Claude Julien has been behind the Bruins bench for the better part of ten years. He won a Jack Adams award, a Presidents Trophy, the Eastern Conference twice, and the Stanley Cup. He’s also the winningest coach in Boston Bruins history.
And the Islanders are likely to pass on Julien.
The reason is the same for Ken Hitchcock. The Islanders have a good thing going for them right now with Doug Weight.
In nine games, Weight has the Islanders clicking with a 6-1-2 record, dropping four points from a possible 18. More importantly, the Islanders are three points out of a playoff spot with three games in hand on the Flyers.
In the incredibly small sample size of nine games, Doug Weight looks like he could be a good coach. The only issue is that Claude Julien is a known commodity. We know he’s a good coach.
We know the awards and trophies that Julien has won with the Bruins. We know that he kept this team as competitive as possible even though management seem to try and sabotage his efforts over the last few years. Heck, he turned Brad Marchand into a 60 and maybe even an 80 point player. Brad Marchand!
We know he’s made Boston into one of the soundest possession team in the league, with a 52.4% Corsi-For rating over the last five years. Good enough to rank fourth in the NHL.
We know all of this about Claude Julien. We don’t yet know what Doug Weight is.
But the Isles are likely going to stick with Weight till the end of the season, hoping that he becomes what is now currently available in Claude Julien.
Without that nine-game mini sample, we might have already heard that the Islanders had reached out to the Bruins to talk with Julien. For now, we just have to hope Weight is what he’s shown so far.