TORONTO -- Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron finished the 2013 regular season as the top-ranked faceoff man in the NHL. But the Toronto Maple Leafs and coach Randy Carlyle think the Bruins might be getting a little extra help in the faceoff circle.
Toronto center Tyler Bozak was tossed from the faceoff dot on more than one occasion during Game 3 on Monday. At one point, Bozak threw his hands up in disgust after getting kicked out of the circle.
"It's tough in the game. But it's over now. It's part of the game," Bozak said. "Both sides were cheating pretty good in the circle. I was getting caught more than [Bergeron]. Nothing you can do about it now. You just have to look forward to Game 4 on Wednesday."
Carlyle was vocal Tuesday in his disgust about his centers being tossed from the circle.
"Faceoffs are always a big part of any hockey game," Carlyle said. "Specifically when you're at home, you would think you would be afforded some of the staples of the opposition having to be down first and stopped, and in our review there were some things that were going on that we don't agree with as far as forcing the opposition to stop.
"The explanation I was given, and I talked with the official between the period, he stated it's supposed to be visitor down, home down, puck down. That clearly was not happening as per video."
Bruins coach Claude Julien was quick to respond to Carlyle's claims.
"I've heard a lot about the faceoff issues and I've looked at the video, too," Julien said. "It is what it is. Guys get kicked out, or not kicked out. When you lobby for something, it's because you're looking for a bit of a break next game and that's what Randy's doing right now -- he's lobbying for some breaks on the faceoffs, and it's going to be interesting to see whether the referees and the linesmen just do their job next game and not worry about who's crying wolf."
Bozak and Carlyle said they spoke with the linesmen during Monday's game and also watched video.
"I just wanted to ask him what I needed to change to stay in there a little longer, try to make it as safe as possible," Bozak said. "I got to be better to stay in there."
Bergeron, who won an NHL-best 62.1 percent of his faceoffs during the regular season, also was kicked out of the circle, but not as often as Bozak. Without giving away his technique secrets, Bergeron admitted sometimes sleight of hand is what helps win draws.
"It's one of those things that happens in games. It's a matter of timing and if you don't cheat, you're not trying. That's what everyone says, right?" Bergeron said with a smile. "That's what we're all trying to do and sometimes I got kicked out a few times last night as well. Sometimes, you're cheating a little too much, or you're getting a little too excited. It's part of it, and obviously, I take a lot of pride in draws and I want to win them because it's a big part of the game."