Claude Julien does not need to be reminded he is the only head coach in Boston not to win a championship. The fans of his team, without a Stanley Cup since 1972, needn’t be reminded either.
While ring-bearers Terry Francona, Doc Rivers and Bill Belichick have often traded words of encouragement and congratulations come playoff time, Julien said yesterday he has not heard from his peers with the Bruins on the eve of the Eastern Conference finals against Tampa Bay.
Eight more victories, and that is expected to change.
“Sometimes you want to fit in and that would certainly help fit in, there is no doubt,” Julien said.
After close calls the past two seasons, the Bruins are finally back in the conference finals for the first time since 1992, with Game 1 against Tampa Bay coming Saturday night at the Garden. For Julien, in his eighth season as an NHL head coach, it’s the first time in the conference finals after three previous second-round failures, including a sweep at the hands of the Lightning as Montreal coach in 2004.