BOSTON -- Bruins coach Claude Julien said players who embellish to earn a power play are an "embarrassment" to the NHL, and he believes the Montreal Canadiens are at the head of the pack in that department.
In an emotional postgame rant after the Bruins' 4-3 loss to the Habs on Sunday night -- a game in which Montreal went on the man advantage five times, upping its league lead in power-play opportunities to 100 -- Julien made it clear that he thinks the majority of those were a result of embellishment.
"Right now they've got over 100 power plays so far, and it's pretty obvious why," Julien said. "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."
The root of Julien's frustration came at 15:34 of the second period. Bruins captain Zdeno Chara went after Montreal defenseman Alexei Emelin, who jabbed his stick into the midsection of Boston winger Tyler Seguin.
Chara ended up with a total of 17 minutes in penalties from the incident (a 10-minute misconduct, a five-minute major for fighting and a two-minute minor for instigating that was served by Shawn Thornton).
The Canadiens failed to score on the power play they received for Chara's instigator penalty, but they erased a 3-2 Bruins lead with two unanswered goals in the first 10 minutes of the third period with the All-Star still out for the fighting major and 10-minute misconduct.
Although Julien acknowledged the Bruins could've been better with their top defenseman in the penalty box, he made it clear his frustration stemmed from the fact that Emelin wasn't penalized initially.
"It's frustrating," Julien said. "Right now, it's frustrating that you end up 17 minutes in the penalty box when you should've been on the power play. It's as simple as that. And it's frustrating because tonight, as everybody saw, there's a lot of embellishment, and this is embarrassing for our game, the embellishing."
Julien also pointed a finger at P.K. Subban for what he thought was his embellishment in an attempt to draw a power play after the Canadiens' defenseman was hit by Bruins winger Milan Lucic in the first period.
"It was pretty obvious when P.K. gets hit and he throws himself into the glass and holds his head," Julien said. "Once we start calling those penalties for embellishment, teams will stop doing it. But until we take charge of that it's going to be an issue.
"It's hard on referees, and when people embellish it makes them look bad. We just make sure we get the right people when it comes to that and calling embellishment and maybe they'll stop embarrassing referees."
Julien defended his team when asked whether the Canadiens changed the Bruins' game plan as the power plays increased. The coach used a second-period penalty for cross-checking on Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference as an example of how embellishment was preventing Boston from playing its game.
"Our plan was to play the same way we do every night," Julien said. "We don't play differently because it's the Montreal Canadiens. We play our game and the physicality of our game is part of it, and we just have to go out there and continue at it. We can't change. Our hits are clean. Even the push in the corner on Ference. A little push and they throw themselves into the boards and another power play. We can't change our style. We gotta play the way we play. If it's clean then it should be deemed clean."