In this edition of the hotstove we discuss whether the Boston Bruins made the right decision relieving Claude Julien of his duties.
I think this was a terrible decision by the Bruins.
I know over a long period of time coaches can be tuned out by their team and stop playing for them. That is certainly not the case here.
At 5v5, the Bruins have controlled ~56% of the shot attempts and ~57% of the scoring chances this season. They rank tops in both categories. The Bruins also have a power play clicking at just under 20% and kill off 86% of their penalties, which is 2nd in the NHL.
They're fantastic at 5v5 and both special teams units are good. The thing really hurting them is goaltending as they are 28th in 5v5 save percentage, ahead of only Colorado and Carolina.
If they had a better backup, and Tuukka Rask didn't have to be riden into the ground, they'd be a lot better off. Oddly enough, that's on management, not Julien.
The Bruins should not have fired Julien. Other than bad luck, they have been one of the NHLs better teams. I don't think their problems had anything to do with coaching. I think given time they'd go on a run and balance out the bad luck, take their position at or near the top of the Conference. Firing Julien is dumb he's probably the best thing about their suspect management team. Terrible move by Boston.
Every team needs a fall guy when things go wrong. The Bruins used Claude Julien as theirs and that's usually what happens when management makes the mistakes but can't see that they are the problem. It was Julien who traded Seguin and Hamilton right? It was Julien who didn't see that Chara would eventually age right? It was Julien who screwed up those three consecutive picks in the 2015 draft right?
While the Bruins may have some on-ice troubles it's not because Julien created them. However, it was his job to fix them and he hasn't been able to. So he's the guy who gets axed. Some team will be happy the Bruins did this, anyone want to place bets who?