Surprised. Shocked. Stunned. Incredulous. Irate. Disappointed. Disgusted.
Use all of those words…and then some…for how I was feeling this morning when the Boston Bruins press conference started and GM Don Sweeney announced that Claude Julien was returning as head coach next year for his 10th season.
I think the reasons for my state of mind were very clearly spelled out in a pair of posts yesterday. But I am still having a hard time coming to grips with the news.
I’ll live of course, so please don’t spend any time worrying about my well-being. As if you were…but what do we have to look forward to next year? I am really scared to even think about it at this very moment.
I just re-listened to Donnie Hockey’s and Claude’s presser. Let’s have a brief chat about some of the answers that were given. Because again, I said so:
*When Sweeney was asked why the quick decision on Julien as compared to last year, one of the things he said was “Claude really wants to be here…” and assorted related drivel.
So what? I’d like to be there too. But I’m not getting the job. Why do I care if he wants to be there? In a related question to Claude, he said he wasn’t one to bail on the situation as it currently was. It shouldn’t have been his option. Or was that a shot at Doc Rivers for bailing on the Celtics in their rebuild? Of course it wasn’t a shot at Doc. Just felt like deflecting for a minute.
Anyway, hopefully the decision to stay wasn’t really in his hands. Sure he could’ve resigned I suppose. But then the B’s would have probably blocked him from working elsewhere for the length of his contract (2 more years)…especially since the NHL went back to not allowing compensation for coaching defections. So was Claude leaving on his own volition truly an option? Doubtful.
*Sweeney, “Claude and I are aligned on what kind of team we want, a defensive style.” Yuck. But also, a lie? Why did Sweens then try to make some moves last year to try to catch up to the state of the NHL these days? Which is not really a defensive style. Interesting…
*Sweeney and Julien both spoke often about “the implementation of youth.” Funny, I didn’t really see much of that this year. Well documented in the previous 2 posts. What I omitted in those was also that Claude refused to play David Pastrnak on the power play this season. Pastrnak should be one of the first guys on the power play, 19 years old or not. No excuse for that not happening.
*Julien, “we felt that we were good enough to make the playoffs this year.” Fantastic. Was that the goal? Reaching for the sky, I see. Lovely.
*Sweeney, channeling his inner Dan Duquette, “take out the first 3 games and the last 13 games and we accumulated a significant run of points.” WHAT?! Sounds like the Duke’s “more days in first place.” Or maybe he was reflecting on Peter Chiarelli’s “only one of 5 teams to make the 2nd round the last 2 years” comment. Or any Major League Baseball pitcher that says, “if you take out my worst 8 starts and only take the best 17, my ERA is under 3.50, instead of 5.27” etc. Bottom line, these quotes are all crap.
*Sweeney, “we don’t anticipate a major overhaul.” And, “I’ve had conversations with all of our unrestricted free agents and if they are serious about coming back, I’d love to have them.”
First, they absolutely need a major overhaul, specifically on defense. Second, do you know who the UFA’s are? Here’s the list I saw: Eriksson, Kelly, Stempniak, Liles, Kevan Miller, Gustavsson, Talbot, Irwin, Kemppainen and other minor leaguers no one’s heard of. If they don’t bring ANY of those guys back, I wouldn’t mind it at all. Loui, cuz I don’t want to overpay for him. The others? Meh…
*Sweeney, “Kevan Miller had a good year.” I admit, I did not watch every minute of every game. Not even close. But those who did would surely not say the same thing. Nice plus-minus though, I guess that was the key. Disturbing to hear Sweens kind of mention Miller and Adam McQuaid as part of the core. Ummmmm…
*Julien, in response to a question on whether the players had stopped listening (also related to the assistant coaches), “No.” I may beg to differ. That’s why guys were dealt last offseason, wasn’t it? Clean up the locker room? Should be another reason why some guys should go this year too…as long as Claude is staying.
*While we are on the assistant coaches, Sweeney, “Doug Houda will not be returning and the other assistants’ contracts are up. Claude and I are discussing this…” Yup. The assistants will be the scapegoats.
*Sweeney, “players came to me and said “sometimes when we gave up one goal, it felt like 2.”” I guess I’m not sure what this means. A shot at the offense and not being able to come back in games because the lead seemed insurmountable? Well, Sweeney later said that “we were 5th in the league in scoring, we just couldn’t keep it out of our net at times.” So which one is it?
*Sweeney, “we had a lot of trouble with 2nd periods.” Yup, that’s what I was thinking. Damn 2nd periods. Really screwed them up this year.
*Sweeney, “understanding shooting lanes may be all our young defense needs.” Nope. They need to play, for one. Not get their minutes jerked around. They likely need lots of other things too. Understanding shooting lanes is likely only a small part of what they need.
*Julien was also asked a question, where part of it was “Patrice Bergeron said you were the best coach he ever had…” Bergy has played most of his NHL career under Julien. What else was he supposed to say? He had Mike Sullivan as a coach for two years and Dave Lewis for one. Not hard to call Claude his best coach in comparison. Or was he comparing one of his Junior coaches? Providence B’s coach? Bergy’s statement means nothing to me. Stupid to even bring it up.
So even though the press conference turned out to be different from what I thought (and hoped), it was still pretty laughable. What else are Claude and Donnie supposed to say, I suppose? I’d rather have had them not have a presser. It certainly decreased my confidence…as I am sure it did to many others.
Is that what they wanted? Lower the expectations for next year even more? Maybe. Either way, not much of anything encouraging came out today. To me anyway.
Let’s see what Cam and the family Jacobs has to say next week…can’t wait…
Posted on April 14, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged Boston Bruins, Cam Neely, Charlie Jacobs, Claude Julien, Dan Duquette, David Pastrnak, Don Sweeney, Jeremy Jacobs, Kevan Miller, Loui Eriksson, NHL, Patrice Bergeron, Peter Chiarelli, Stanley Cup. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.