BOSTON -- Despite a whirlwind of circumstances that might sink a lesser team -- most notably an injury to defenseman Zdeno Chara and the trade of top-four defenseman Johnny Boychuk days before the start of the season -- the Boston Bruins have stayed afloat in the standings, in part because of the coaching of Claude Julien.
Through 13 games the Bruins are a respectable 7-6-0, as Julien has again proven he can handle rosters with different levels of experience, age and talent. Through his eight seasons as the Bruins coach, Julien has compiled a 317-171-65 record, won the Stanley Cup in 2011 and has guided the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in seven straight seasons.
He was rewarded over the weekend with a multiyear contract extension by general manager Peter Chiarelli.
"In general I think he's done a very good job," Chiarelli said in response to a question about Julien’s work this season Monday. "This year, there's been a lot of flux I guess with either contract situations or trades, trades within training camp, so he's had to deal with that. You know he's had to deal with some younger players coming up. We're one game over .500. We've played better the last four or five games. He's done a good job. You give a coach a contract extension based on the job that he's done globally. And globally, for us over the years, he's done a very good job."