Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Julien: 'I want to bring this team to the end'
By Joe McDonald
WILMINGTON, Mass. -- The Boston Bruins have reached the playoffs with Claude Julien behind the bench in each of his four seasons with the organization.
He’s also won the Jack Adams Award as the best coach in the NHL (2008-2009), but the Bruins have failed to get past the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs under Julien.
With the team’s quarterfinal series against the Montreal Canadiens starting on Thursday at TD Garden, some have wondered whether the Bruins need to reach at least the conference finals for Julien to keep his job in Boston.
After the Bruins’ practice Tuesday morning at Ristuccia Arena, Julien discussed his mindset going into the playoffs. He said he’s not focused on keeping his job. He wants to win the Stanley Cup.
“Let’s put it this way, I’ve tried to do the job every year,” Julien said. “This year is not any different. I’ll certainly try to bring this team right to the end. Putting the extra pressure, and that stuff, has never been something that has worked well for anybody. I plan on doing a good job, and bringing our team as far as we can go.”
Julien said he’s not going to change the way he coaches in the playoffs.
“Everybody knows what’s at stake here,” added Julien. “We’ve got a pretty good hockey team and we feel it can certainly compete for the Stanley Cup,” he said. “We’ve felt we’ve had it for a few years now. Things happen along the way, and I’ve often said that there are 29 teams at the end of the year that are disappointed. We don’t want to be one of those teams this year. We want to be the team celebrating at the end. That’s our approach.
“It’s not all about the coach. You have to expect your players are professional enough that they know what’s at stake and they prepare. As a coach, you make that preparation as good as you can get it. But at the end of the day, once the puck is dropped, they’re the ones who are performing.”
At the end of his afternoon news conference, Julien was asked if he thought he was coaching for his job.
“Not at all. It hasn’t changed. I’m coaching just like every other year,” Julien said. “That part of it doesn’t change at all. You don’t come in here, worrying about yourself. In the playoffs you worry about winning a Stanley Cup. It’s not even in the back of my mind.”