(The NHL: where teams are needlessly opaque about more than just injuries.)
It’s easy to forget the sorry state the Bruins were in before Julien and GM Peter Chiarelli turned things around. This is Julien’s eighth season behind the bench in Boston.
Perhaps the worst criticism you can lob at Julien is that he seemingly butts heads with the occasional finesse player. Forgive the potential oversimplification, but some might argue that he was at least part of the reason that the team eventually traded the likes of Phil Kessel and Tyler Seguin.
Even if that’s true, the Bruins should gladly take the limited “bad” with the abundant good; Chiarelli guided the Bruins to their first Stanley Cup win in decades during that exciting 2011 playoff run and helped them get to the final round in 2013.
They’ve now made the playoffs seven seasons in a row and won four division titles under Julien’s watch, so Boston’s enjoyed consistent success along with those especially high moments.
The 2014-15 season may very well provide his biggest test as a coach in some time, too. With Zdeno Chara out and other injuries/free agent losses threatening the team’s ability to dominate, Julien is tasked with getting the most out of the talent available.
Luckily, he’s shown a knack for doing just that.