The answer, as it seemed, was no.
Yes, the Bruins had advanced to the NHL Eastern Conference Semifinals. However, it was hardly through dominating a weaker opponent. Not only had the Bruins blown a 3-1 series lead, Boston was down 4-1 in Game 7 just ten minutes before they beat the Leafs.
Julien obviously would’ve been axed if Boston lost to Toronto, especially after being up 3-1 in the series. It would’ve been a reactionary firing and might have even been the wrong move, but it certainly was going to happen.
Had Boston lost a back-and-forth series to the New York Rangers, regardless of how much fight they put up, there was a chance Julien still may have been forced to look for a new job in the offseason.
However, yesterday, Boston finished off the Rangers in Game 5 in a series the Bruins absolutely dominated. It was so one-sided the only game New York won was via goalie Tuukka Rask mentally taking a night off.
So, with the Bruins now set to face off against the NHL all-star roster that is the Pittsburgh Penguins for a chance to play for the Stanley Cup, it’s all but official; Julien will be behind Boston’s bench next season.
How could you say otherwise?
Yes, Julien was a part of the 2010 meltdown. And yes, Boston followed up a Stanley Cup run with a first round elimination last season.
But you can’t look at a coach who’s in his second conference championship in three years and say there are better options out there.
What would you suggest? Wait for someone like John Tortorella or Peter Laviolette to get fired? Commit PR suicide by bringing in former Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault?
With the astounding amount parity in the NHL, you have to hold on to this type of success.
No, regardless of what happens against the Penguins, Julien’s job security for next year has never been safer.
As great as that is for him to hear, why stop there? If Julien wants to make sure he stays in Boston for a long time, there’s only one way to do it; win his second Stanley Cup in three years.