The Boston Bruins finished their season sweep of the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. Claude Julien’s post-game comments however, quickly became the story.
After Saturday night’s late, comeback victory, Montreal Canadiens coach, Claude Julien, had some negative remarks toward the play of the Boston Bruins. Julien went as far to say that the Bruins were doing “embarrassing things in the game of hockey.”
Claude Julien Disapproves of Boston Bruins Play After Tough Loss
Let’s back up to before these comments were made. Claude Julien is having an awful first season as head coach of the Canadiens. Going into Monday’s action, Montreal sits well out of a playoff spot and toward the bottom of a top-heavy Atlantic Divison. They have 61 points in 65 games. From early on, it was clear the Canadiens were not making the playoffs this season.
Also, Saturday night’s win marked the first time the Boston Bruins had completed a regular-season sweep of the Canadiens since 1994-95. Of course, that hurts a little more when he coached the Bruins for the past 10 seasons and now faced that sweep on his new team.
Further, Montreal led that game for just about 57 minutes. Losing the lead with 2:45 remaining in third and losing in OT, certainly does not help the temperament of any NHL coach.
Bruins Doing “Embarrassing Things in the Game of Hockey”
While there were some calls Julien did not approve of, he also focused on some of the “acting” down by Bruins players. “I think it’s pretty obvious. When your best shooter is on a breakaway and doesn’t get a shot away, I think everybody agrees that it should have been a penalty shot,” said Julien, referencing a first-period slashing call against Sean Kuraly preventing a Montreal breakaway. “What’s embarrassing is [Rick] Nash embellishing. The stick hits his shoulder, it doesn’t even hit his face and he embellishes and looks at the referee.”
He continued, “Those are embarrassing things in the game of hockey. We’re a tired team and we have to kill penalties, and it eventually caught up to us. That’s disappointing that when we had some of those things happen, or another [Byron Froese] penalty that’s called five seconds later because we end up on a two-on-one. As I said, we evaluate ourselves and we expect others to evaluate themselves as well.”
It should be noted the Bruins did not score on any of those powerplays. It was a delay of game penalty that caused the eventual tieing goal. While the Bruins special teams may not have been hugely successful, they did outshoot Montreal 50-28. They also clearly outplayed Montreal for much of the game offensively, including 63% on the face-off dot, without Bergeron.
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Claude Julien has every right to be a little emotional after his team blows a late lead. Especially, in a game against his former team during a very unsuccessful season. But, I don’t think he can try to blame Nash or others looking for a call as the reason for their loss. Reffing is also very inconsistent this year, so I am all for pointing out other blown or late calls on their part. But, just because the Bruins play differently now, than when he was behind the bench, and succeeding, does not mean he should try to throw salt at his former team.