Sunday night’s game between the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins featured a full-on playoff atmosphere, with Montreal winning a 4-3 thriller that went down to the wire. Penalties were one of the stories of the evening, as the Bruins served 32 minutes in the box compared to Montreal’s 16. The Canadiens had five power play’s, while Boston had only six.
After the game, Bruins head coach Claude Julien was furious over what he perceived to be a significant amount of acting from the visiting team.
“The frustrating thing is that we get 17 minutes into the penalty box when we should have been on the power play,” Julien told reporters, via Joe Haggerty of CSNBoston.com. “It’s as simple as that,” said Julien. “It’s frustrating because tonight – as everybody saw – there’s a lot of embellishment. This is embarrassing for our game: the embellishing. Right now they’ve got over 100 power plays [this season] and it’s pretty obvious why.
“We’re trying to clean that out of our game, and its got to be done soon. It’s not about [Sunday]. It’s about the game and the embellishment embarrasses our game. We need to be better than that. It’s pretty obvious when P.K. [Subban] gets hit and throws himself into the glass and holds his head. You know what? If we start calling those penalties for embellishment, maybe teams stop doing it. But until we take charge of that it’s going to be an issue.”
The play Julien was referring to happened in the third period, when Shawn Thornton hit PK Subban in the corner and Subban grabbed his head before looking to the officials for a call. Julien was also angry over a no-call when Montreal defenseman Alexei Emelin crossed checked Tyler Seguin in the midsection near center ice late in the second period. Seguin fell to the ground in pain, and Zdeno Chara started a fight with Emelin after the shot. Chara was given an instigator penalty and the Canadiens went on to score on the power play.
The Canadiens lead the league with 100 power play chances this season. You typically don’t earn that title without a bit of acting, so you can understand why Julien was upset. Boston and Montreal have one of the oldest rivalries in hockey, and they happen to be two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference this season. That should make for some epic battles heading forward.