The Montreal Canadiens have turned to Claude Julien as head coach in an attempt to avert another collapse, the National Hockey League team announced.
I get that. But now a smart and dedicated head coach has the opportunity to lead a team with more talent and Stanley Cup potential all while shoving it in your face, just doesn't make sense to me.
Julien was sacked by the Bruins February 7 this year. Bergevin said he respected the coach, which made it hard to do, according to ESPN. Before that, he coached the Penguins from the midpoint of the 2005-06 season, when he replaced Ed Olczyk, to the midpoint of the 2008-09 season, when he was replaced by Dan Bylsma, leading Pittsburgh to the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals along the way.
Bergevin reportedly requested permission from the Bruins on Sunday to speak with Julien - the same day that Boston shut out Montreal 4-0, and just days after Bergevin met in private with veterans Max Pacioretty, Carey Price and Shea Weber - and without Therrien.
Julien had led the Bruins to a 26-23-6 record (58 points) through 55 games this season. The contrast of a team with newfound objective and energy, against a team who has been leading for so long that they seem to have lost their focus, was extremely apparent during this game.
While Julien's tenure was highlighted by multiple playoff runs and a championship, the Bruins have missed the playoffs in the last two seasons, the only times they've done that since he succeeded Dave Lewis behind the bench. That concern and Montreal's recent slump basically forced the Habs' management to make some kind of move, and they opted for a common one: firing the head coach. I am confident that he will be able to put our team back on the road to victory, "said Canadian General Manager Marc Bergevin".
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Julien, 56, coached the Bruins to a 419-246-94 record during his 10 seasons in Boston, including a Stanley Cup title in 2010-11. The change is a bold one for Montreal, swapping out Michel Therrien for a new voice behind the bench with two dozen games left in the season, but a wise decision given Julien is one of the best coaches in the league today.
Julien, of course, was sacked last week by those very same Bruins.
The Canadiens enjoyed limited success under Julien, reaching the second round of the playoffs in 2004 but going no further.
But if you're the Bruins, it's best to play it safe and hope the Canadiens aren't on the post-season docket.
"That being said, I've reached the conclusion we were at a turning point and that is why I decided to make this change in the club's best interests". In the brief time between jobs, Julien's former team won three games under interim coach Bruce Cassidy. He will be charged with breathing life into a Montreal team that for the second year in a row has sputtered after a great start.