Much to the chagrin of 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Fred Toucher, the Bruins played a Claude Julien tribute video on Wednesday night. And virtually everyone in the TD Garden stood and gave the former coach a rousing ovation.
Toucher said on Wednesday’s Toucher & Rich show that he wouldn’t be surprised if at least some of the fans in attendance booed Julien. Not only did the majority of the fans cheer him, it’s hard to find anyone in the entire Garden who didn’t.
The Bruins played a brief video montage during the first period of Wednesday’s 4-1 win over Julien’s Montreal Canadiens. The package highlighted Julien’s nine-plus seasons as Bruins head coach before the players took a moment to applaud him as well.
WATCH: Claude Julien Tribute Video
Nice moment for Julien, who in 2011 coached the Bruins to their first Stanley Cup win in 39 years. But that’s where the fun ended for him.
Trouble In Montreal
The Canadiens got thoroughly dominated after an early burst against the Bruins, losing 4-1 in Boston. Things have really gone south for the 2017-18 Habs, who fell to 18-21-6, the fourth-worst mark in the league.
Montreal is 29th in the league with just 2.53 goals per game, despite ranking sixth with 34.1 shots per game. And goaltender Carey Price isn’t quite playing well enough to mitigate their lack of offense, either. He’s posting just a .908 save percentage on the season.
The Case Against Corsi
The Habs are also further weakening the case for advanced puck-possession stats as a legitimate indicator of success. They’re 11th in the league with a plus-110 Corsi as a team. In fact, the Carolina Hurricanes (11th in the Eastern Conference) lead the league with a plus-314. The Blackhawks (12th in the Western Conference) are second with plus-293.
The Bruins, meanwhile, are third in that category with plus-219. But the difference is the puck is actually going in the net, and their goalies are stopping the puck in addition to the defense limiting shots. As you can probably tell by now, this isn’t so much a rant against Julien or the Canadiens. Just looking to scratch this itch once again. Possessing the puck is only part of the battle, not the end-all-be-all of quality hockey.
But in any event, the Bruins indeed made a classy gesture to honor Julien during the game. The guy did win a Cup here, after all. Still, after Wednesday’s domination, it’s clear now that the two teams are going in opposite directions.
— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.