has earned an awful lot of credit during his tenure in Boston. A Stanley Cup, a President’s Trophy, and two Conference titles. The failure to make the post-season burned up a lot of that good will and has made him vulnerable. Perhaps it’s time for the organization to start looking elsewhere if the Bruins want to evolve again.

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