Per Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald, Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs has placed the decision of whether or not to fire coach Claude Julien squarely at the feet of team President Cam Neely and GM Don Sweeney.
This could obviously go one of only two ways, but there’s so many different factors to consider. The fact that the Bruins are even in the playoff hunt is a credit to Julien and to the first-year players that have “succeeded” for him (see: Brandon Carlo, Austin Czarnik). A significantly low statistical year from top center Patrice Bergeron has not helped, and the revolving 3rd defensive pair gives viewers heart palpitations for 10-12 minutes per game.
One factor that some may not consider is whether or not CamDon are willing or able to follow through on this threat. Sure, keeping Claude on the hot seat might motivate the players to play better for him for a few weeks, and it could’ve provided a spark - which is still TBD for this latest heatup - but, if after a couple more weeks the repeated threats haven’t incited an improvement, what’s to give?
The hope here is that Sweeney can find a favorable trade to up the scoring - no small task, given what teams have been asking for from the Bruins - and further hope that whatever scoring help comes in keeps the Bruins above the playoff line. There are defensive prospects on the way that, while they may not be immediately NHL ready, are pretty darn close.
If the Bruins tank here before the trade deadline, expect some players’ heads to roll - but it shouldn’t be Claude. He should be given at least another year, and Sweeneely have to find him some more firepower with which to work.