Claude Julien shows John Tortorella the love
|Photo via BostonHerald.com|
It's been six carefree days since the Bruins sent the New York Rangers and John Tortorella packing for a long off-season break. Then just two day ago the Rangers decided to return the favor as they fired their volatile coach, Tortorella. It seems that Tort and Bruins head coach Claude Julien have more in common then we ever thought. It wasn't too long ago that many were looking to send Julien packing and on his way as the Bruins were struggling to right the ship heading into the playoffs.
Now, as the B's ready themselves for an exciting Eastern Conference finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins Tort has some choice words - as he always does - to those who doubted the the Bruins and their head coach.
"I think Boston has a really good chance [to beat the Pittsburgh Penguins]," Tortorella said after the Rangers lost Game 5. "I think Claude and that staff has done a heck of a job with their club. I can't believe some of the people, how they second-guess him, just being in the city for a few days, and the type of job he's done here. That's a good team. They're very well-coached, and they're seasoned. They've been through it before, and I give them a lot of credit, as far as what they've done with their club. They're a good hockey team."
It's easy to give high praise to a team that, as the Rock would say, laid the smack down on your candy butt. Losing a series 4-1 is demoralizing for any professional organization, but it's how the Bruins won that may have forced the Rangers to fire Tortorella. If you ask Julien about the former New York head coach he has nothing but love for the guy - bromance love.
"Sure I do. I said it all along, I said it before the series started, I like Torts," Julien said when asked if he felt for the former Rangers coach. "Torts has his personality and when you respect a person for who he is -- and I know he has a lot of qualities. His teams made the playoffs four out of the last five years. He made it to the conference finals last year. He's won a Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay."
Julien continued raining down his praises for Tort when asked if he thought John would be back coaching in the league anytime soon.
"How could you not respect a guy like that? He'll be back in the league. But do I feel for him? Sure I do, because nobody likes to lose his job, especially situations where you're into the second round and you made the playoffs four out of the last five years. For some reason, it doesn't work out. But I have all the faith in the world that he'll be back because good coaches are hard to find."
I'll give Julien credit for having way more compassion then I do for Tortorella, but now let's focus on the Pens and winning this upcoming series. Win the Stanley Cup and your job will be waiting for you next year, Claude. Then you can hire your boy Tort and use him to entertain us during B's press conferences - are you not entertained? Yes, yes I am.
Follow Scott Levesque on Twitter at @scottlevesque.