WILMINGTON, Mass. — Bruins head coach Claude Julien has led his team to the playoffs three straight years. But even that type of success doesn’t guarantee he’ll accumulate even close to the amount of longevity that his counterpart in this Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, Lindy Ruff, has enjoyed.
With 13 seasons at the helm in Buffalo, Lindy Ruff is the longest-tenured head coach in the NHL just ahead of Nashville’s Barry Trotz. Julien admitted today he envies both men.
“It’s certainly on my wish list. … I’d love to be part of that group,” said Julien.
As for assessing the job of his counterpart, Julien was respectful of the work Ruff has done with different types of teams and to varying levels of success. Even last season the Sabres missed the postseason due in large part to an injury suffered by goaltender Ryan Miller. Buffalo is back in the playoffs after a two-year hiatus.
“First of all, to last that long with one team,” Julien said. “He’s one of those guys that even though they didn’t make the playoffs every year, he’s had his team playing hard, and circumstances – whether it was Miller [getting hurt] last year or other things, and they made adjustments – certainly they haven’t pointed the finger at him for those sorts of things.
“And he seems to have his teams’ ear. He’s done a good job. He’s adjusted, from the time I got into the league to now, there’s no doubt he’s adjusted part of his game and I guess the approach to his team and how they need to play.”