When Bobby Valentine did it, his team did not respond well. When Don Sweeney does it, his team responds well. Or — at least — it seems like they did.
On January 6, Sweeney called out his guys saying they needed to shoot better and guess what? They have done just that; they woke up.
Sure, Thursday’s bout with the Nashville Predators was a step backwards. But they netted five goals against the St. Louis Blues for a win and went into overtime with the Carolina Hurricanes despite having a quite subpar backup in net. Can’t fault them for a 4-3 overtime loss. — just the goaltender. Oh, and the day before that, they shutout the Florida Panthers, 4-0.
Sure, David Pastrnak might not be among the NHL’s top goal scorers as of late, but he’s had four assists in the past week and his plus 13 rating is a team-best for the B’s. Also worth noting, Brad Marchand has stepped it up and leads the team with 38 points. He’s had five goals in his last four games.
As for the coaching change? They’re probably due for one. It’s not like they win championship after championship with Claude Julien anyways. They’ve missed the playoffs in back to back seasons despite having talented squads.
There’s not really an issue with him per se, but maybe a change in scenery improves it. It doesn’t really matter too much though because as currently built, they probably don’t have the kind of team who could knock down the Pittsburgh Penguins or Washington Capitals in the playoffs, barring some sort of miracle.
Can’t see a reason to can Julien mid-season though. But if they somehow miss the playoffs again this season, then who knows? Maybe it’s time for them to make the switch and maybe, just maybe, they will do it.