Over the course of the last four years one thing has been constant in certain quarters. A small slice of the fans, the squeakiest and shrillest of the media, and often the most outrageous of bloggers have called for the head of Claude Julien on a platter. From the first he’s been derided as boring. He’s been called too rigid. He’s been lashed by the wagging tongue of various talk radio voices right left and center. He’s been called “too defensive” more times than anyone can count. But let’s take a look at some of those numbers.
Goals for rank: Apparently two top five years in four is a sign of being overly conservative and too defensive minded. I did not know this and thank everyone for pointing it out to me.
Shorthanded goals: In all four of Claude Juliens years the penalty killers have been tied for or higher than fifteenth in the league. Yes, that means top half at scoring when you’re trying not to be scored upon. Very conservative.
Playoff appearances: Four of Four.
Points totals: 94, 116, 91, 103 = 101pt average.
Development of young players:
David Krejci has led the team in regular season scoring each of the last two years, and leads this years team in post season scoring.
Phil Kessel had a career high of 36 goals under Julien and has not equaled or exceeded that in two years time in Toronto despite getting about 30% more minutes per year.
Milan Lucic, thirty goal scorer.
Tyler Seguin, Young Stars selection,
Adam McQuaid pressbox to primetime player, was a +30 in the regular season, has peaked at over 19 minutes in the playoffs, was behind Chara and Seidenberg in total hits and blocked shots, despite only 67 games and was. Was 2nd among rookie defensemen in blocked shots and 4th among rookie defensemen in hits.
Brad Marchand, led all rookies and at one point the whole league in short handed goals, was fourth in regular season goals this season for the Bruins, and is third in goals scored in the post season.
Two Northeast division titles, a Jack Adams award for best coach. A Jennings Award for best defensive team, one Vezina trophy win for best goalie, one Norris Trophy for best defensemen, an additional nomination for each of he latter two.
Julien was given a contract extension in the off season, owner Charlie Jacobs recognizes how the players respect him.
So for those key smashers and tongue waggers who have spent three and a half years wanting Julien fired, how about you pick on something else, he’s in a just short of invulnerable position for the next year or so.