After last night's piss-poor display, is this the reaction you want from your head coach?:
"Well I think the one thing that really didn’t help us tonight is the fact that we had about four or five players really battling the flu."
If these guys were as sick as he claims, why not dress Brad Marchand, Jeff Penner, or Trent Whitfield. At least these guys might have played with some hunger and passion, since they have something to prove.
I'm tried of this guy making excuses and spitting out the same old clichés night after night. Julien lost this team a long time ago. When all the players were saying a few months ago when they were in their slump "this isn't the coach's fault. This is on us.", I wanted to believe them. Now, it is obvious that Claude is a big part of the problem.
One of the biggest problems I have had with Julien this year is that he doesn't hold his players accountable. Look at Dennis Wideman. He is second only to Zdeno Chara in ice time with 23:41 a night. You can not motivate players when you are rewarding them for playing poorly.
Claude Julien had a team that opponents feared playing against last year because they knew they were in for a tough game against the B's. That team toughness has been non-existent this year. They don't skate hard, they don't hit hard, and they don't create offense by going the the danger areas on the ice.
Maybe this is just the coaching product life-cycle of Claude Julien and it looks like we are into the decline phase. Take a look at his past. He has never kept a job with a team for longer than three years. Even more telling is the fact that the Devils fired him while they were in first place and three games away from the start of the playoffs. Coaches in first place don't get fired right before the playoffs unless there is a major concern about his ability to motivate his team.
Of course, it would be a bit hypocritical for Peter Chiarelli to fire Julien, because he is equally at fault. Chiarelli didn't give Julien the right group of players to work with. He never replaced the goals that left town with Phil Kessel, crippled the team's ability to make moves with high-priced long-term contracts and did next to nothing to improve this team at the deadline.
The Bruins need to make some big changes to motivate this team and win back the fans in this town. A shake up is needed and it is needed now. Claude has to go.
Fun Fact: Pat Burns (4 years) is the only Bruins head coach to last more than 3 seasons behind the bench in last 25 years.