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2009 NHL All-Star Game

Julien: A Rare Look Back

The B's head coach takes a look at the road he traveled to the All-Star game

Saturday, 01.17.2009 / 10:07 AM ET / 2009 NHL All-Star Game
By Angela Latona  - Intern |
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Julien: A Rare Look Back
With a little over a week until the NHL All-Star game, Bruins head coach Claude Julien took a moment to look back at what brought him and his team to the top of the rankings and secured him a spot as head coach for the East on January 25.

“You're there because of the people around you,” Julien said when he spoke to the media via conference call on Friday, January 17th. “As I've mentioned often, if it's not for the players, your coaching staff doing such a great job –– you don't get that honor just because of your individual work.

“I'm representing the Boston Bruins, and not necessarily representing myself.”

That’s coach. Despite the Bruins (33-7-4) holding a one-point lead over the Western Conference’s San Jose Sharks for the NHL lead, Julien never lets anyone forget about the guys who have worked beside him all the way.

“We've had a lot of guys grow through adversity last year,” he explained. “We've had some young players put into situations that they normally wouldn't have been going through had there not been injuries last year. And I think with the acceleration and their progress has certainly shown this year and taken advantage of it.”

But with the present players and assistant coaches and staff aside, Julien can certainly look back to years of exceptional hockey.

In 2002-2003, for instance, he helped coach the Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL) to the top of the rankings and a run for the Calder Cup. However, Julien never saw his team to the end (he was called up to Montreal halfway through the season). But it was just another indication of the coach’s skills.

“Claude did a tremendous job in growing that team, and he had the opportunity to leave [for Montreal],” said San Jose Sharks head coach Todd McLellan, who was also in on the call. “And Jeff Ward, who is with him now, took that Hamilton team right to the finals.

"Their coaching staff did a tremendous job in Hamilton.”

Even before his professional successes as a coach, Julien’s biography displays a wealth of hockey experience on the ice. Playing for stints in both the Ontario Hockey League and the Central Hockey League, Julien’s solid defensive skills ultimately landed him in the AHL, where he played for a number of seasons.

“Everything in your life, when you're involved in hockey -- whether it's a player or coaching -- there's always something that impacts you,” he said of his days with the Windsor Spitfires (OHL). “I was there in the days when [former Bruins player] Wayne Cashman was a coach.

"And he was definitely a coach that got the most out of his players.

“We were a character team. And I think I grew as a player there. And everywhere you stop, you take a little bit from everybody,” he said.

As Julien reminisced, there’s no doubt that his playing days, and being able to see how coaches ran their teams and how his fellow players reacted to different systems, impacted his ability to coach on every level.

However, the time for looking back was shortlived. Right now, there is half a season left to worry about, and, of course, an All-Star appearance.

“Most people don't remember how you start, they remember how you finish,” he said. “We've got another task ahead of us, and probably a tougher one, and we look forward to the challenge.”
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1 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
2 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
3 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
4 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
5 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
6 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
7 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
8 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47


P. Bergeron 52 19 26 8 45
L. Eriksson 52 16 24 11 40
D. Krejci 42 12 27 2 39
R. Spooner 52 11 27 -5 38
B. Marchand 47 24 12 12 36
Z. Chara 50 7 20 8 27
M. Beleskey 50 8 17 10 25
T. Krug 51 3 21 6 24
J. Hayes 50 11 12 -5 23
B. Connolly 49 7 9 -5 16
T. Rask 19 15 5 .918 2.47
J. Gustavsson 9 3 1 .915 2.38
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