BOSTON — It’s quite fitting that Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien won his 300th game as the team’s head coach on Thursday night. The 2-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes pushed the team’s winning streak to seven in the midst of the Bruins’ most consistent stretch of the season.
The Bruins have been, if nothing else, a model of consistency under Julien. He has the accolades to prove that, of course, what with those 300 wins and a Stanley Cup to his name as the Boston bench boss. But the numbers aren’t really what matters to Julien. Sure, it’s nice to have a round number of wins next to your name, but Julien’s got bigger things on his mind.
“My guys know that it doesn’t matter to me — it’s great, don’t get me wrong,” Julien said. “I’m happy it’s happened here, I’m happy to have that, but at the same time, I’d rather look forward to a lot more than just that.”
Julien, along with general manager Peter Chiarelli, has turned the Bruins into one of the best teams in the NHL, a claim that they’ve been able to make for just about their entire tenure with the Black and Gold. The B’s have never finished with fewer than 91 points under Julien (not counting the lockout-shortened season last year), and they have built — and continue to develop — a core that should give them at least a few more years as one of the league’s top organizations.
“That’s kind of what I like to do as a coach,” Julien said. “I like developing, I like growing a team, and I thought it was a great fit for me with that situation and also with Peter and having known Peter for a long time, there was that trust, that instant trust.”
Not only has that consistency helped turn the Bruins into perennial contenders, it’s helped catapult Bruins hockey back to the forefront of the Boston sports scene, another notch on Julien’s belt.
“I’m happy that we’ve got some consistency here in this organization,” he added. “It’s really important for this city, it’s really important for our fans that you’ve got a real competitive team, and we’ve built a reputation now where we belong with the elite teams. Now our challenge is that we have to stay with the elite teams, and that takes hard work. … We’ve gotta stay on our toes all the time.”