On a night where Phil Kessel dominated the headlines of coming back to Boston, Claude Julien was coaching in his 400th career game with the Boston Bruins. The Bruins did not let their leader down stomping the Toronto Maple Leafs 8-0. Julien has 221 career wins with the Bruins with an overall coaching resume that reads 339-216-10-72.
Julien was not aware of the milestone and admitted that he does not pay attention to those types of storylines.
“I didn’t (know it was) until somebody mentioned it to me this morning,” Julien said. “I really didn’t know and they mentioned it to me after the press conference and I had no idea. I don’t keep track of that stuff, but one thing I’ll tell you is if you’re going to coach 400 games to get that kind of win, I’ll take any night.”
Julien reiterated that his career winning percentage has no meaning to him and that the team as a whole is more important.
“To be real honest with you, to me, what’s important is really the team’s stats and that’s a reflection maybe of my coaching, but I like more about what the team has accomplished,” Julien said. “We’re heading into a fifth season here and my hope is that we’re in the playoffs and that would mean that every year, we’ve made the playoffs. I’d rather look at the team accomplishments and what we do here for the city.”
Julien stated he is here to coach the Bruins for the ultimate prize which is awarded in June.
“Winning the Stanley Cup last year obviously was an unbelievable feeling, but that’s what I am here for: I’m here to try and get the ultimate goal every year and that personal stuff I think is something you look at more once you’re done with your career and you look back and say, ‘Wow, I didn’t realize that I’d accomplished that much or had that kind of a winning percentage,” Julien said. “But right now, I really don’t have time to spend on that stuff. These guys here are the ones that remind me about it because I certainly don’t follow it.”
Captain Zdeno Chara logged another 20 minutes for the Boston Bruins on Monday night while scoring his 10th goal of the season. Chara is rapidly approaching his 1,000th professional game playing in 998 games, scoring 135 goals and assisting on 315 others. Chara has 450 points in his NHL career as one of the best defensemen in the league.
Head coach Claude Julien briefly talked about Chara’s milestone and how he leads the Bruins on the ice.
“Well, first of all, he certainly doesn’t look like a guy that’s played a thousand games and that’s a compliment,” Julien said. “He doesn’t look worn down at all and he still looks like he has a lot of years ahead of him and that’s to his credit. He’s such a great athlete and a well-conditioned athlete, but also what I’ve noticed from my five years here is every year he’s grown to be a better leader all the time. He doesn’t take anything for granted. He works on his game every day and he does extra every day to make himself better no matter how old or how long he’s been in the league.”
Julien had nothing but praise for his captain who takes the same approach with his off-ice responsibilities.
“He wants to be a better captain, a better leader all the time and that’s what Zdeno’s all about,” Julien said. “He’s one of those guys you can bring in your office and you can tell him whether he’s playing up to par or whatever and he understands and he takes it and he’s still very receptive to I guess being a better player.”
Julien pointed out that Chara still respects every teammate and coach around him at all times.
“He still respects the people around him-he hasn’t got to the stage where he knows it all and again, that it makes it a lot easier for a person like me to coach when you’re coaching a leader and the leader is understanding of all those kinds of things,” Julien said. “The one thing he does extremely well too is he believes in what we’re trying to do as a coaching staff and he certainly brings it into the dressing room and makes sure he supports it.”