Julien on Marchand hit: 'We all have our opinions'

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Julien on Marchand hit: 'We all have our opinions'

BOSTON -- It was clear. Bruins coach Claude Julien didn't agree with the game misconducts that were handed out to Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand in Saturday's 4-3 loss to the Vancouver Canucks at the TD Garden.

But before making those implications, he refused to rip the officials for the calls.

"It doesn't really matter, guys," said Julien after the loss. "You guys know. We can't comment. Our job is to assess our team. Our job is to assess our players. Our job is not to assess or comment on referees. So I'm not stupid enough to stand up here and criticize them.

"What I can tell ya is that they scored four power-play goals, so we gave them an opportunity to score on their bread and butter. Instead of criticizing the referees, I would much prefer criticizing us for the penalties. Whether you're worthy or not, take the responsibility."

The biggest power-play goal that was scored, may have been Vancouver's third of the game, with 12.3 seconds left in the second period.

It came one minute into Marchand's game misconduct for "clipping" on Vancouver's Sami Salo.

Salo came in hard to make a hit along the boards, and Marchand -- who stood still -- saw it coming and quickly ducked. It was a reactionary move that sent Salo up and over Marchand and down to the ice, where he stayed before skating back to the dressing room with an apparent shoulder injury.

After the game, Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault said that Salo suffered an "upper-body" injury and would be further evaluated on Sunday.

But at the time of the collision, the Bruins lost Marchand for the rest of the game, which also resulted in two Vancouver goals.

The second ended up being the game-winner, and came 1:09 into the third period, as Cody Hodgson ripped a slap shot off the cross-bar and in, as he skated down to the top-right circle.

And while Julien wouldn't rip the officials after the game, he did imply that Marchand's "clip" didn't deserve a game misconduct, which eventually cost the Bruins the game.

"We all have our opinions with what is going on with the game and the hits and everything else," said Julien. "All I'm gonna tell you is that, I have always told my players that they need to protect themselves. The last thing I want my players to do is to get hit and then end up with a concussion, and they have to protect themselves.

"Whether it's the right way or the wrong way, it'll depend on how the league looks at it. But I'd rather have a guy take a two-minute penalty than turn his back to the play, stand up straight, and then get his face knocked into the glass, and be out for the rest of the year with a concussion, or maybe end a career, like Savard.

"In my opinion, if guys start protecting themselves the way Marchand did, maybe guys will stop taking runs at other guys."

Cassidy: 'Trying to set a standard' of being one of the NHL's better teams

Cassidy: 'Trying to set a standard' of being one of the NHL's better teams

BOSTON – The Bruins have won seven of eight games under interim coach Bruce Cassidy and are fortifying their position as the third playoff team in the Atlantic Division with each passing victory.

The 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes at TD Garden on Tuesday night probably shouldn’t be all impressive based on the Yotes standing as the second-worst team in the NHL, but it was a classic trap game coming off a long West Coast road trip. Instead of falling for the trap the Bruins exploded for three goals in the second period, energized by a shorthanded Riley Nash strike, and continue to extend the winning stretch they need in order to punch their playoff ticket.

The postseason clincher is still a long way away from reality, but Cassidy said the B’s are starting to achieve the elevated level of play they’re aiming for while finally getting the full potential out of their team.

“I just want the guys to make sure that they play confident, solid hockey and believe in themselves. And play to a [higher] standard,” said Cassidy. “We’re trying to set a standard where we’re one of the better teams in the National Hockey League. They’ve been there before, the leadership group here. That’s where we’re striving to get through in the end.”

They haven’t exactly shied away from the competition either, twice beating the first-place San Jose Sharks and shutting out the first place Montreal Canadiens in the final straw that saw Michel Therrien axed in favor of Claude Julien.

The B’s have now opened up a three-point cushion over the Maple Leafs for their playoff spot and they’ve averaged 4.13 goals per game (33 goals in eight games) while allowing just 2.13 goals per game (17 goals in eight games) in the eight games going from Julien to Cassidy. 

The challenge now is to maintain that level of play over the final 19 games of the regular season to drive home their playoff bid and finish strong at a point where in each of the past two seasons they’ve utterly imploded.


 

Wednesday, March 1: Bruins okay with not dealing

Wednesday, March 1: Bruins okay with not dealing

Here are all the links from around the hockey world as NHL trade deadline day is upon us with no promise of fireworks in Boston.

*As referenced above, there’s a good chance the Bruins won’t be doing much today and they’re perfectly okay with that.

*Craig Custance grades every move made ahead of the trade deadline with plenty of action out of the way early.

*The Vancouver Canucks will not be trading Ryan Miller, which is smart given the normal market for No. 1 goaltenders.

*The New York Rangers lost out on the Kevin Shattenkirk rental sweepstakes at the deadline, so they’ve opted for Brendan Smith instead.

*The Florida Panthers may make a move at the deadline (which they did in acquiring Thomas Vanek) but they will not make or break their team with deadline deals.

*Doug Armstrong says that Shattenkirk was frustrated by his role with the St. Louis Blues, and that played into his trade to the Capitals.

*For something completely different: It’s a national holiday in Canada as Jay and Dan will be returning to their natural habitat.