These are just a couple of the words Bruins players have used to describe themselves as of late.
The Bruins know they are struggling and Claude Julien is also aware that there is a lack of consistent effort on the ice.
So the way to fix this problem is pretty clear.
If the Bruins cannot get up for a game against the Anaheim Ducks at home to take over first place in their division then the motivator—aka the coach—is to blame.
The “teacher” cannot teach his “pupils” how to win on home ice.
The same coach that couldn’t motivate his team in games four through seven versus Philadelphia in the playoffs last spring.
The same Claude Julien who was fired by the New Jersey Devils just days before the regular season ended. Lou Lamoriello left the front office to coach the Devils and said the team was not ready to challenge for a Stanley Cup under Julien.
Coincidence? I think not.
This Bruins team is more talented than the one that had an epic collapse last year in the playoffs.
However, the same pattern persists—start off the season quickly then sink into a long stretch of uninspired and listless play.
Should the Bruins fire Julien?
The Bruins are beginning to resemble their coach and not in a good way.
Like the Devils team coached by Julien, the Bruins are not ready to challenge for Lord Stanley either.
They don’t get fired up.
They don’t get angry—Remember Marc Savard getting laid out by Matt Cooke?
They just seem to go through the motions and Bruins fans are fed up.
What will it take for the Bruins front office to make a move to ignite their team?
Well if it’s up to Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli, that move is not coming anytime soon.
In an interview with Toucher and Rich on 98.5 the Sports Hub, Chiarelli said that he had full confidence in Claude Julien and his staff. He was sure that Julien would figure it out and that the team would play better.
Well it’s been almost four years and he hasn’t figured it out yet—unless losing in the second round of the playoffs is his goal.
Chiarelli also stated that “everyone” is accountable for the team’s performance.
Well Peter, you are just as much to blame as Claude. Your inability to make a coaching change is going to cost this team in April and May.
Team President Cam Neely was a guest on the Felger and Mazz show a day earlier and didn’t give Julien a ringing endorsement like Chiarelli did.
Neely didn’t say anything negative about the coach but didn’t mention anything positive either. He clearly was not happy with the team’s on ice performance.
It appears that Chiarelli is defending his hire no matter how bad it gets. Maybe he doesn’t want another Dave Lewis situation on his head.
Perhaps it’s time for a wholesale change?
Chiarelli is doing an admirable job on the personnel side by locking up Lucic, Chara, Savard, Bergeron, Seidenberg, and trading Kessel for the pick that became Tyler Seguin.
He is securing the core of the Bruins for years to come.
However, a fast and powerful race car can’t drive itself.
Julien is putting the team in reverse doing 90 MPH as Bruins fans are just watching the transmission fall out.
Cam Neely needs to take control of the situation by relieving Chiarelli and Julien of their positions.
He needs to hire a GM who puts team first like he does—a GM that isn’t afraid of replacing a coach that clearly can’t “figure it out”—because time is running out on yet another fruitless season on Causeway.