One of the best bits of theater we've seen anywhere in the playoffs this spring was Guy Boucher's reaction to an elbowing call delivered against Marc-Andre Bergeron after the Tampa defenseman laid a clean shoulder into Boston forward David Krejci.
But Boucher's facial contortions and gestures as he flayed the on-ice officials for the penalty call were classic and speak to the emotion that courses through every postseason game.
"A bit agitated?" Boucher said, grinning, when asked Friday about the incident. "Well, I felt like I looked. But it's just in the heat of the moment. And I felt the previous game that there was a lot of penalties we didn't deserve.
"And I was probably carrying that over to that game and probably wanted to make sure that we felt strongly about that one like we did the previous game where I stayed a bit calmer. And sometimes you stay calm and it helps. Sometimes you don't stay calm and it also helps. And sometimes it doesn't help at all," he said. "So I think it's important that I act according to what I feel. And it was a short burst. And it stayed a short burst. And when you look at the replay, I think I was right on."
The Tampa coach closed the topic by saying he thought the referees had done a nice job in Game 3. With that one exception, perhaps.
Boston coach Claude Julien acknowledged Friday that the hit was likely a clean one but that somehow these things all usually work out in the end.
"I guess if you have time to look at the replay -- you can look at it in slow motion and do all that stuff -- you can say, well, it was a good hit. And it's happened to us before from our end of it. And sometimes you get called for penalties," Julien said.
He noted -- probably correctly -- that during the power play that ensued, Tampa netminder Dwayne Roloson clearly played the puck outside the trapezoid behind the goal line with an official a few feet away and no penalty was called.
"And maybe it [the Bergeron penalty] wasn't the right call. But at the same time, they could have had a second penalty on that same play where the goaltender touched the puck outside the area.
And the referee was there, and I think he didn't call it, because probably trying to make up for it. So this is about being smart about those kind of things, and there was no issues from my end of it. I think it all evened out in the end," Julien said.
"And that's what we talk about when you play the games. For the most part, you're always going to get some tough calls going against you or against the other team, and at the end of the night, most of the time it all evens out. So it's just one of those situations."