Following his team’s third consecutive loss on Friday night, Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien was in no mood to address the speculation that his job is in jeopardy.
He was more willing to address it on Saturday afternoon following practice.
In a lengthy answer, Julien said he is not worried about his situation because his job as a hockey coach is to fix things, not worry about his job status.
Here is more of Julien’s response, via Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald
“My job is to do everything I can. And if I become one of the reasons that we’re not doing well, then management has to make that decision. It’s not my decision.
“I’m not quitting on the team. I’m not quitting on management. I’m not quitting on anybody. I’m willing to go through the hard times. If it’s deemed my fault, then I shouldn’t be here. That’s all I can say. But that’s not my decision to make.
“We’re going with what we said we’d go with – that there would be some growing pains along the way. So be it. Did we put ourselves in a position earlier in the season to maybe (be) a team that all of sudden we believed was a playoff team? Absolutely. I still think we’re a playoff team, whether we can do it or not. My job is to everything I can to get us into the playoffs. That’s what I’m going to do.
“So, as far as rumors are concerned, I know they’re out there. But I don’t get concerned about the. Because worrying is wasting a lot of my time – and my time is about trying to fix things here.”
After narrowly missing the playoffs the past two seasons, and seemingly putting Julien on the hot seat after each one, the Bruins enter the weekend occupying the third playoff spot in the Atlantic Division even though they are currently on pace for fewer points than they accumulated the past two seasons.
Overall, this has been a bizarre season for the Bruins.
The front office did none of what it promised to do over the summer and left Julien with a flawed roster in some key areas (especially on defense). Despite that the team has still had the look of a playoff team but hasn’t quite had the results go their way. After finishing the 2015-16 season as one of the highest scoring teams in the league, the offense has dropped off a bit this season even though they are one of the best teams in the league when it comes to generating shots and chances.
Just about the only thing that has worked out for the Bruins this season is Tuukka Rask bouncing back from a down year and returning to be one of the best goalies in the league (and helping to mask some of the flaws on the defense) and the division itself being a little worse.