Apparently, Devils President/GM Lou Lamoriello decided to kill this Montreal experiment or fetish that he has by firing Claude Julien with a week left in the season. No! You aren't hallucinating folks. It really happened again. Seven years ago, the mysterious Lou axed Robbie Ftorek and replaced him with assistant Larry Robinson. It resulted in the Devils' second Stanley Cup.
So, will it work again? We're not sure. But fact is Julien has guided the club to the top of the Atlantic with 102 points (1 better than Pittsburgh with three left). So they're in familiar territory. Did he deserve to be replaced by the mad scientist behind the bench? What do you think?!?!?!?!?!
I'm not saying I was a fan of Julien's hire. As a rival fan, I didn't think much of his hiring last summer because despite the Montreal pedigree, he wasn't Jacques Lemaire, Robinson or Pat Burns. That said, he came in and did exactly what the Devils wanted, making them an even stingier defensive club to play against. Maybe it's like some say. Maybe he was just a prop. Maybe the Devils operate the exact same way Rangers' President/GM Glen Sather used to be speculated about.
We'll say this for Julien. He still got his team easily into the playoffs for a 10th consecutive season despite key cogs Scott Gomez, Brian Gionta, Colin White and John Madden missing time. Under his watch, rookie Travis Zajac and super soph Zach Parise blossomed with Jamie Langenbrunner forming the Devils' most effective line. And if the Devils go anywhere this Spring, it will be because of that line. That can't be taken away.
Do I think this is a desperate move? It's in line with that Ftorek axing. Only difference is that team was limping to the finish line and was in need of a shake up.
We'll find out if Lou pushed the right button soon.