There is no doubt the Bruins have struggled recently, dropping a hideous 4-2 decision to the last place Islanders on Tuesday night, and the B’s are a medicore 4-4-2 in their last 10 games. So, definitely a bit of a bump in the road, but nothing to be too worried about just yet, right? Right.
So it was a bit surprising to see this yesterday. Are we really going there, given they’ve lost 2 out of 3?
Sure, this team’s not perfect. They are inconsistent at home, can’t score goals with any consistency, the defense is still an issue being masked by Tuukka Rask’s play, and they’ve gotten hit by a bit of the injury bug, with leading scorer David Pastrnak, Matt Beleseky and Frank Vatrano all out at various points. Not to mention the continued struggles of Patrice Bergeron.
And yes, they’ve “lost 6 out of 8″ but take that a bit further. They’re also in the playoffs if the season ended today, and are coming off solid results against the iron of the East – Montreal (OT win), Washington (Tie, coming back from 3-0 down) and Pittsburgh (Tie). The loser point perhaps gives a false sense of security, in that the Bruins did “lose” but coming back from 3-0 down on the road and essentially outplaying Pittsburgh, again on the road, shouldn’t be overlooked.
Julien should be given as much credit for those results as blame for “not being ready to play” against the Isles Tuesday. Sure, that’s worrisome, but is it entirely on the coach to get professional’s ready to play? Give Julien credit as well, as he pulled Rask after it was 3-0 and played with the lines as well, moving Austin Czarnik to the top line in place of Reilly Nash. Julien’s been slow on the trigger in the past, so it was good to see him pull these levers, and it almost worked.
Is Julien perfect? No. I’ve said in the past he sometimes doesn’t put the team in the best position to win, in my opinion. But given what he’s had to work with this year, not to mention the last couple of years, he’s done a pretty damn good job to keep this team afloat. All while weaving in a bunch of rookies, particularly this year.
One thing to note here too is the condensed schedule thanks to the World Cup and the week off the players getting a bye week. In December alone, the Bruins have already had a 6-game in 10-day stretch, and 7-in-14 to close out the month. With that grind there are bound to be some dogs in there, not that anyone should be happy about them, they’re just more explainable this year more than past years.
We’ve killed the Bruins in the past for being reactionary to certain situations, like the Tyler Seguin trade, the Dougie Hamilton trade, etc. And it wouldn’t be the best decision to pull the trigger on Julien after one bad game. Or even a couple of bad games.
So let’s slow our role with the “fire Julien” chatter, shall we?