When it comes to longevity among NHL head coaches, nobody’s beats Barry Trotz and Lindy Ruff.
The two have coached the Predators and Sabres since 1997, respectively, and the next longest-tenured coaches aren’t even close: Detroit’s Mike Babcock (since 2005), Vancouver’s Alain Vigneault (2006) and Boston’s Claude Julien (2007).
Julien recently inked a multi-year extension with the Bruins though, suggesting he’ll be around for a while. And that’s key, as Julien has aspirations of one day matching the kind of tenure Trotz and Ruff have built up in Nashville and Buffalo.
“Well there’s no doubt right now they’ve got to be my idols,” Julien told NESN. “I’d love to be able to do the same thing they did. And I say that sincerely. I love it here and my goal is to continue to coach here and I’m going to do the best I can in order to make that happen.”
While he’s got a ways to go before matching Trotz and Ruff, Julien has began to catch some of the most famous names in Bruins franchise history.
More, from NESN:
His five-year stint already equals the longest run for a head coach in Boston in the last 50 years, matching Don Cherry’s five-year reign from 1974-79. Only Milt Schmidt, with a stint that spanned six-plus seasons from 1954-61, has been behind the Bruins bench for a longer continuous stretch. Julien’s arrival followed a particularly turbulent period for Bruins bench bosses.
Boston ran through six different head coaches in the six seasons before his hiring. Before Julien’s tenure brought an end to the Bruins’ 39-year championship drought, 19 other coaches had run the Bruins’ bench since Tom Johnson guided the club to its last Cup in 1972.
According to Hockey Reference, Julien currently sits four on Boston’s all-time wins chart (with 228), three behind Cherry and 17 behind Schmidt. The winningest coach in Bruins history is Art Ross, with 361.
Remember when many were keeping an eye on Erik Karlsson after he was seemingly cramping up after logging more than 40 minutes in an OT contest against the Boston Bruins.
It’s possible he was also dealing with that sort of ailment, but he earned some “hockey tough” kudos on Sunday after word surfaced that the Ottawa Senators defenseman was dealing with hairline fractures in his left heel through the series.
Sportsnet’s Jason York refers to the issue as “two small fractures” while ESPN’s Joe McDonald went into specifics, noting that Karlsson explains that the injury happened on March 28 (and was why he missed some games late in the season).
There’s some optimism as the Senators ready for the New York Rangers, at least according to Karlsson.
Either way, that’s impressive stuff from the Senators defenseman, and the sort of information that usually only surfaces after a team has been eliminated. We’ll see if he’s hindered by such issues as the playoffs go along.
The NHL officially announced the nominees for the 2017 Lady Byng on Sunday, and they’re a star-studded bunch: Johnny Gaudreau, Mikael Granlund and Vladimir Tarasenko.
The PHWA determines “the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”
(Did Tarasenko help eliminate Granlund’s team in a gentlemanly fashion?)
For more on the three finalists, click here.
It’s a feel-good story, especially if you can look beyond questions of officiating.
Clarke MacArthur could have very well never played another NHL game considering his lengthy battles with concussion symptoms. Instead, he drew a penalty on the Boston Bruins in overtime of Game 6 and then managed to score the series-clinching goal.
Now, this isn’t to say that MacArthur didn’t rightfully draw a penalty; it most clearly was. And, in the bigger picture, it’s one of those stories that almost makes you wonder if real-life sports actually do follow Hollywood scripts.
People just wonder about some other decisions during that overtime, in particular, making it frustrating for some Bruins fans to see the season end in such a way.
Whether they like it or not, that is the case, though.
The Senators took Game 6 by a score of 3-2 (OT), winning their series 4-2. They can breathe a sigh of relief in avoiding a Game 7, an especially valuable bonus since Erik Karlsson had been pushed hard lately, logging more than 40 minutes in a recent game.
Ottawa avoids a do-or-die contest. Instead, they’ll face the New York Rangers in the next round while the Bruins enter the summer following an up-and-down campaign.
Every game in this Senators – Bruins series has been decided by one goal, so why not send Game 6 to overtime?
Oh, and speaking of overtime, this contest going beyond regulation makes it 17 OT games, tying an NHL record for the most in a single round.
Ottawa appeared to take a “lazy change” with a 2-1 lead, and Patrice Bergeron made the Senators pay, putting in a rebound to collect the goal that eventually sent this contest to overtime.