By nature, Hockey doesn’t promote shyness. So when Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien called out the Montreal Canadiens for wanton embellishment after Sunday night’s 4-3 loss to the Habs, he pulled no punches.
“Right now they’ve got over 100 power plays so far, and it’s pretty obvious why,” Julien said after the game of the Canadiens. “We’re trying to clean that out of our game, and it’s got to be done soon because it’s not about tonight, it’s about the game, and the embellishment embarrasses our game.”
Embellishment is an interesting choice of words, and in this circumstance he is referring to hockey’s version of a flop, to which he suggests that Montreal has resorted to in order to gain a competitive advantage over their foes…and it has many synonyms, though simply claiming that a player is flopping or taking a dive usually does the trick.
Simply stated in sports vernacular, Julien is claiming that the Canadiens are cheating, and if you have to resort to cheating, how satisfying is the victory?
The Canadiens don’t see it that way.
“Jealousy,” claimed Montreal’s Max Pacioretty of the motivation behind Julien’s remarks,”We’re at the top right now and reading comments like that is awesome. If we’re in last place, they wouldn’t be saying anything about us, but we’re in first place and it’s the best feeling in the world.”
The lead for the next chapter in this storied rivalry has just been written, and it suggests dark malfeasance – and perhaps a ring announcer and a cut man.
“To me, those comments that he made were ridiculous and I think he was very frustrated to have lost that game.” said Montreal coach Michel Terrien in response to Julien’s remarks, then added, “Claude can concentrate on his team and I’ll concentrate on my own.”
It is certain that he’s concentrating on March 27th, when the teams will meet in a rematch that will be nothing short of a brawl – he just has to make sure that the countdown to the season’s most anticipated grudge match doesn’t consume both he and his team before then…
…because if it does and the Bruins get caught looking ahead, the Canadien’s “embellishment” will have had its desired result, and focus will have given way to gamesmanship.
The schedule leading up to this showdown is brutal for the Bruins, twelve games in 22 days, seven of the 12 on the road including four of five leading up to the rematch, so focus is essential…
…but the road to Boston is even tougher for the Habs. While playing only 10 games in same span, seven of those are on the road, including playing in Pittsburgh against the Penguins the day before.
Wednesday, March 27th at 7:30pm, TD Center, Boston, Massachusetts.