WILMINGTON, Mass. -- Playoff tactics always get interesting this time of year.
Players and coaches all do things differently in order to give their team the necessary edge in a series. The trick is to do it in such a way in which the opponent gets the hint, but also doesn’t use it as motivation.
Players do plenty of chirping on the ice, but they have to make sure to keep their emotions in check when the camera is on them in the locker room. After the Bruins’ 4-0 loss in Game 5 on Monday, Bruins forward Marc Savard said “enough is enough” when asked about the physical play of the Flyers’ Mike Richards.
“That’s the way he plays, it’s part of his demeanor, he’ll never change,” Savard said.
Richards, of course, ended David Krejci’s season with a clean open-ice hit in Game 3. Then Richards hit Savard from behind in Game 4. The two got into it again late in Game 5 and Milan Lucic jumped in to help Savard.
“They’re objecting to a lot of hits as well,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said after practice at Ristuccia Arena on Tuesday morning. “It’s playoff hockey. I’m not necessarily disagreeing or agreeing with [Savard] but referees have a job to do and you’ve got to let them do their jobs. If they think it is that situation then so be it. If it crosses the line, then you hope your teammates are all in there. I think Looch was in there yesterday and defended him.”
Julien’s not about to get into a he-said, he-said situation heading into Game 6 Wednesday night in Philadelphia.
“That’s not my major concern right now,” he said. “My major concern is getting our team ready to win a hockey game. Let’s move forward and understand the implications of playoff hockey. The intensity is up, so let’s handle ourselves like men and face the situation tomorrow and play a strong hockey game.”