It was pointed out to Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien yesterday that one of the turning points of his club’s season came March 20. That day, after his team had squandered a lead and lost to Los Angeles in overtime the night before, Julien had the choice between skating his team hard or putting his troops through a fun-filled scrimmage.
The team had lost four of six after that defeat. After what most players called a “fun but useful, high-paced” scrimmage, the team righted the ship, won its next six games and cruised to the top seed in the East.
“We just kind of went back and forth and it was just one of those situations where, when we walked out of our meeting and I kind of walked around the room a little bit and saw our players, it became clear which direction I wanted to take,” said Julien about a decision that he agreed in hindsight proved to be the correct one. “And I talked to our coaches again and I said, ‘You know what? There’s no doubt in my mind this is what we should be doing today.’ And we took that direction.”
Consider that decision Exhibit ‘A’ in Julien’s case for winning the Jack Adams Trophy as the league’s Coach of the Year. There’s no telling, however, if the league’s voting broadcasters will agree.