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Will Boston make significant changes if they lose Game 7?

May 13, 2013, 9:04 AM EDT

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 12: Phil Kessel #81 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates Dion Phaneuf goal against Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs May 12, 2013 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images) Getty Images

If the Boston Bruins cough up a 3-1 series lead and are ultimately eliminated by the Toronto Maple Leafs, will that significantly change the Bruins’ gameplan going into the summer?

Could we see significant moves in an attempt to shakeup the squad after what would be their second straight first-round exit? Is Bruins coach Claude Julien’s job even on the line?

Julien won the Stanley Cup with Boston in 2011 and that recent success will almost certainly be a major consideration if the Bruins’ season ends tonight. At the same time, Julien hasn’t been without his strong critics lately.

Retired NHL star forward Tony Amonte doesn’t understand why Julien hasn’t shaken up his lines in an effort to spark a team that has just two goals in their last two games.

“There is not another coach in the NHL that wouldn’t have changed his lines by now,” Amonte told CSN New England. “You have to change it up. You have to spark something offensively. Let’s look at the Pittsburgh Penguins, Game 6, against the Islander. Their top line – Dupois, Crosby, Kunitz – they split them up. They were the best line in the NHL all regular season until Crosby got hurt. They scored every game … and they change it up.”

Meanwhile, Julien isn’t happy with the team’s inconsistency in 2013 and went as far as to call them a “Jekyll & Hyde hockey club,” perhaps lending fuel to the argument that serious changes need to come from a player perspective if this team can’t win when their season is at stake.

Mike Felger and Kevin Paul Dupont discussed the subject below:

  1. homelanddefense - May 13, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    Julien rarely changes anything. Its national news when he scratches a player. Hanst changed a thing with this terrible power play for YEARS. Seguin has been terrible, he isnt scoring, he loses every single battle in one on ones. Id love to see him dropped from that line.

    • nhloon - May 13, 2013 at 10:21 AM

      Seguin has been awful.

      • 19to77 - May 13, 2013 at 12:32 PM

        Putting Jagr on the top line instead comes to mind.

    • sabatimus - May 13, 2013 at 12:24 PM

      The interesting part is during the regular season, when the B’s were down against the Habs, they completely changed up the lines for the 3rd period (I think) and the Habs looked like they had no idea what to do with it. So why not try it here? The Leafs’ defense looks very much like it’s figured out how to handle the B’s offense as it is now.

      This, and there are two major problems that have persisted over the last 3 years or so that have not changed regardless of personnel: getting the puck out of their own zone, and the power play. Both dreadful. These might get Julien fired.

      • warchief65 - May 13, 2013 at 1:16 PM

        So , sabatimus , what did you say when they won the Cup , in ’11 ? You were probably saying that Julien was the BEST COACH in the world , right ? How far the best have fallen , eh ?

      • hockeyflow33 - May 13, 2013 at 3:16 PM

        If it weren’t for Thomas playing one of the best postseasons of all time, Julien would have been nowhere near the Cup. It’s hard to argue with his win totals but Julien is terrible with the power play, hold players to different standards and fairly poor with player development. I know the development isn’t all on him but it’s tough to look past the amount of young guys who haven’t developed here.

    • imleftcoast - May 13, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      These cheaters have prospered enough. I hope Greg Campbell’s dad and his buddy, Gary, don’t step in to help the Bruins like they have in the past.

  2. valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 13, 2013 at 9:36 AM

    Teams should be built to win in the playoffs, and typically those teams should be able to do well during the regular season. If you get knocked out of the playoffs in the first round after finishing in the top 4 or 5 of your conference, then you need to take a serious look at your assets. Ex: Vancouver, Anaheim, Montreal, St. Louis. Now it doesn’t mean changes for every of these teams, but certainly some changes for some of these teams. Certainly if Boston loses then the Jagr addition failed to bring about the desired results. You have to question not only your assets, but the GM’s moves. What about the coach? Is it time to part ways? Same in NY and/or Wsh except for the coach. You cannot be satisfied with underachieving and must be more demanding of the players you pay to perform.

    • warchief65 - May 13, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      The same coach and GM in Vancouver , right up to this year . St.Louis , when did they win the Cup again ? Oh , wait , your talking about they were in Ottawa , WAIT !Ottawa is back , I’m sorry , what was the question again ? Bringing in a player at the Trade deadline , is a crap shoot . And Jagr hasn’t been the same player since when OWNER was playing . You either you get the player that they want to get , or , they don’t . Same goes for the drafting . It’s a crap shoot .

      • warchief65 - May 13, 2013 at 1:29 PM

        The Penguins I mean . ( Jagr ).

      • imleftcoast - May 13, 2013 at 2:03 PM

        Canucks have been building to beat one team, and the team had one good year when Tim Thomas played out of his mind. Boston is one and done again. Maybe they’ll trade Tubby Lucic to the Canucks for the Sedins.

