As what is expected to be an epic Stanley Cup finals gets underway tonight in Tampa — the Tampa Bay Lightning hosting the favored Chicago Blackhawks in a matchup of perhaps the two fastest and most talented teams in the game — fans and insiders across the NHL are wondering what the heck the Bruins are waiting for with their coaching decision.

Is Claude Julien keeping his job or is it possible the team’s new front office could, at this late date, still fire the longtime B’s coach?

It is believed that Julien — just 10 wins away from the team record for coaching victories — truly does not know what’s going to happen.

One veteran insider in the Boston pro hockey community yesterday offered his take on the delay: that the Bruins love the way the Lightning and Blackhawks play, and are trying to decide whether Julien is the right guy to get the B’s playing a comparable brand of hockey.

“I’m hearing that it’s not definitely a done deal,” said the source of Julien’s return. “What I’ve heard is that Claude has been presented with a presentation that says: ‘We’ve got to be different. Look at the NHL’s final four: up-tempo, high pressure, the offensive players are really flying up the ice.’ It’s a great game. It’s fun to watch. It’s great, tough hockey. I think (Julien) has got to buy into that. They want a change.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if they kept him. But then again, I don’t think anybody would be surprised if they didn’t. You’d think before the (June 26 NHL) draft that they have to make up their minds. We’ll see what happens, but you’d think they would have made that decision by now, wouldn’t you?”

If this is so, if team president Cam Neely & Co. are so determined to discard their old ways and play more open, risk-taking hockey, maybe it’s worth a reminder that just two seasons ago the B’s were so slow and so mired in the Julien system that they managed to get only 118 points.