Claude Julien Midseason Report Card
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12-23-2003, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Originally Posted by
I love how he benched Ryder last night after coughing up the puck while messing around at his own blueline. I love how earlier in the year when the Begin line caught fire, he slotted Ryder on the line and Ryder scored. I love how he is working Komisarek into the lineup and playing the rookies a lot when there are garbage-time minutes. I love how he juggles lines and, as someone else said, "leaves no stone unturned." I love how he doesn't listen to the press or the fans. I love how he has sold most of the team into his system, which isn't a full-blown conservative system, but is flexible. I love how he did not teach any offense in training camp, and only taught defensive systems. I love his demeanor behind the bench.
I like that he's true his word when he says accountability will be paramount. He's made some tough decisions and stood by them, benching Ribeiro, Perreault, Audette, and Ryder.
I have a few complaints about how he's handled the defense, though. Number one, Rivet should have been benched at least once this year. He's blown more plays than I care to remember yet inexplicably he's remained out of the doghouse. What particularly distresses me is that Rivet, Quintal, and Markov all seem to have gotten worse defensively this year. We know all of them CAN play solid D, so the fact that they are not might point to Julien in some way.
I also question the demotion of Hainsey, but I will give him and BG the benefit of the doubt on this one, at least until we see the effect. As has been suggested many times, there could have been some underlying attitude problems that we do not know about that they wanted to straighten out before bringing him up for good. Perhaps, they feel, the way to do this is to give him a big leadership role in Hamilton, allowing him to taste success and develop a hunger for big-league action at the same time. We'll see how that works out.
All in all, good job by Julien. He's a real coach and will not fade into obscurity like our Rogue's Gallery of the 90s.
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