BOSTON, MA -- Tonight, Bruins Head Coach Claude will quietly reach another milestone in his Black & Gold career when he ties Don Cherry for third on the B's all-time games coached list with his 400th game behind the Boston bench.
Julien, who stands fourth in franchise history with 220 wins, is just the fifth all-time Bruins bench boss to reach the 200th win plateau (Ross, Schmidt, Cherry, Cheevers) and is just the just the 6th man to coach the B's to a Stanley Cup championship.
Julien, whose career NHL regular season record stands at 339-216-10-72 (with Montreal, New Jersey and Boston), has also guided the Bruins to 33 career playoff victories - the most ever by a Boston coach.
Earlier this afternoon, when he was asked if when he was coaching juniors if he ever thought he would be coaching his 400th game for the "Original Six" Boston Bruins, Julien smiled and said, "No, not really.
"You never anticipate or never take anything for granted," explained Julien, who played 14 NHL games with the Quebec Nordiques. "I think the fact I’ve been here for five years now has been a real welcome thing for me and my family.
"There’s some stability, where sometimes stability isn’t the easiest thing to acquire in the coaching area of the NHL, and to be here for this long and to be able to coach my 400th game is certainly a pleasure.
"I’ve always said since the first year I was here, I feel really comfortable with this organization. I feel like we’re on the same page, our philosophies and everything else," he said.
This season hasn't been an easy one by any stretch of the imagination, as the B's struggled out of the gate and of late and Julien told the media this morning that he's been challenged as the B's defend their Cup.
"It really has been about managing everything," he said in regard to the B's short off season. "You probably foresee some of that happening. What we’ve had to do is deal with things we haven’t really been exposed to in the past.
"There’s a fatigue factor that comes with long season," continued Julien. "Whether you want to admit or not, that’s there to a certain extent. So you try to give rest. The focus is another thing and that’s tough –- that was pretty apparent in the first month of the season -- We just weren’t mentally ready to start and, eventually after Christmas, we hit a patch, which has kind of dragged on and even gotten worse over time.
"Is it a matter of panicking or trying to right the ship?," asked Julien rhetorically. "These guys are players that you know; most of them in that dressing room have been through the trenches as a group and have always shown they’ve been able to get out of it."
So, trust remains an important factor to Julien as the B's look to smooth out their play going into the playoffs.
"As a coach, you have to have that trust in your players that they will and you have to work with them to help them out a little bit," said Julien. "If last game was any indication it’s a positive sign.
"But to me, today is the most important day because we have to follow today’s game with the same kind of effort we had against Philadelphia."
And that's exactly why you won't catch Julien thinking too much about his 400th game with the B's.
"It’s nice to be here and to be able to coach that game, but I’m not the biggest guy when it comes to stats, certainly not personal stats," said Julien. "We can talk about team stats and the team accomplishments, but I’ve never been an 'I' guy - never will be.
"These are great things and maybe in the future I’ll look at them as more of an accomplishment, but I’m really focused on moving forward with this team and this organization and hopefully giving [the Bruins] another chance to win a Cup for this city."