Some thoughts as Claude Julien weighs his options over a morning cup of coffee:
*First thought, an opinion of the story of the day: The Boston Bruins firing Claude Julien was a mistake. He was not the problem, and never was. Was he given a poor roster? Absolutely. But it was also a roster that was in transition, moving out of the early prime years of Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, and Tuukka Rask that included a Stanley Cup (in which Rask was the backup) and another appearance in the Cup final (in which Rask was the star) to the back-of-the-prime years of those players, which includes David Pastrnak, Brandon Carlo, Charlie McAvoy, Zach Senyshyn, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, and Jeremy Lauzon. Julien deserved a chance to bring that next group along. Now he’ll get a chance to bring along another group somewhere else.
*Plenty of reaction to the Julien firing, which includes a good rundown of the fiasco that has been Julien’s job security in Boston inside Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts column for this week. Mike Halford took a look at what could be next for the now-former Bruins coach. Of course, there’s the Vegas speculation surrounding Julien, an idea not outlandish and one George McPhee should – and probably will – pursue.
*There was also an emergency RoenickLife Podcast, where JR and Jaffe discussed what was the biggest firing of the NHL season to date. ESPN Hockey Today also talked about the dismissal in an episode aptly named ‘Shipping Out From Boston’.
*In more positive coaching news, Alain Vigneault won his 600th game with the Rangers 4-1 win over Anaheim on Tuesday night. He’s the second-fastest coach to reach the mark behind Scotty Bowman.
*How ironic it is that Vigneault reaches that milestone the same day Julien gets axed. Fired by Vancouver in 2013 after what had been arguably the best seven-year run in Canucks history, he’s proof positive good coaches always land on their feet. The direction Vancouver has gone in since his departure is a cautionary tale as to what can happen when you bid adieu to a good coach.
*Pretty much what this Tweet says. Forget the nice finish by Micheal Ferland, how about the stick on Sidney Crosby?
*The more you watch Washington the more of a sense you get that this is their year, and that they feel that way.
*The Sharks have now lost 17 of 19 all-time in Buffalo, with one regulation win, after blowing three-goal third period lead in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Sabres on Tuesday.
*St. Louis has now won three of four under Mike Yeo. And who said the Blues have goaltending issues? Two nights, two shutouts, as St. Louis followed up Monday’s 2-0 win over Philadelphia with a 6-0 trouncing of Ottawa. Carter Hutton got the shutout Monday before Jake Allen got a clean sheet of his own on Tuesday.
*Seth Jones has absolute cannon for shot. He’s shooting up the charts among the game’s premier defensemen.
*Here come the Avalanche all of a sudden, 4-0 win over Montreal to give themselves back-to-back wins for the first time since November. Mikko Rantanen gets the hat trick. He has five goals in his last six games.