Habs coach Claude Julien says he'll be back to coach the team next season
Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien says he's fine, and that he will come back to coach the team for the 2020-2021 season.
"I just want to reassure everybody that I am feeling 100 per cent," Julien says. "The doctors have told me that I will recover at 100 per cent, and that the risk of me going back will not be any worse than it was before it even happened."
He experienced chest pains following Game 1 of the series and was rushed to a Toronto hospital. He had a stent installed in a coronary artery and returned to Montreal to recover, leaving assistant coach Kirk Muller in charge for the rest of the series.
The Habs lost the series in six games.
During a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, Julien appeared to be in good spirits as he discussed the team's prospects going forward, while praising the efforts of both the team, and his coaching staff, during the Flyers series.
"When you look at the good leadership that you have from in of your veteran players, and when you see young guys turn a corner like that, it's very encouraging," Julien said.
He said he was encouraged by the emergence of youngsters like Nick Suzuki, who he compared to Boston's David Krejci, and Jesperi Kotkaniemi, who struggled through the regular season and spent some time in Laval before returning to score four goals in the Habs' 10 playoff games.
Julien, meantime, told reporters that had the Habs ousted the Flyers and moved on to the next round, he would have returned to the bubble in Toronto to coach.
"I would have been definitely ready for the next round," he said. "[The doctors] expect a full recovery, and I should be back at 100 per cent, which is how I feel right now. I feel really, really good, and ready to get back at it."
Julien is in the fourth season of his second spell as coach of the Montreal Canadiens. In 17 NHL seasons with the Habs, Devils and Bruins, Julien has compiled a 658-440-148 record with 10 ties from the pre-shootout era. He won a Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 2011.