Holding Claude Julien Accountable
Analysis by BruinsUnite
When we listen to a post-game analysis from a coach, we want to hear something we didn’t already know before tuning in. That’s why we’re listening to him, and that’s why he’s the coach.
But this isn’t a realistic expectation when it comes to Claude Julien. It’s frustrating to listen to him and it feels like the fans are being cheated. We want the complete experience and we’re not getting it. We pay a pretty penny to attend games and to get NESN broadcasts in our area. So when the game is over, we want to hear the coach say something intelligible. If they want to raise concession prices and sell playoff tickets, one thing they can do is to stop insulting our intelligence.
Julien will say things like “we didn’t have a good start” when the team doesn’t have a good start and “it just wasn’t there” when the energy just wasn’t there. We can get that from watching the game. As I listen to those words, I realize that’s 5 seconds of my day that I’ll never get back. Julien speaks like it’s our pleasure and a luxury to listen to him, and proceeds as though his only real media obligation is to show up and be seen. Well it’s not. The obligation is to communicate.
Let us be fair, however. Last night, he actually communicated for a brief moment, saying:
We gave them the first two goals. I don’t think they had to work very hard for those. The first one, the player comes out of the corner and takes a whack at the loose puck. We should have taken care of that. The second one, we leave a player behind us all by himself. It’s not like they had to work for those two goals in our mind, and it set us back. It’s important here to have good starts and we didn’t have a good start with those first two goals.
So what happened after the first period? Why didn’t the coach walk into the dressing room with authority and find a way to have instill some confidence in his team? A valid question.
I felt the players’ mood tonight from the first moments at warm-up. They crawled onto the ice with their heads down and backs arched, lacking their usual conviction. I foresaw a loss and suddenly wished I hadn’t worn my jersey to the Bell Center. But it was too late. I had been spotted, and heckled at least a dozen times before even finding my way to my seat. That is not an exaggeration.
When asked why he put Rask in net, Julien appealed to statistics, claiming that “Timmy against this team probably has the worst goals average than against any other team.” This is a ludicrous reason to start Rask, who had only played 5 games in the past month. Psychologically, this team needed a win against Montreal and everyone knew it. Did Julien? Maybe he did and was reluctant to tell us his actual reasons for starting Rask. No communication. Perhaps we don’t deserve to hear the truth. And perhaps the Bruins don’t deserve our playoff ticket money.
Julien added: “We felt it was a chance for Tuukka, after winning four in a row, for him to step up and give us an opportunity here. We made that decision and felt comfortable with it and we’ll live with it.” Well this loss isn’t going to be easy for Julien’s team to live with and it’s not going to be easy for Rask to shake it off. No one will be comfortable with what happened last night and the decision to start Rask was wrong. We all know it. Did Julien?
We also know that Julien has committed some serious blunders throughout this season and the last, like consistently putting Blake Wheeler on the powerplay and saving his time-outs like each one could be his last. But the most serious issue here is the powerplay itself. With the talent on the current roster, there is no excuse for the Bruins’ performance. Clearly, the players need guidance and that comes from the coach. Julien might not be in charge of poweplay logistics in this organization but he is in charge of this team. Things have to change very quickly, before the playoffs begin, and something tells me the problem isn’t with the players. An organization that cannot benefit on the powerplay from Kaberle’s presence is an organization that’s not working.