Boston Bruins: Time For an Offensive-First Game


The Boston Bruins have still not chosen themselves a new general manager. The B’s are still trying to find the right person who can pick up where Peter Chiarelli took off (without the botched long-term contracts for easily replaceable players). Once Cam Neely and Charlie Jacobs pick a new number three man in Boston, they’re going to have to figure out if a new coach is needed in Boston. The longer it takes for them to promote or higher a GM, the better Claude Julien‘s chances are of staying in his new job.

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Claude Julien was at the Wolf Pack/P-Bruins game at the Dunkin Donuts Centre in Providence, Rhode Island. I have to assume this a sign of confidence. Why would you have the B’s head coach at the P-Bruins game if you were going to cut him loose the moment you had a new GM installed?

So, let’s assume Claude Julien somehow escaped the fate of Peter Chiarelli.

Claude Julien will have to change his system. If he wants to survive in Cam Neely’s vision of the Bruins, he will have to abandon part (or all) of his defensive-minded system. The Bruins will be adjusting their current lines to find the right offensive punch, and that means a season or longer of having to rely more on scoring in Boston.

This is a good thing. In 2011, a lot of teams weren’t used to playing against a team that was physically tough and aggressive on defense. Four years later, a lot of coaches have figured out how to get around Julien’s system. It led to some disappointing defeats even when the Bruins had a mostly healthy defensive core.

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  • Cam Neely wants more offense. Charlie Jacobs wants more goals scored. The fan base certainly doesn’t want a repeat of last year’s sub-standard season. So, if Julien’s going to stay in Boston he must bring the change to the team. So, it’s time for Claude Julien to re-tool his lines, hopefully better.

    So where should the Bruins begin with the refit? It’s time to give Patrice Bergeron his due and make him the top line center in Boston. He’s got a solid line formed around him. Brad Marchand certainly deserves to be on the new top line, and hopefully Reilly Smith will not have another streaky season for the Black and Gold.

    The Bruins should (and I mean they really need to) pair Milan Lucic with his two Czech teammates, David Pastrnak and David Krejci. They have good chemistry, and as long as they stay healthy (and Lucic cares more this season), it will be another strong line for the Bruins.

    This means that Claude Julien has all summer to exorcise anymore demons he has about Ryan Spooner playing on the team. He’ll likely be the new third line center with Chris Kelly and Loui Eriksson. (The Bruins just can’t afford to keep Carl Soderberg next season.) This means the Bruins could have three high-intensity lines capable of solid offense and versatility on defense.

    Yes, this will put Claude Julien out of his comfort zone. He’ll need to be if he wants to stay coaching in Boston.

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