Will Claude Julien be on a Short Leash?


When Peter Chiarelli lost the keys to the Bruins kingdom following their disappointing 2014-15 season, many thought head coach Claude Julien was next in line on the chopping block.  When Bruins management spread Claude Julien, it led me straight to thinking how long this would last.

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Originally, I wanted Julien to follow Chiarelli right out the door.  I thought if the Bruins were going all in on change, then why keep him around and not allow Chiarelli’s successor to bring in his own guys to run the club.  But I do understand the move.  Claude has the resume, new faces in the locker room, and has given Don Sweeney the confidence that he’ll make some minor adjustments to evolve with the rest of the league, angling to use speed, precision, and talent over the bruising, intimidating game that used to win teams Stanley Cups.

The question here is how long of a leash will Sweeney give Julien to successfully implement these changes?  This makes the beginning of the schedule very important, because it could mean Claude’s job.  Julien should be given until roughly Thanksgiving or Christmas to prove he’s made the right changes and has the team back in contention.

It appeared at times last season that he had lost the locker room.  A group of players who were once touted as the toughest group in the league to line up against turned into a team of passengers who were inconsistent and frustrating to watch.  yes, they lost guys like Jarome Iginla, Johnny Boychuk, and Shawn Thornton.  But that’s no excuse to put out poor effort after poor effort.  And poor effort is a reflection of the head coach, and a sign that the team has tuned him out.

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  • Julien has a new group this season, and hopefully with that a renewed energy level.  Should Boston’s top talents like Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Zdeno Chara, and Dennis Seidenberg rebound from what was collectively a sub par year, the team will be in decent shape from the jump.

    The remaining question is whether or not Julien will adjust his coaching style like he said he would.  I don’t have faith that he will.  When the bullets start flying and the game is on the line, I don’t want to see Chris Kelly out there when the Bruins need a goal.  I want to see David Pastrnak and Ryan Spooner.

    He needs to put Pastrnak’s defensive liabilities on the back burner, and trust that the young guys will get the puck into the offensive zone and create chances.  I’ll believe he can do it when I see it.  Julien is old school, and has shown time and again that the chips are down, he’ll resort back to his veterans and keep rolling four lines in situations that don’t call for him to do that.

    Hopefully he can prove me wrong.  only time will tell, and the fate of the Bruins longtime head coach will rest in the balance over the course of the first few months of the season.  If he is still around by the Winter Classic, I presume that means the Bruins pulled it together.  If not, then we can only keep our fingers crossed that Julien’s replacement sparked the team similar to the way Dave Cameron led the Senators back into the playoffs this past spring.

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