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02 April 2007

Quoi! Claude Julien fired...again?!

This is out of nowhere, really, Lou Lamoriello today fired his head coach Claude Julien.

Julien was fired mid-way through the 2005-2006 season by the, guess who, Montreal Canadiens.
The Canadiens were in the midst of a slump that saw them fall desperately out of a playoff spot; Jose Theodore's shoddy goaltending was the reason to blame, but in hockey, you don't blame your players, you blame the coach.

The Canadiens and Bob Gainey had no problem with Julien, but the team needed a major shakeup and they thought by firing the coach they would do that.

The New Jersey Devils are not in need of a desperate shake-up.

1 year and 3 months later, Claude Julien gets canned again.

Just a day after leading his team to a 3-1 win over the Boston Bruins and regaining posession of the top spot in the Atlantic Divison (recently taken over by the surging Pittsburgh Penguins), Lou Lamoriello insists there were no "personal circumstances" involving the Ontario-born coach's dismissal.

"It came to a point where, were this decision not made, I would not be doing my job," Lamoriello said.

Call me vulgar if you like, but, what the hell?

The Devils have suffered a small funk recently, emphasis on small, which resulted in them in a dismal 3-7 record, but they pulled their act back together, by winning 4 of their last 5 and taking over the Atlantic Division lead and the no.2 spot behind the Buffalo Sabres in the Eastern Conference.

But really, what the hell?

The guy leads his team to a 102 point season with a 47-24-8 record and he can't hold onto a job.
I don't think it's a question of "making a decision" Lou, you didn't have to make any decision, you could've left him where he rightfully belongs and merits, behind your team's bench.

Oh and so what, a few players complain to you about his tactics and you go ahead and fire him?

And looky here, this isn't the first time Lamoriello's done this, I don't know what he feels and how he feels about certain GM's, but I think it's bull that there were no personal circumstances to this, how else can you explain it?

"I don't think we're at a point of being ready both mentally and (physically) to play the way that is necessary going into the playoffs," Lamoriello said outside the Devils' deserted locker room at the Continental Airlines Arena. "I am not saying that is going to change. But I think there has to be better focus going forward."

Maybe there were no personal circumstances, maybe Lamoriello just didn't like Julien's coaching manner.

Oh but for God's sake, your team goes in a slump and comes back strong and you think they're not ready for prime time?

His team manages to win 4 of their last 5 without Brian Gionta, John Madden and Patrick Elias, but, which probably caused Lou to overreact, have lost 8 of their last 15 overall.
Nevertheless, Lamoriello's record last year, after assuming the coaching duties from Robinson, was a great 32-14-4 (a .680 winning percentage).

Maybe the bizarre move had nothing to do with Julien, and he was just upset at his team's effort over the month of March.

Something's sure to come out in the next few days, and until then, good luck Claude Julien, you are a very underrated coach and a great person.

Lou Lamoriello's a smart guy, but I don't think this was a smart move.

Bleu, Blanc et Rouge

4 fanatics have replied:

Anonymous said...

Or maybe Lou was waiting for Julien to make his first mistake so he could have a reason to bring Burns back.

Alex said...

This is the most narrowminded analysis of the Julien firing yet. You are using the Devils' record as your sole basis for the argument without even considering the fact that things go on behind the scenes. The fact of the matter is you dont really know what happened to warrant this move. You can use the record to speculate all you want but it is just the tip of the iceberg.

Bleu, Blanc et Rouge said...

Ok, I know the record is my sole argument, but I think it's enough to merit something.

The Devils are a top of the East team, I know I probably don't know what happened behind the scenes but anyhow, the record speaks for itself.

Sure Brodeur, Elias, Gionta, Parise, Zajac, Rafalski and Langenbrunner have all been huge to the record but the fact remains that it was JULIEN who coached the team to that record.

Classic Devil said...

Frankly, the Devils achieved their record despite Julien, not because of him.

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