Julien likes what he sees out of P-Bruins

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Julien likes what he sees out of P-Bruins

One byproduct of the NHL lockout has been the extended opportunity big club officials have enjoyed watching their AHL farm team. Bruins coach Claude Julien has watched plenty of Providence Bruins games over the last few months, and he really likes what hes seen of the team while theyve piled up a 5-0-1 record over their last six games.

The energy is rising, the offense is surging and the points are piling up for the P-Bruins as theyve climbed to second place in the Atlantic Division behind the Worcester Sharks.

Its obvious that theyre playing better as a team now. At the beginning of the year there wasnt that spunk or energy that theyre showing right now, said Julien. That happens. Sometimes it happens at the beginning of the year, sometimes in the middle of the year and sometimes it comes at the end. But you can tell theyre in synch right now and theyre excited to get out on the ice.

So what has specifically caught Juliens eye as the Bruins officials keep a list in mind of players that will be invited to a short NHL training camp should the lockout end in the next few weeks?

Its not just one player. Its the whole team, said Julien. That third or fourth is contributing a lot. If its not on the scoresheet then its on the ice creating momentum. The good players have been good players for us. Chris Bourque has really picked up his game and hes been really good. Ryan Spooner is coming along. Jordan has been doing a great job getting in front of the net more, being physical and staying on top of the puck. Some of the things weve asked him to do, hes doing very well.

I think the whole back end on defense has been really good as a whole. I cant talk about one guy because the whole defense has played well at their position. As far as goaltending, what more can you say about Niklas Svedberg? Hes been outstanding in my mind. I see a goaltender from training camp to now thats been a different player. Hes kept them in some games when theyve had slow starts.

The names like Bourque, Spooner and Caron are to be expected as theyve put up offensive statistics in an improved AHL. Svedberg is the surprise after signing as an undrafted European free agent: hes 10-4-1 with a 2.34 goals against average and a .921 save percentage in his first 16 AHL games while adjusting to the North American game.

It should be an interesting group of names indeed if a handful of P-Bruins are called to Boston for a quick audition in the coming weeks.

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.