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 13, 2013 at 2:09 PM

        You know! I don’t buy this crap shoot when it comes to drafting. Take a look at the past 10 years of drafts from Detroit and you’ll see that this organization is light years ahead of many others. GMs and head scouts say it’s a crap shoot to protect their jobs. Barring injuries you should know exactly what you’re getting when you draft.

    • hockeyflow33 - May 13, 2013 at 3:18 PM

      I don’t know why they would expect Jagr to flourish when they have refused to play him with offensively talented players

  3. doubles22 - May 13, 2013 at 9:44 AM

    I’ve never understood a coach’s fate resting in the balance based on the result of ONE game. You either think you have the right guy or you don’t. One game either way should not sway that opinion.

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 13, 2013 at 4:39 PM

      His fate is not resting on this one game when you look at the big picture. His team was up 3 – 1 and just lost 2 in a row. Anyway! Every coach is working on borrowed time. Sooner or later you get fired. They also lost the div title to Montreal who struggled down the stretch. There’s a good chance his fate is already sealed one way or another. I

  4. supercoop8 - May 13, 2013 at 10:00 AM

    Julien’s system stifles their offensive players and hinders their speed through the neutral zone. The wingers aren’t allowed to skate the zone and look for a stretch pass, well only on a face off set play, and defenses recognize that and start pinching and even getting involved in cycles. There is a reason Blake Wheeler’s production goes up 30 points after being trade, Micheal Ryder becomes a thirty goal scorer again. When Jagr was traded to the Bs he was had a point per game average(7 in 7) playing with Marchand but now is buried on the third line. If they lose Julien has to go, Chiarelli stays.

    • supercoop8 - May 13, 2013 at 10:05 AM


    • doubles22 - May 13, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      This is kinda what I’m getting at. If Julien is so bad, why does winning one game save his job? If he’s “not the guy,” which your post seems to suggest, then why does he stay if they win tonight? Winning one game does nothing to address the flaws you have reasoned for giving him the ax.

      • supercoop8 - May 13, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        I completely agree with you but if they win tonight, and take the next series, it can handcuff the organization into keeping him for another year. The Bruins masked a season of uninspired play by squeaking out wins due largely to Rask playing well and a very successful power play. The hope is that things don’t have to become completely dire for changes to be made; in the spirit of that I’d support a change regardless.

      • sabatimus - May 13, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        supercoop, I agree with the Rask comment completely, but the B’s power play was 26th this season, down from 15th the previous year and from 20th the year before. That’s not power play success. Since it’s happened for years now, coaching has got to be more suspect.

      • supercoop8 - May 13, 2013 at 3:44 PM

        @sabatimus I meant penalty kill bud, hahaha I am aware of how inept the power play is

    • doubles22 - May 13, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      The world would be a much better place if everyone thought along the same lines as us, eh coop?

    • warchief65 - May 13, 2013 at 1:35 PM

      Yeah , like you did when the Bruins won the Cup , eh supercoop8 ? You probably said it was all fine and dandy , to win everything , but that coach , man , he’s got to go , right ? Sure you did . They are still playing to same way , what’s different ?

      • hockeyflow33 - May 13, 2013 at 3:21 PM

        No, hockey people were always skeptical of Julien for several reasons. Obviously his win total is amazing but he greatly benefitted from Thomas playing one of the greatest post seasons of all time.

      • supercoop8 - May 13, 2013 at 3:56 PM

        I was actually aware that if Thomas doesn’t make a save on Gionta that the Bruins would have lost in the first round. I never said Julien was a terrible coach or that the Bruins run to the cup was due to infallible play. The Bruins are capable of winning a lot of games and Julien is capable of being a successful but he has never addressed issues over the year was my point. Not that it matters, you’re just looking to express your vitriol towards and exercise your human right to overuse the comma. Have fun trolling, I’m sure you need after a rough day.

    • hockeyflow33 - May 13, 2013 at 3:20 PM

      I like reading other educated B’s fans supercoop8. I couldn’t agree with you more.

  5. rainyday56 - May 13, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    Wow, eliminate the first minute of this video, you’d think they were talking about the Canucks.

    Or the Ducks.

    Or the Habs.

    Or the Islanders.

    Or the Wild.

  6. 8man - May 13, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    The 3-0 collapse against Philadelphia in 2010. The first round exit last year, 2012. And if they lose tonight, another first round exit, when they had a 3-1 lead, 2013. In between all of that you have the Stanley Cup victory, but dotted with three game 7 wins.

    Given that history and their performance in the last part of the year, you have to do something if they lose tonight. Clearly this team has fallen off from what they were able to do in 2011 and the early part of 2012. Do you change the personnel or the coach first? Not sure.

