By Matthew Cunha
I have been an advocate of the Boston Bruins firing Claude Julien for a long time. Claude brought a Stanley Cup to Boston and for that I will forever be thankful. His defensive system was highly effective when the Bruins had lockdown defenders such as Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, Andrew Ference, and Johnny Boychuk. With the lack of defensive skill, the system has failed for the past two and half years.
The Bruins desperately needed a change and the only suitable option was the head coach and after years in the making, the day finally came. When I first saw the news this morning, I was ecstatic that this day had finally come. Yet, in typical Bruins fashion, they ruined what should have been the beginning of a new chapter for the “Black and Gold.”
The Bruins scheduled the press conference at 11:30 on Tuesday morning. The Patriots Super Bowl parade was scheduled to start at 11am. An organized and malicious news dump by the Bruins to try to hide under a bunch of partying Bostonians. At the press conference, Sweeney opened up by addressing the issue:
“I don’t want this day to take away from the great accomplishment of the New England Patriots, but I wanted to take a few days to assess where we were at as far as making my decision with regard to making a decision with Claude.”
The cowardly move was how he opened up his statement! It wasn’t “Claude was a great coach” or “We needed to make this change” or “It is about the future” Instead Sweeney focused on apologizing for an “unfortunate” scheduling conflict. It is these types of cowardly and gutless moves that makes the Bruins the number four team in Boston.
The Bruins lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-5 on Saturday, prompting the move, but the argument could be made that there was no appropriate time to fire Claude. Sweeney’s explanation was that he took a couple days to think about it, yet wanted to give interim head coach Bruce Cassidy a couple of days of practice before their next game on Thursday. Why not do it Sunday morning well before the game? After two and half years, what is there to think about? If you still needed the couple of days, announce the firing Tuesday morning but hold the press conference in the afternoon.
A day I had been waiting for years was ruined by the Bruins. A team with no guts has once again proved that they are a terrible organization. The Bruins should have fired Claude after a 6-1 loss in a must win situation to make the playoffs. No PR issues there. And to think, it was only five and half years ago that this team was hoisting the Stanley Cup.
Matthew Cunha is a producer on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.