Zdeno Chara

Chara updates rehab progress, calls its ‘such a slow process’

Zdeno Chara doesn’t know when he’ll be back. He’s not ruling out surgery for his injured knee either.

“We’ll see,” Chara said, per CSN New England. “It’s always nice to be able to avoid surgeries. We’ll see how it goes, but [not having to undergo an operation immediately, and perhaps avoiding it altogether] was good news.”

He added: “I wish I could tell you exactly when I could return, but it’s such a slow process. Who knows when the date is going to be? You want to be playing, that’s for sure. You want to do your part rehabbing, and try to get back as soon as possible.”

The Bruins estimated that Chara would miss 4-6 weeks from the end of October.

Boston is 3-1-0 without the big defenseman.

Related: Rask surprised to learn Bruins have won five of seven

Bruins’ Julien is ‘still very hungry to win another Stanley Cup’


Few NHL coaches enjoy the success and job security that Claude Julien’s managed with the Boston Bruins.

He’s currently in his eighth season behind the B’s bench, and with a multi-year contract confirmed, he could very well be this team’s head coach for more than a decade.* Even with rare job security, Julien told CSNNE.com that his drive hasn’t faded.

“As a coach, personally, it’s about understanding that if you think you have it all figured it out then you’re in trouble,” Julien said. “You keep learning, and every year or so there are things that change in our game. The thing that I feel the most is that no matter what we’ve accomplished, I still feel very hungry to win another Stanley Cup.”

The veteran coach added, “as long as I have that fire in the belly, I’m extremely happy being in this organization as long as they’ll have me.”

It’s difficult to see why the Bruins would opt against keeping Julien (and GM Peter Chiarelli) around for the foreseeable future.

Even with a tough 7-6-0 start to 2014-15, the Bruins’ record with Julien at the helm is pretty stunning: 317-169-65, with a Stanley Cup, two championship round appearacnes and a steady run of postseason success.

The timing of the extension is pretty clever, too.

Julien can focus on getting the most out of a battered Bruins blueline without the stress of wondering about his long-term financial future. He has his work cut out for him with 6-foot-9 safety net Zdeno Chara out of the mix for quite some time, yet this is also a chance to once again prove that Boston can shake off the challenges that frequently surface during an 82-game regular season.

He certainly has a sterling record of succeeding in that regard, so far.

* – Sports will teach you that a coach’s contract isn’t the sturdiest shield when a team starts to think about making a change …

Bruins confirm Julien’s extension

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The Boston Bruins confirmed that they’ve signed head coach Claude Julien to a contract extension. While reports indicated that it’s a three-year deal, Boston merely deems it a “multi-year contract.”

(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.

Report: Coach Julien inks three-year extension with Bruins


The Boston Bruins have agreed to a three-year contract extension with coach Claude Julien, according to CBC’s Elliotte Friedman. The 54-year-old is in his eighth season as the Bruins’ bench boss.

When Julien took over the team, Boston had missed the postseason for two straight campaigns and hadn’t won a playoff series over its last seven seasons. Under his guidance though, Boston has reached the postseason for seven straight years and in 2011, the Bruins won their first championship since the 1970s. They made it to the finals again in 2013, but lost to Chicago.

Not including tonight’s game against Ottawa, Julien has won 435 career regular season games, which is good for 28th place on the all-time head coaching list. Julien also won the Jack Adams Award in 2009.

This season might be one of his most challenging in years though. The Bruins were forced to watch Jarome Iginla walk over the summer due to cap restraints and they traded defenseman Johnny Boychuk for the same reason. They’re also trying to get by right now without Zdeno Chara (knee), Torey Krug (finger), and David Krejci (undisclosed).

Bruins trying to get above .500 tonight without Krejci

The Boston Bruins have a chance to get above .500 for the first time since they won their season opener, but they will have to do so without David Krejci. He was a late scratch for tonight’s game against the Ottawa Senators.

Krejci didn’t participate in Friday’s practice, but Bruins coach Claude Julien seemed pretty confident he would be available anyways, per CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty.

With Krejci out of the lineup, Chris Kelly is playing alongside Milan Lucic and Seth Griffith.

This is obviously a big blow for the Bruins. Krejci came into this game as their leader with nine points in nine contests. On top of that, Boston is missing key blueliners Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara.