NHL

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Nothing upsets Teflon Claude

Criticisms, compliments slide right off Bruins coach

  • Print
Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien barks orders to his bench in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final in Chicago. At least one player seems to be paying attention.

NAM Y. HUH / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ARCHIVES Enlarge Image

Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien barks orders to his bench in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final in Chicago. At least one player seems to be paying attention.

BOSTON -- Claude Julien doesn't pay much attention to compliments or criticism.

Just give him a pair of skates, players to teach and a spot behind the bench and the coach of the Boston Bruins is thrilled.

"If I could come to work every day, do this stuff, then walk out of the rink and nobody knew who I was, I'd be the happiest guy in the world," he says. "That's just the way I am. It's my personality."

It's tough for him to be anonymous, however, when he's three wins from a second Stanley Cup championship in three years. Especially after he's taken his team to the playoffs in each of his six years as coach and has the second-most post-season victories of any NHL coach in that stretch.

He would have notched his 50th, one less than Mike Babcock of Detroit, if the Bruins won Monday night in Game 3 against the Chicago Blackhawks.

'I've been here for six years. I think I've been fired five times... As long as the people I work for appreciate what we do, that's what matters. At the end of the day, winning hockey games for our fans and for the city is what matters to me'

-- Claude Julien

Then there's recognition Julien really doesn't want -- the repeated rumblings that he might get fired if he doesn't win a particular post-season series.

Julien was honoured as coach of the year for his regular-season performance in 2008-09. But the next season when the Bruins lost to the Philadelphia Flyers in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals after winning the first three games, there were calls for his exit.

Good thing general manager Peter Chiarelli, a staunch supporter of Julien, didn't listen.

The next year the Bruins captured their first Stanley Cup since 1972, winning three of their four series in seven games and taking the title with a 4-0 victory in Vancouver in Game 7.

But when Boston lost to Washington in the first round last season, the critics returned. And it didn't get better when the Bruins nearly blew a 3-1 series lead to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round this year.

"I've been here for six years. I think I've been fired five times," Julien said to laughter. "You know, those kinds of things really are not important to me. What's important is the results. As long as the people I work for appreciate what we do, that's what matters. At the end of the day, winning hockey games for our fans and for the city is what matters to me. That stuff is really no bother to me."

He said that after the Bruins swept the favoured Pittsburgh Penguins in the conference finals.

His detractors have been silenced.

"I think definitely, Claude takes a lot of heat, too, when things don't go well, but he handles it on an even keel," left-winger Daniel Paille said. "I think it kind of relates the message to us as players and I think that's why we've been able to succeed so far..."

The speedy Paille has reason to admire his coach.

He scored the winning goal in Boston's 2-1 overtime win in Game 2 in Chicago after Julien put Tyler Seguin, maybe even faster than Paille, on his line after the team's listless opening period Saturday night. Seguin made a perfect pass from the boards and Paille fired the puck past goalie Corey Crawford.

Sometimes knocked for playing too defensively and being slow to change, Julien made the right move to generate offence.

"I think he makes great adjustments," Seguin said. "You've got to give him credit. He's a great coach. He's definitely got a lot of experience at this level and in these situations."

He could have had more.

But with three games left in the 2006-07 regular season and the New Jersey Devils leading the Atlantic Division, Julien was fired by general manager Lou Lamoriello, who took over as interim coach. The Devils lost in the Eastern Conference semifinals

In his last game, Julien beat the Bruins 3-1. It was the Devils' fourth win in five games, but Lamoriello said he felt they weren't ready for the playoffs. Julien reacted calmly.

"You're thinking you're going to be heading into the playoffs and you're getting mentally prepared for that," he said then. "You don't want to be let go with three games left in the season, but at the same time, everybody has a job to do, and that's a part of the game you have to understand."

The Bruins hired him before the next season after one year under Dave Lewis and two straight finishes out of the playoffs. Since then, they're 275-146-56 in the regular season and 49-31 in the playoffs.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 19, 2013 D4

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Doug Speirs trains for role in Nutcracker

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060711 Chris Pedersen breeds Monarch butterflies in his back yard in East Selkirk watching as it transforms from the Larva or caterpillar through the Chrysalis stage to an adult Monarch. Here an adult Monarch within an hour of it emerging from the Chrysalis which can be seen underneath it.
  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 101130-Winnipeg Free Press Columns of light reach skyward to the stars above Sanford Mb Tuesday night. The effect is produced by streetlights refracting through ice crystals suspended in the air on humid winter nights. Stand Up.....

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Who should get more playing time in Jets net?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google