Photo: Scott Eisen Associated Press
With Claude Julien, the Bruins have won the first Stanley Cup in 39 years in 2011.
There are about 11 month, Claude Julien was to indicate the exit door by the Boston Bruins. Despite this, he had something to be proud of the work he has done during the decade that he spent at the helm of the team.
It’s what people think journalists Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald, and Fluto Shinzawa, the Boston Globe, interviewed by The canadian Press in a few weeks of the first meeting of the season between Julian and his former team, which will take place Saturday night at the Bell Centre.
“Excellent, superb, remarkable ; your qualifier is mine” sums up Shinzawa when asked to describe the overall work of Julien with the Bruins.
“Until its last two seasons, his reign was a great success,” says Conroy, who covers the team on a regular basis for the past fifteen years.
The list of winners of Julien in Boston is instructive. With him to the guides, the Bruins have won the first Stanley Cup in 39 years in 2011. Two springs later, Julien lived another final.
On the individual level, its 419 victories give him the first rank in the history of the organization. Only Don Cherry shows a better success rate (,658 against ,614) among the men who spent at least five seasons behind the bench of the team.
Julien has accomplished all that after being entrusted by Peter Chiarelli, in June 2007, the mandate of redressing an organization proud and famous who had to miss the series in the two preceding campaigns. And four times in seven seasons.
“In 2007, he took over a group that counted on good things, like Zdeno Chara and Marc Savard, among others. He has introduced a defensive system, helped the team to participate in the playoffs, and the Bruins have pushed the Canadian to a seventh game in the first round of a series that nobody thought she was going to be competitive, ” says Conroy.
According to Shinzawa, who has started to follow the Bruins in 2006, Julien was able to make good players even better. Their triumph in 2011 is largely due to the work of Julien and the players that he helped develop along the way, nods approval.
“Patrice Bergeron has become a fully-featured player, and now he is possibly the best centre in the three zones of the rink. Chara wanted to be a dominant presence in Ottawa, but he became the best defender defensive in the league. Goalies Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask have won the trophy Vezina under his direction. “
Moments of pressure
This rebirth of the Bruins has not done without obstacles. In the spring of 2010, the Bruins found themselves on holiday during the second round of the series after having squandered a lead of three games to zero against the Philadelphia Flyers.
“The team was decimated by injuries, recalls Conroy. David Krejci smashed the Flyers when he was the victim of a broken wrist as a result of a failure, legal, Mike Richards. There were other injuries, but that Krejci has changed everything. “
A year after this elimination, heart-breaking, the Bruins and Julien have found themselves in a precarious position after losing at home the first two games of their series of first round against the Canadian. Rumors, circulated previously, were amplified.
“I remember that I was at the Chateau Champlain with people in the business and there was talk of potential successors if Julien were to be fired, says Conroy. It is a little of what everyone felt. But we know the story : the Bruins came back by winning three games in overtime. And then, they have won the Stanley Cup. “
A season hinge
Winner of the trophée Jack-Adams in 2009, Julien has guided the Bruins to the Trophy of the Presidents in 2013-2014 with a harvest of 117 points. But then a little while the world thought to be able to crack the champagne another time, they fell in front of the Canadian in the 2nd round.
This is the last time that Julien led the Bruins to the playoffs.
“If Carey Price doesn’t keep the goals as he did, the Bruins win the series, supports Shinzawa. Price has completely changed the game. We had the impression that this defeat has followed the team for a good part of the next season. “
“Over time, Julien was working with a sword of Damocles hanging over his head, and it began to weigh on the players,” says Conroy. Last year, I thought that Julien would be able to reverse the steam, but the team has never managed to align the victories. It happened only after the change of coach. “
Wednesday next, Julien will make a return to the TD Garden, and without knowing how it will be received by the supporters of the Bruins — after all, he now leads the sworn enemy — Conroy and Shinzawa wish to receive a beautiful home.
“If Julian remained so long with the Bruins, it is because he has been a professional, because he has taken the best out of his players and he treated them with respect, has observed Shinzawa. The Bruins have taken part in the series in seven consecutive seasons. We can not dispute its results. “