Claude Julien wasn't too happy on Saturday afternoon about his team's performance against Vancouver! (Photo Credit: Zimbio.com)
By Andy Deossa
BOSTON, MA – The Bruins knew that they would be facing a Canucks’ team with a lot of vengeance on Saturday. What the B’s didn’t know is that they would also be going against the referees in their 4-3 loss to Vancouver on Saturday afternoon.
In what may have been the most physical game of the NHL season, the B’s and Canucks combined for 30 penalties, 18 power plays and 107 total penalty minutes. Boston went 0-for-7 on the man advantage while Vancouver scored all four of their goals on the power play, going 4-for-11.
It’s not typical to see 30 penalties in one game, but the refs did have a lot of questionable calls on Saturday. They tried to do their best to control the game, but despite that, they tossed two Bruins players as both Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand were given 10-minute game misconducts.
When asked about it after the game, Claude Julien wasn’t too happy, saying, “It doesn’t really matter guys. Like I said – 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. I’m not stupid enough to stand up here and criticize them. What I can tell you is that [Vancouver] 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 they’re worthy or not, take the responsibility”
Lucic received his penalty in the first period when he allegedly left the bench to take part of a scrum on the ice. After further review, the NHL rescinded the game misconduct because Lucic was entering a shift which legally allowed him to be on the ice.
However, Marchand’s penalty is a bit debatable. In effort to avoid getting slammed into the boards by Sami Salo, Marchand ducked and hit Salo low. The Canucks defenseman hit the ice hard and stayed down for a while before heading down the tunnel. Vancouver head coach Alain Vigneault later announced that Salo had suffered an upper body injury and will be reevaluated.
As aforementioned, Julien didn’t want to talk about the refs but he did share his opinion on the incident.
“All I’m going to tell you is that I always told my players that they need to protect themselves. The last thing I want my players to do is get hit and then end up with a concussion, said the Bruins head coach. “In my opinion, if guys start protecting themselves the way Marchand did, maybe guys will stop taking runs at other guys because that’s the consequences you end up paying for taking runs at guys, too.”
Would the outcome have been different if Lucic hadn’t been sent out of the game? Maybe. Regardless, it wasn’t the deciding factor. Boston’s played well five-on-five, but facing 11 power plays — without two of your best forwards — is no easy task for any team.
“It was what it was,” said Julien after the game. “I think the build-up from last year is still there, but I’m going to reiterate the same thing I said this week: It was only a two-point game, and that’s how we had to approach it. There’s a lot that happened last year in the playoffs that carried over to today’s game. As much as the referees tried to control it, at times, it became a challenge.”
Although it wasn’t the outcome the Bruins hoped for, Julien made no excuses for the loss by stating, “They did the right things, and we didn’t do enough to win the hockey game. Let’s be man enough to admit it and move on.”