Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Fire Claude Julien...
After watch the debacle that was a 3-0 shutout loss by the Bruins last night it became clear (if it wasn't already) that this team is not ready to contend for anything at the moment.
With a team that is at or above the salary cap and filled with a number of skilled players who are locked into long term contracts (admittedly the result of the GM and not the coach), Julien has what he has and is not going to be seeing any major moves come his way to shake up the roster or improve the skill he has on hand. Nor is he likely to make wholesale changes to his defensive minded "system".
Claude's system has resulted in the lowest goals allowed total in the league--but also results in a team that can't score and can't come from behind. When the Bruins get down a goal you know the game is lost because they'll continue to play defense and ignore the need to score. Julien's recent and multiple benchings of Tyler Seguin makes me think that players are so afraid of not conforming to the "system" that it is impeding their ability to score. Do you really want that kind of coach overseeing the development of the #2 pick in the draft, someone with incredible scoring ability?
Has Claude helped turn things around in Boston? Certainly. He helped provide a stabilizing force on the Bruins bench when they were the worst team in the league. He and his system can keep the team from falling too far as they will never be ones to consistently let up easy goals. The downside is that they will remain "trapped" for lack of a better word, in Julien's system as long as he is there and will not (as evidenced by his record of taking teams to, but not deep, in the playoffs) realize their full potential.
Despite the Bruins good start and second place standings in their division, they are currently the LAST team eligible for the playoffs and barely ahead of the 9th place team in the conference. Does Chiarelli, Neely and the Jacobs family really want to risk missing the playoffs?? The Bruins have (had?) a chance to get back on the front pages of the Boston sports scene with the down year and ratings the Sox had in '10, the aging Celtics and supposedly rebuilding Pats...But that was so three months ago. Now its clear the Pats are Super Bowl contenders, the Celtics (while old) still have enough gas in the tank to take another run, and the Sox are on a spending spree of epic proportions to try and grab another ring.
If the Bruins are not going to be overshadowed and overlooked they need to win--now...
Hey Claude, thanks for the memories (!?!) but now its time for you to go and for the Bruins to get beyond your mini-mite style of coaching--and quickly...