With the NHL regular season completed, the fate of several coaches whose clubs failed to reach the playoffs is a hot topic of discussion. Much of the focus is upon Claude Julien of the Boston Bruins.
Since joining the Bruins in 2007-08, Julien’s guided them to four division titles, a Presidents’ Trophy in 2013, two Stanley Cup Finals and a championship in 2011. Over the past two seasons, however, the Bruins fell short of the playoffs. Their recent failure has some in the Boston media calling for a coaching change.
If Julien is let go by the Bruins, he won’t be unemployed for long. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggests the Ottawa Senators could come calling if they decide to drop bench boss Dave Cameron. Read more
For the second consecutive season, the Bruins won’t be heading to the post-season, and that’s sure to have everyone in Boston’s front office on edge in the coming weeks. When evaluations are done of the team, staff and the season that was, coach Claude Julien could very well find himself on the unemployment line, but that shouldn’t necessarily be the case.
Julien’s job was on the line before the season began, and of that there’s little doubt. After the firing of GM Peter Chiarelli by the Bruins in April 2015, the hiring of Don Sweeney as Chiarelli’s replacement had some wondering what the fate of Julien would be. It took a full 15 days from Sweeney’s hiring for the Bruins to state, for certain, Julien would be back behind the bench. It was never said publicly but it always seemed evident Julien’s fate would be tied in part to Boston’s ability to bounce back and get into the playoffs this season.
With the regular season over, though, the Bruins are on the outside looking in, and now, five years removed from a Stanley Cup victory, Boston has missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. But even though the consecutive post-season misses have come with Julien behind the bench, it would seem unjust were he to take the brunt of the blame for Boston’s woes. Read more
It’s not the way the Detroit Red Wings would have drawn it up, but they’re heading to the post-season for the 25th consecutive season after the Boston Bruins fell 6-1 to the Ottawa Senators in the final game of their respective campaigns.
The Red Wings bounced in and out of the post-season over the final month of the season, and in their final game of the campaign they needed a victory of their own or a loss by the Bruins in order to land in the playoffs. While Detroit was unable to complete the comeback and lost 3-2 to the New York Rangers, the Bruins couldn’t make good on their own chance to control their fate.
Before the puck had even dropped Saturday, though, the Bruins knew a tough task lay ahead them as goaltender Tuukka Rask was unable to play in the game due to an illness. With Rask out and clinching a post-season berth on the line, the Bruins turned to goaltender Jonas Gustavsson and made an emergency recall of netminder Jeremy Smith. Read more
The late-season scoreboard watching will continue into the final weekend of the NHL regular season.
The Boston Bruins beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-2 on Thursday night to pull into a tie for third place in the Atlantic Division. Detroit could have clinched a playoff berth for the 25th consecutive season, but struggled on the second night of back-to-back games against teams fighting for their playoff lives.
As a whole, this has not been a very good campaign for Jimmy Howard. The Red Wings netminder lost his job to young upstart Petr Mrazek and has some of the worst individual stats of any goalie who has played at least 30 games in the NHL this season.
But man, did Howard come up big last night.
Patrick Kane reached 100 points in style.
The Chicago Blackhawks right winger became the first player to hit the century mark this season thanks to a four-point effort in a 6-4 win over the Boston Bruins on Sunday afternoon. Kane’s milestone occurred when he one-timed a pass from linemate Artemi Panarin on a 2-on-1, beating Bruins goalie Jonas Gustavsson at 14:16 of the second period. The power-play goal gave Kane his second hat trick of the season.
Bruins winger Brad Marchand had never cracked the 30-goal mark before this season began, but watching some of the goals he has scored this season leave one wondering how that’s even possible. Tuesday night against the New Jersey Devils, Marchand scored one of the nicest goals of the season and he made it look easy.
Less than five minutes into the second period, Marchand was cutting through the neutral zone when he was spotted by Zdeno Chara, who rifled a pass that was just behind Marchand. Reaching back, Marchand was able to get enough on the puck to tap it between his own legs and drag it toward Devils defensemen Damon Severson and Andy Greene. Both New Jersey defenders closed on Marchand, but it was the pesky Bruin who was able to sneak free, go in alone on Devils goaltender Keith Kinkaid and deke him out of position: Read more
Everything is happening right now, as Bob Cole would say. You’ve got the Jimmy Vesey saga in Nashville, Zach Werenski signing with Columbus and Pittsburgh grabbing college free agent Ethan Prow out of St. Cloud State. Plus, the CHL playoffs are in full swing, with a couple upstarts threatening the top seeds. In the OHL for example, Sarnia is in trouble thanks to a surging Sault Ste. Marie squad, while Edmonton is giving powerhouse Brandon fits in the WHL. Oh, and the Frozen Four is set, with Quinnipiac, Boston College, North Dakota and Denver all in the mix for April 7. Let’s keep the prospect party going: