The Boston Bruins lost to the Montreal Canadiens, 4-3, on Sunday in a game that left coach Claude Julien seething in frustration.
One reason: Zdeno Chara’s instigator, fighting major and misconduct for a fight against Alexei Emelin late in the second period, which followed Emelin’s stiff cross-check on Tyler Seguin in the neutral zone.
Max Pacioretty scored the tying goal with Chara off the ice in the third, and David Desharnais gave the Habs the eventual 4-3 margin just under four minutes later.
Montreal had five power plays in the game, scoring on one of them, while the Bruins had just two. Boston also had double the penalty minutes (32) of Montreal (16).
Add up all of this, and you end up with a Claude Julien postgame rant about Canadiens embellishment. Oh, he was not pleased.
Here’s Julien’s postgame presser:
For the video impaired, here’s what Julien said about the Canadiens and embellishment:
“The frustrating part is that you end with 17 minutes in the penalty box when we should have been on the power play. It’s as simple as that.
"It’s frustrating because tonight, as everybody saw, there’s a lot of embellishment. This is embarrassing for our game, the embellishing. And right now they’ve got over 100 power plays so far and it’s pretty obvious why. We’re trying to clean that out of our game, and its got to be done soon.
“It’s not about tonight; it’s about the game and the embellishment embarrasses our game. We need to be better than that. It’s pretty obvious when P.K. [Subban] gets hit and throws himself into the glass and holds his head.
"You know what? If we start calling those penalties for embellishment, maybe teams stop doing it. But until we take charge of that, it’s going to be an issue.”
From Joe Haggerty, some context on the Subban reference:
Julien was referencing a play in the third period when Shawn Thornton checked Subban in the corner, and then Subban held his head down while looking around the referees immediately after making contact with the boards. It wasn’t quite as obvious as the Nestea plunge he performed last season while lobbying for a penalty call, but it was obviously just as infuriating for the Bruins coach.
Montreal leads the NHL with 100 power-play chances this season, and was third with 301 last season.
This isn’t the first time the Bruins have lobbed diving accusations at the Canadiens. Please recall in 2011 when Brad Marchand said of Montreal, “They like to get in and shoot their mouths off, and then when you hit them they dive down easy.” (Yes, that Brad Marchand.)
Of course, it could just be that the Habs are a tenacious group that earns its power-play time; or it could be that they’re a collection of scurrilous divers that are embarrassing the NHL.
Whatever they are, they’re on top of the Eastern Conference, and beat Julien's team on Sunday. Hence, the rant.