Julien: 'Things have been exaggerated' to build rivalry

Julien: 'Things have been exaggerated' to build rivalry
May 6, 2014, 3:30 pm
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MONTREAL – Claude Julien has heard the escalating war of words between the two sides of the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens after just two games in the playoff series, and he’s ready to move on to simply playing the game. Julien himself mentioned “the crap” Boston had to play through in Game 2 in reference to a frustration level with the penalty calls on home ice.

The players seemed to understand, however, that discipline was an issue in the first couple of games in the series.

“I think we can definitely improve in that area," Brad Marchand said. "I think we could definitely stand to clean that up a little, but I think there have also been some calls we didn’t agree with. But that definitely happens on both sides of it. I’m sure they definitely feel the same way, but we definitely need to clean up some penalties that we shouldn’t have taken.”

The Alexei Emelin dive for a hooking call on Jordan Caron in the first period of Game 2 was one tough call vs. the Bruins that comes to mind.

Montreal head coach Michel Therrien accused the Bruins players and coaches of “trying to influence the officials” with their lobbying and complaints about the lack of penalty calls. It’s all part of both coaches trying to gain any edge they can in the series, but Julien said on Tuesday that certain things have been “exaggerated” to build more of a rivalry between the Bruins and Habs.

Okay, then. The Habs edged the Bruins in power play chances during their four meetings in the regular season by a 17-13 margin, and that’s been upped to a 9-5 PP advantage during the first two games of their playoff series. There was also plenty of chatter about the Bruins shooting high to expose a potential weak spot with butterfly goaltender Carey Price, but Julien said it’s all much ado about nothing.

“Everyone has a right to their opinion," Julien said. "We know that since the beginning of the playoffs lots of things have been exaggerated to build an off-ice rivalry. But we’re taking care of our own affairs, and we respect other people’s opinions.”

Who would have thought things might get magnified in a Bruins/Canadiens matchup during the playoffs?

The Bruins understand it’s not about the off-ice issues, and is instead all about showing discipline, patience and determination on the ice in the unfriendly environs of the Bell Centre. But that’s easier said than done as they prepare for anything to happen in the sometimes crazy environment in Montreal.