Friends with the Monster?

By Eric Lizzul
Feb. 15, 2017

Can we talk about the ultimate nut punch the Montreal Canadiens gave to the Boston Bruins yesterday? First of all, I think the decision to get rid of Claude Julien was a big time mistake. Julien is considered to be one of the best coaches in the NHL and Boston just told him to pack his bags.

Some positives have come from this situation for Boston. The hefty contract that Claude Julien carried with him has been shipped over to Montreal for the next couple of years. Since the Bruins have fired Julien, they have been on quite the tear going on a three game winning streak. Bruce Cassidy has been named the interim head coach since Julien was relieved from his head coaching duties. Cassidy has had some solid coaching experience in the NHL. He was with the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks for a couple of years, but he really made an impact with the Bruins AHL affiliate, the Providence Bruins. He was with Providence for 8 years and was called up to the big leagues in May of 2016.

Boston has created a monster not only for themselves, but for the rest of the Eastern Conference. Now like I said before, since the Bruins have fired Julien, they’ve been on a nice winning streak, but how long is that going to last? We’ve seen similar situations with the New York Islanders and the St. Louis Blues this season after their head coaches were told to box up their belongings. Claude Julien is one of the most respected head coaches in the NHL. He was also the longest tenured head coach in the league. So why did they fire him? No idea. To me it was a management issue and not only a present management issue, but a past one as well. The Bruins have made poor trades in the past that have ultimately made their defense thinner than a Victoria secret models waistline. They are also working with one goaltender. Tuukka Rask has proven to be a top goaltender in the league, but the guy can’t play 82 games. There hasn’t been a reliable back up in Boston for quite some time now. Boston has some lethal goal scorers, but many teams have found out the hard way that just having a strong offense can’t win games, especially playoff games.

In my opinion, this wasn’t on Julien. The recent woes Boston has had in the last two and a half seasons has been due to the the lack of depth they have had. Montreal had to ask Boston for permission to speak to Julien, which out of respect for Julien, Boston allowed. I get that. But now a smart and dedicated head coach has the opportunity to lead a team with more talent and Stanley Cup potential all while shoving it in your face, just doesn’t make sense to me. I am not taking anything away from Boston because they have tremendous talent and potential, but they don’t have the depth to win a Stanley Cup right now. Montreal made the ultimate power move and went out and snatched up Julien before any other team had the chance to talk to him. That’s a winning attitude. Montreal is going to be a much more lethal team once they come back from their bye-week. Mark my words.

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