Bruins GM: Julien's job is safe

1/27/2010 - NHL Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Wednesday that despite the team's serious struggles, coach Claude Julien's job was not in jeopardy.

"I was asked this morning if his job was in jeopardy and my response was, 'No, it's never even entered my mind,'" Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli told ESPN.com. "We have to improve as a team, we have to improve as a management team, we have to improve as a coaching staff, and that's what we're going to do."

Boston, 10th in the Eastern Conference with a 23-20-8 record, is in the midst of a five-game losing streak and appears to be dropping out of the playoff picture. They've battled injuries to key players all season, and the team hasn't performed at the level of last year's team, which finished first in the conference and reached the second round of the playoffs.

Chiarelli suggested that everyone in the organization needed to improve their performances.

"I'm disappointed," Chiarelli said. "You look at the team, you look at going into the year, and obviously I expected to do much better. There's still 30 games left and we have to make hay with the sun shining right now. It's so tight in the standings that if you win 4-5 in a row, you're back in it. That's exactly what Ottawa [winners of seven straight] has done.

"It's incumbent on the players to play better, because they haven't played well enough," continued Chiarelli. "By the same token, it may be that we need some tweaks ... and the coaching staff has to get more out of the players. What I'm saying is, it's everybody's fault. Let's man up and get this thing right."

Speaking Tuesday on 98.5 The Sports Hub, Bruins vice president Cam Neely also dismissed talk of firing Julien right now. "I can understand why the fans are frustrated and may be calling for a coaching change," he said. "We still need time to evaluate the team."

Neely said a few victories and a dose of confidence could go a long way toward getting the team back on track.

ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun contributed to this report.