Boston fired Claude Julien on Tuesday, a decision only baffling if you don’t understand how the Bruins work. You see, the Boston Bruins, despite posting the best even-strength fenwick-for percentage in the NHL this season, are one point out of the playoffs entering tonight’s contest and as such a sacrifice is demanded.
Never mind Julien is one of the best coaches in the NHL and never mind he brought Boston its first Stanley Cup since 1972 and never mind this team has the aforementioned best possession numbers in the NHL with a roster that is decidedly not the best in the NHL. Never mind all that, because this is Beantown, where logic is for nerds and results only tacitly matter. From the mouth of general manager Don Sweeney:
I also don’t know what that bowl of word soup means. I’m not sure Sweeney knows what that means, either.
So in addition to firing one of the best coaches in the NHL because the Bruins boast the worst 5v5 shooting percentage in the league (I’m speculating, but to suggest this has much to do with anything else is incredibly naive) he’s also traded away Dougie Hamilton and drafted a player in the first round he referred to as a “third rounder.” As a compliment. Starting to get the sense Boston fired the wrong guy?
I don’t know how much this affects tonight’s contest other than, with no disrespect meant to interim head coach Bruce Cassidy, the Bruins have a worse coach now. Boston’s roster is not as good as the San Jose Sharks, even when San Jose head coach Pete DeBoer decides to play without a fourth line center (I kid, I kid) and this should be an interesting game for a variety of reasons.
Following the Sharks’ blown lead on Tuesday, DeBoer may choose to shake things up against the Bruins. Rookie Marcus Sorensen made his NHL debut against the woeful Buffalo Sabres and notched his first career point with an assist on Melker Karlsson’s seventh goal of the season. I expect Sorensen to play again, but will Ryan Carpenter draw in over Micheal Haley at fourth line center following back-to-back losses to a pair of the NHL’s worst teams?
And what of Martin Jones? His 5v5 save percentage was just fine against the Sabres, but allowing three goals in just a few minutes on Tuesday may earn Jones a break against the Bruins. Who am I kidding? DeBoer is a class act and would never deny his goalie an opportunity to play against his former team.