Boston Bruins Claude Julien Receives Too Much Blame


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The Boston Bruins fan-base and media may be blaming Claude Julien too much for the unsuccessful 2014-15 season. That’s the response that will be received if Brad Marchand is asked about it, at least. “I think he does (get blamed too much),” Marchand said. “That’s part of hockey, though. The coach sometimes takes the brunt of it all. But he’s a really good coach. We’re lucky to have him here, and we’re all going to benefit from him being here.”

Brad Marchand isn’t wrong, either. Claude Julien’s record with the Bruins is an impressive 351-192-79, with one Stanley Cup win and one more Stanley Cup Finals appearance. Not many coaches can claim that much success with a team in modern day sports, and Claude Julien has handled the criticism professionally, and accordingly. “To be honest with you, it really isn’t a burden for me,” he said. “It’s not a concern for me. As I’ve always said, we know as coaches what our job security is, and it’s not very big. And we’re based on our performances and assessed by people that assess not just wins and losses but the situation and expectations. I’m good where I am right now. … This is a place that I’ve felt really comfortable with the people around me, the organization, the city, the fan base and also, I love working for this organization. So I just keep coming in every day, try to do my best here and try to last as long as I can.”

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  • While the opinion of one Bruins player, and the coach in question might not hold much weight for a job evaluation, the voice of the team president might. Cam Neely interjected his thoughts on Claude Julien’s job security, and was pretty emphatic on the fact that it isn’t a fair question to be asking. “I just wanted to jump in on that because I’ve read some things where people have mentioned that Claude can be on the hot seat. I think it’s unfair to say that,” Neely said. “(New general manager Don Sweeney) came to us with how he’d like to see the team play. He’s had many conversations with Claude about that. But a lot of things happen throughout the course of the year that’s not necessarily just on the coach. So I mean it’s unfair. I know why certain things are said at times. But it’s really unfair to start the season where it’s out there where the coach could be on the hot seat. I think it’s unfair to Claude.”

    Claude Julien has done his best with the Bruins since taking over as the head coach, and success has followed. His methods might not always be agreed with, and there will always be a call for his firing from fans that are a little sour about the way young players like Phil Kessel, Tyler Seguin, and even Dougie Hamilton never hit their full potential in his system. While that may be true in the case of those players mentioned, it certainly wasn’t the case for Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, among others. The system might require a certain style of player, but the system has worked, and hopefully will continue to work moving forward.

    The 2015-16 season will be the start of a new chapter for the Bruins. Peter Chiarelli is out as the General Manager and Don Sweeney is in. Players have been traded or let go, and players have been traded for and signed. The new chapter might not immediately lead to a Stanley Cup, but change was needed, and Claude Julien, for at least the start, will be the head coach for this next chapter. While he might remain on the metaphorical hot-seat regardless of these comments, it shouldn’t be any more-so than any other head coach in the National Hockey League.

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