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Bruins coach Claude Julien gets philosophical about his job security

The Bruins coach says he’s ‘willing to go through the hard times.’

Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Embattled Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien admitted on Saturday that he’s well aware of the speculations swirling about his job security, but that he’s trying to not focus on them.

Moments after his Bruins dropped their sixth loss in nine contests on Friday, Julien made some waves when he responded to a question about his job by calling rumors “shock journalism.”

When asked about the issue again by a Quebec reporter on Saturday, Julien walked those comments back a bit in a lengthy and philosophical response.

Julien, 56, is currently the longest-tenured head coach in the NHL. In nine seasons behind the Boston bench, Julien’s Bruins have only missed the playoffs twice, including a Stanley Cup win in 2010-11.

But those two playoff absences came in the last two seasons, and the Bruins are in a precarious playoff position again with half of the season yet to play. With 52 points, the Bruins are only two points ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who occupy the final Eastern Conference wild card berth.

Beyond them, seven Eastern teams are within at least five points of the Bruins, who have gone 8-10-5 since Dec. 7.

If he is indeed fired, Julien would become the unquestioned top name on the coaching market with plenty of suitors vying for his services. The Islanders and Panthers are both retaining interim head coaches right now, and other struggling teams like the Devils or Stars could be in the market as well.

But, as Julien says, it’s not his job to look ahead.