WILMINGTON, Mass. -- About a half day removed from calling out the Montreal Canadiens for embellishment on the ice for the sake of getting calls, Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien didn’t back down from his stance that those actions “embarrass our game.”
“I didn’t say anything wrong,” Julien said Monday at his team’s optional skate when asked whether he expected to hear from the NHL. “I didn’t blame the refs, I didn’t blame anyone. I said the embellishment puts refs in a tough position because they call it, it’s one thing, but if they call it and the guy’s really injured, it makes them look bad. We’re not helping the referees by embellishing. It makes it tough for them. It’s not as easy to correct as it seems because there’s consequences if they make a mistake on calling an embellishment.
“Like I’ve talked about before with hits from behind, responsibility also has to come from the guy getting hit, to stop putting yourself in a vulnerable position. I think embellishment is the same thing. You’re embarrassing the game and there’s no room for it.”
Julien was emotional after Sunday night’s 4-3 loss to the Canadiens, a physical, fight-filled game that saw Bruins players spend a combined 34 minutes in the penalty box.
"Right now they've got over 100 power plays so far, and it's pretty obvious why," Julien said after the game. "We're trying to clean that out of our game, and it's got to be done soon because it's not about tonight, it's about the game, and the embellishment embarrasses our game. We need to be better at that."
Though he specifically accused P.K. Subban of trying to draw a power play by throwing himself into the glass on Sunday after a hit, Julien said Monday he wasn’t calling out the Canadiens but rather was giving an assessment of the league as a whole.
“I didn’t question their character because they play hard and they’re a good team,” Julien said. “The only thing I talked about was embellishment and it wasn’t just directed at them, it’s directed at what we’re trying to clean up in the league here. There’s times when certain things frustrate you and I thought after the game, embellishment to me is something that embarrasses the game. I have a strong opinion on things and I stick by it and we’re a professional league here. Basketball has been through it and they’ve kind of cleaned it up and I’m hoping we’re going to do the same thing with hockey.”
Julien once again praised captain Zdeno Chara for sticking up for teammate Tyler Seguin, who was the recipient of an Alexei Emelin cross-check that prompted Chara to pick a fight with the Habs' defenseman. Chara got 17 minutes in penalties, during which the Habs scored the game-tying and go-ahead goals.
“We’re a big team, we’re a physical team and sometimes that works in your favor and sometimes it doesn’t,” Julien said. “What Zdeno Chara did yesterday I support 100 percent because besides that 17 minutes of penalties he got, what he did is going to go a long ways for our hockey club; especially for Tyler Seguin. Tyler’s a good player and he needs to know that everybody’s got his back. Zdeno showed that yesterday and that will allow Tyler to become a better player.”
Bruins winger Milan Lucic backed his coach up and called on fellow NHLers to take more pride in their games.
“You definitely would like to see a lot less embellishment,” Lucic said. “I know the way that we are as a team, and how we play and the type of people that we are, we don’t accept that type of play here in this room. We definitely don’t like that. We definitely don’t like seeing that type of play around the league and hopefully the right calls will be made and guys will take pride in not being that type of guy or that type of player.”