WILMINGTON – Johnny Boychuk mentioned to 98.5 the Sports Hub morning show team Toucher and Rich that he was a little “surprised” by the booing that went along with Thursday night’s disappointing loss to the Montreal Canadiens. It’s not something the Bruins players have heard much at all in recent years with a pair of Stanley Cup Final appearances, and a style of play that keeps the Boston masses happy with a brawny, bullying brand of hockey.
But it certainly couldn’t have come as too much of a shock given the heated rivalry between the Bruins and Canadiens, and the way Boston didn’t come to play in the 4-1 loss to the Bleu, Blanc and Rouge.
Claude Julien wasn’t surprised at all at the fan displeasure heard at the end of the second period, and then right along through the third as Boston paced through the motions in a defeat without defiance or emotional involvement. Clearly there’s also a different level of expectation for the Black and Gold given the talent level of the team, and the long string of
“Fans are fans. It’s the same everywhere. It’s not just here. When you play the way we did last night, you’re not going to get cheered. They were disappointed with the way we played, and so where we,” said Julien.
“[The fans] expressed their disappointment in our game, and I don’t take it personally. I take it that we deserved it, and we didn’t play well. Let’s move, and those people will cheer us when we play well and rightfully so.”
In essence, a team that plays with the urgency and energy of an excited group of NHL players isn’t going to hear boos and catcalls. A team that plays with little inspiration or fight against their biggest rival will hear it from the 17,565 rabid Black and Gold fans in the stands.