BOSTON (CBS) — The Bruins got off to a terrible start on Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, giving up three goals in the first 10 minutes. They battled back to tie the game before losing 4-3 after giving up what head coach Claude Julien called a “weak goal” in the third period. The B’s have lost eight of their last 11 games and their struggles mostly have to fall on the players, but at what point does the team take a look behind the bench at Julien?
CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty joined Ryan Johnston and Mike Flynn filling in for Toucher & Rich on Thursday to talk about the Bruins’ December funk. Haggerty wrote a column on Wednesday suggesting that a coaching change could give the Bruins the “jolt” they need amid a disturbing pattern of not being ready to go at the start of games.
“To go up against a team like the Blue Jackets, that’s embarrassed other teams, and come out that way after a Christmas break when you had plenty of time to get ready, you were well rested … to just not show up in the first 10 minutes … that’s inexcusable,” said Haggerty. “I feel like there’s a lot of warning signs with this team, whether it’s not showing up to start these games at times, whether it’s the very listless, weak, and limp efforts that we’ve seen at home at times … just a sense in general that the team is not working as hard as it needs to all the time.”
Haggerty believes that at least “some” of the responsibility for the Bruins’ inconsistency and poor starts of games has to fall on Julien, whom he says is not getting the most out of his players – even the best ones.
“What’s different for this year is you’re seeing a lot of key Bruins players, important players, that are underperforming … this is where it starts to come down on the coach,” said Haggerty. “Some of [the blame for Julien] is probably unfair, but I think in the pro ranks when you’re not getting the best out of your best players, that’s sometimes when you need to make a change.”
Haggerty also made it clear that the Bruins moving on from Julien would not be a reflection on him as a coach – just that it always comes to a point where a fresh voice is needed in the locker room.
“[Julien’s] had a great run here, but I think there is a certain limit of time for any coach where things are fresh and things are new and energetic and players are fully getting the message and fully delivering that message on the ice,” he said. “And maybe after 10 years [of Julien], it’s become something where a new voice is needed to get that same spark and same level out of these players.”
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