    • supercoop8 - May 13, 2013 at 11:27 AM

      Don’t forget the year before the collapse to Philly they squandered a 3-1 series lead to the Canes.

      • warchief65 - May 13, 2013 at 1:47 PM

        Didn’t Chicago fire their coach ? Since they haven’t won the Cup in what , three years ? So , I guess you have a point , coop . NOT !!!

  7. houseof666 - May 13, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    Don’t forget round 1 in 2011 before going to game 7 the word was if bruins lost that game julien would be fired and all the significant changes would be made. They went on to win that series and the cup.

  8. dewzer - May 13, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Dare I say we need a player like Phil Kessel? Not actually PK, but someone with that skill set. B’s don’t have a single forward other than Krecji who can come across the blue line and dangle and beat a D’ man. Right now Seguin’s only move is speed to the outside. Toronto has shut that down effectively. Everyone else, meh; dump and chase; pass to the point. On topic, let me add that people are forgetting that the B’s were 1 miracle Ryder glove save from going out in round 1 that year too.

    • dewzer - May 13, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      Referring to SC year on the Ryder save.

    • hockeyflow33 - May 13, 2013 at 3:22 PM

      They don’t allow those types of players to play their game.

  9. kingjoffrey19 - May 13, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    Kessel > Seguin

  10. matthews4 - May 13, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    It is not one game it is a microcosm of his stubborn nature that will hopefully cost him his job. It is infuriating to watch his awful decision making. The leafs have caused so many turnovers by fore-checking the slow footed stay at home defense of the B’s, Yet it took any injury for him to finally play Hamilton. Let’s be honest could the kid could not have played any worse than Ference. To sum it up as a B’s fan, it is his utter refusal to play youth and watch his slow veterans cough the puck up that will lose the B’s this series. BTW why is he not playing Soderberg if we can’t score? As far as Seguin goes that whole line is trying to be to cute put the puck on net.

    • warchief65 - May 13, 2013 at 2:01 PM

      yEAH , SURE , SURE . It’s not BECAUSE the Bruins are being out played , naw , that’s not it . Their players , Boston’s , are being ” too cute ” . Yeah , that’s it .

      • matthews4 - May 13, 2013 at 2:44 PM

        Welcome back habsman I mean warchief65. Umm even when the dreadfully bias leafs announcers say they are passing instead of shooting i think it is a safe to make that comment. Yes they where severely outplayed in game 6. Game 5 for the first period absolutely, the last 2 periods not so much. I seem to remember the announcers stating “Can the Leafs hold on” going to commercial break after Boychuck hit the crossbar. When you lose by a goal on a shorthanded breakaway given up by a player who the coach refuses to bench, it’s fair to ? the coach. When you have the leading scorer from another league sitting the bench while you play Kelly, Peverly, and Thornton its fair to question the coach. By the way how are the HABS doing?

  11. bcisleman - May 13, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Don’t know what other changes Boston is contemplating but I hope they don’t re-sign Khodobin. Love to see the Isles get him.

  12. 19to77 - May 13, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    Felger mentions that barring the one year Thomas discovered he had Jedi powers, the Bruins have had a substantial history of playoff chokes – what’s interesting to me is that even in that year, they had to go seven games against Montreal and seven against Tampa, neither of which were supposed to provide them with that much of a challenge. Even WITH Thomas standing on his head, they barely got through to the Final. The Cup win has caused people to forget and forgive a lot of their failings – abysmal power play, hot and cold winger production, regularly squandering series leads, et cetera.

    If they blow this series (and really even if they don’t) Chiarelli needs to make some changes.

  13. ajsjr40 - May 13, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    Julien had his job saved by Thomas two years ago and beyond that what has he done? Lot’s of first round losses including major collapses, if they lose tonight. Too defensive in his approach in all regards. Hamilton should be in the lineup every night given his mobility and power play skill. Do the veterans not make mistakes? Chara on the point of the PP is a monument with no mobility. What is Ference doing on the PP? While Seguin has dissapointed, Marchand has been far worse. Peverly and Kelly are utterly useless. Too many players have gotten wealthy off the cup win and they no longer play with a mean streak. This team is just not physical.

  14. warchief65 - May 13, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    I really like the way the Boston fans put a spin on the reason they will lose , again . Maybe they should try and forget to put the spin on , and face the real reason , T.O. is out playing them . The Bruins had two games to put them out , but they didn’t . Their PP is , shall we say sucks ? And trying to say that Seguin line is trying to be ” cute ” with the puck ? Come on ! They are being out hussled to the puck . Plain and simple . Out hit , out played . That’s all it is .

  15. crusty14 - May 13, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    The bergeron line has been snakebit. It’s not like they haven’t had the chances, they’re just not burying them. I think they have since tried to be “too cute”, thinking they need the perfect play to score. Maybe moving jagr to replace Seguin might change things up enough to create a spark.

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