Irate Julien embarrassed by Canadiens 'embellishment'

Irate Julien embarrassed by Canadiens 'embellishment'
March 3, 2013, 11:45 pm
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Bruins coach isn't happy with Montreal's style of play


BOSTON -- Claude Julien practically had steam coming out of his ears following the 4-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens after watching the Habs pull their typical diving and embellishment routine over 60 minutes of hockey.

To make matters worse Montreal defenseman Alexei Emelin cross-checked Tyler Seguin in the ribs with less than five minutes to go in the second period and the Bruins holding a 3-2 lead. Emelin’s shot was hard enough to break his own stick as he sneakily struck the Bruins offensive star right in front of the Boston bench, and caused Zdeno Chara to react while protecting a hurting Seguin.

Instead of Emelin getting called for a cross-checking penalty, Chara was whistled for an instigator infraction and the 17 minutes worth of penalties that go right along with it. The Habs managed to score two goals in the third period with Chara in the penalty box, and it turned out to be the difference in a game for first place in the Northeast Division and Eastern Conference.

So to say the Bruins coach was a little vexed at Montreal’s conduct on the ice and the officiating that went along with it would be putting it mildly.

“The frustrating thing is that we get 17 minutes into the penalty box when we should have been on the power play. 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.”

Julien was referencing a play in the third period when Shawn Thornton checked Subban in the corner, and then Subban held his head down while looking around the referees immediately after making contact with the boards. It wasn’t quite as obvious as the Nestea plunge he performed last season while lobbying for a penalty call, but it was obviously just as infuriating for the Bruins coach.

Perhaps Julien will face some kind of fine for his harsh words criticizing the league and the players flopping for whistles, but its always been a sensitive topic for a Bruins team that generally gets less power play because they don’t drop to the ground at the slightest contact from an opponent.

There’s a reason the Black and Gold are dead last in the league in power plays awarded (61) to them while the Montreal Canadiens (tops in the league with an even 100 power plays) sit atop the list.

There was plenty of tough talk about diving and embellishment over the summer, and even potentially putting out a “watch list” of players known for flopping and diving in the style of teams like the Canadiens and the Canucks. But instead it’s back to the NHL refs treating hockey like its soccer, and Julien finally said enough is enough after a frustrating loss to the Habs.