Not to blame, but replaceable
Nobody's denying that the Bruins have the talent to turn things around sooner rather than later, but in the case that they don't turn it around soon, not even the biggest homers can refuse some sort of change.
The problem isn't Claude Julien. There have been far too many injuries to say that. But at some point, relationships between coaches and players go stale. And a few more consecutive stinkers from Julien's squad may very well signal the need for a major shake-up.
Should Julien be the first to go? Probably not, but it may be the only thing that will save the team, especially if the Bruins won't be able to afford Ilya Kovalchuk in a long-term deal.
It's either a coaching change or a big-time trade. I'd prefer the latter, and more specifically, a trade for Kovalchuk, but if that can't happen, Julien may have to go.
Some may say, "But he was the coach of the year last year, right?!?!"
Yes he was, but Julien is no stranger to being fired at odd stages of his career.
In April of 2007, the New Jersey Devils decided to fire Julien, with just a week to go in the regular season, while the team had clinched a playoff spot, and was leading the Atlantic Division with 102 points.
The Devils' general manager at the time, Lou Lamoriello said that he fired Julien because he didn't think the team was ready, mentally, and needed more focus going into the playoffs.
"The decision was made, because of where we were, and the frame of mind, and the way we were doing things," said Lamoriello after firing Julien and taking over behind the bench. "Going into the playoffs, I did not feel it was the right direction we should be in at this time, as simple as that.
"The position I'm in, you make decisions, and you look at all the alternatives . . . You don't make decisions on what the repercussions will be. You make decisions for the right reasons."
New Jersey, coincidentally enough, was also battling injuries to some of their star players. In case you want to refresh your memory on the situation, check out the story from 2007 on ESPN.com.
It seems as if, even with a winning team, the relationship between Julien and Devils players went stale, as Lamoriello also said that Julien did nothing off-ice to get fired, and that Julien "certainly understands."
Is the same thing happening with this Bruins team?
Listen to my take on that during Tuesday's show, as well as my thoughts on a potential Celtics blockbuster trade proposal that would see Ray Allen going to Golden State, by clicking here.
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