Claude Julien Needs to be Fired
The Boston Bruins lost their second game in a row last night, 4-3 to the Edmonton Oilers. Boston is halfway done with their season and are clinging to the final playoff spot in the east with 44 points. While that may not seem too bad, the team's play has not been good. The Bruins continually fall behind early in games, struggle to score goals, and lose at home. There is certainly a lot of blame to go around, but the coach has got to shoulder most of it. Claude Julien cannot motivate this team anymore and appears to be getting tuned out. It's time for a new voice in Boston.
Almost every team in the east have games in hand on the Bruins. Toronto and Tampa Bay both have 42 points and games in hand on the Bruins. Boston may be in a playoff spot now, but once everyone plays the same number of games, it could be a different story. Despite being in the playoff picture, Boston's 20-17-4 record is nothing to be proud of. Even worse is their 9-10 record at home. This team has been wildly inconsistent and unable to string wins together. Boston has not won more than two games in a row since the beginning of December. This team is going nowhere fast, and it is clear that changes need to be made.
The first change I would make is the coach. Claude Julien needs to go. Julien has gotten numerous chances over the last two years, even though his team choked away a playoff spot both seasons. He is out of chances, it's time for him to go. Not everything with this team is his fault. The lousy roster is management's fault, underachieving players are the players' fault, but some of the problems are on the coach and the coach is the easiest thing to change.
One of the biggest issues with this year's Bruins team is not showing up to play. The Bruins continue to have horrible starts to games and give up early goals. It happened again last night when Patrick Maroon scored less than two minutes into the game for Edmonton. The coach needs to make sure his guys are ready to play at the drop of the puck, and Julien is not doing that. He also can't seem to get his team motivated to play on home ice. I've already mentioned the Bruin's horrendous home record, I put a lot of that on Julien. Every coach has a a shelf life, and Claude has expired. He has been a great coach for the Bruins but has been here too long. His voice is obviously stale to the the players, and he's lost his effectiveness as coach. The Bruins need to change a lot of things, but my first move would be to fire Claude Julien. His time has run out in Boston, and it's time for a new voice. If Claude Julien is still the Bruins coach come March, the Bruins will not make the playoffs.