Before the second round of the playoffs last season, 99% of fans, media and pink hats who heard Felger talk wanted Julien fired. If you say any different you’re a liar. At one point or another you either said or wrote the words “Fire Julien!” somewhere. We were no different. We openly admit that. We all thought we were better at back seat coaching than Claude Julien was at actually coaching.
Fans (and when we say fans in this post we include ourselves in that group) and some media talked about how he wasn’t playing raw rookie Seguin enough, how he wasn’t motivating the team enough, how he wasn’t giving Shawn Thornton enough powerplay time (okay, maybe that was only us).
Then a funny thing happened. Julien pimped slapped every single one of us and showed us how things get done.
It was like Julien was just waiting for the right time. He read and heard the comments. He admitted as much. But he didn’t care. He then proceeded to dominate Philly, out coach the incredibly overrated 1-3-1 defense of Tampa Bay without bitching about it like Philly and Chris Pronger and then in the Finals he absolutely EMBARRASSED Alain Vigneault. Canucks fans will say “how can you embarrass someone in a SEVEN game series?!”
Give it up. The Finals weren’t nearly as close as the seven games indicated. The Bruins players, not coaches, HANDED the Canucks the first two games. Every time Vigneault made a move, Julien countered it beautifully. None of Vancouver’s lines got in any rhythm because Julien was mixing and matching so beautifully.
By the time Julien was done with him, Vigneault was nothing but a whiny, excuse making mess. He was stunned.
Why? Because Julien is a master scientist. A chemistry expert. And this season he is showing the same touch.
After the jump…..Julien knows his chemistry…..
Like we said, Julien just abused the Canucks. His strategies and his decisions were masterful. Vancouver didn’t stand a chance.
Bergeron and Marchand were beasts and Thomas played out of his mind but Julien’s coaching in the playoffs, and that series in particular, was outstanding and as a result Boston got what they deserved and Julien could rub it in our faces.
When the season started and the Bruins were struggling everyone got their undies in a bunch except for Julien. He was juggling lines left and right and people began to wonder what the hell he was doing. How quickly people forget.
Julien was busy in his lab doing experiments on the Bruins.
It was the subtle things that you may not have noticed. Seguin has been on fire the whole season. Lucic started off by doing his best impression of the Invisible Man. The result? Seguin sparked Lucic. The pairing produced a good number of points and Lucic got his confidence back.
But Julien wasn’t done. Not at all. Not this science guy.
With Lucic back on track, Julien decided to do a little test. The entire first line had been off this season but with Lucic reignited he put Lucic, Krejci and Horton back together and they have been clicking since. They look like a completely different line and all they needed was that little spark.
But his best work? Seguin was showing his offensive flare and needed more freedom and more space. Marchand, Boston’s resident pest, is good at creating that space with his playing style and Bergeron is the most underrated two way forward in the NHL. Julien mixed up his lines, put the three together and since then NHL coaches have been crapping their pants whenever the Bruins Legion of Doom steps onto the ice.
Seguin has the freedom to use his creativeness, Marchand crashes around clearing the path and Bergeron makes sure the line doesn’t give up any chances while they’re doing their thing. Absolutely perfect line. They’re averaging roughly 38 points per game together. Ridiculous.
In fact every line on the team is clicking, all playing their part to make the Bruins run like a well oiled machine. Whatever anyone says about Julien, they can’t deny his talent in the chemistry department. Julien has worked his system, lines and philosophy to perfection and now the Bruins are kicking ass AND chewing bubble gum. Don’t mess with Claude Julien: Chemistry Expert.