Julien complains B's are doing "embarrassing things in the game of hockey"

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Julien complains B's are doing "embarrassing things in the game of hockey"

BOSTON – It would be an understatement to say it’s been a rough year for Claude Julien coaching the Montreal Canadiens this season.

That rough year continued on Saturday night with the arch-rival Boston Bruins coming from behind to take a 2-1 overtime decision over the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden where rookie Jake DeBrusk tied the game with less than three minutes to go in the third period, and Brad Marchand played the OT hero with a great individual shift during 3-on-3 play. 


The win gave the Bruins a season series sweep over the Canadiens in all four meetings between the two teams, the first time that Boston has swept Montreal in the regular season since all the way back in 1994-95. That part had to be a bitter pill for Julien after he was fired by the Bruins some 13 months ago before he quickly took the head coaching gig up in Montreal, but it took a backseat to the Habs head coach’s displeasure with the officiating on Saturday night.  

Julien went so far as to indict the Bruins for doing “embarrassing things in the game of hockey” during a Boston win where Montreal led the game for 47 plus minutes before blowing it at the end. Clearly there were some penalty calls that Julien didn’t like, but he also accused his former team of play-acting for penalty calls, something he vehemently disapproved of during his 10 years coaching the Bruins. 

“I think it’s pretty obvious. When your best shooter is on a breakaway and doesn’t get a shot away, I think everybody agrees that it should have been a penalty shot,” said Julien, referencing a first period slashing minor penalty on Sean Kuraly that broke up a breakaway chance for Montreal. “What’s embarrassing is [Rick] Nash embellishing [a high-sticking call]. The stick hits his shoulder, it doesn’t even hit his face and he embellishes and looks at the referee. 

“Those are embarrassing things in the game of hockey. We’re a tired team and we have to kill penalties, and it eventually caught up to us. That’s disappointing that when we had some of those things happen, or another [Byron Froese] penalty that’s called five seconds later because we end up on a two-on-one. As I said, we evaluate ourselves and we expect others to evaluate themselves as well.”

None of those controversial penalties ended up being the one that really killed the Habs as it was a delay of game call on Jonathan Drouin that set up Boston’s game-tying power play goal late in the third period. Overall the Bruins were a fairly powerless 1-for-6 on the power play despite the clear advantage in the special teams department, but don’t tell that to Julien as he was muttering about the officiating on the way to the Habs team bus on his way out of the Garden.


Morning Skate: Best all-time college hockey lineups

NBC Sports Boston Photo

Morning Skate: Best all-time college hockey lineups

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while welcoming in spring with open arms.


*Interesting exercise from ESPN putting together the best all-time lineups for a number of college hockey programs. We know about a lot of the powerhouse programs, but UVM could put together a pretty damn good lineup based on the players that have come out of the Catamounts program, including former and current Bruins Tim Thomas and Kevan Miller.


*Jack Eichel scoffs at the notion that his ankle injury should have caused the Sabres star to shut it down for the rest of the season.


*Nice work by Star Wars Rebels showrunner Dave Filoni to put together a Star Wars jersey again this season for the Wilkes Barre Scranton Penguins.


*Rob Rossi has got some major issues with ESPN the Magazine omitting Sidney Crosby from their Most Dominant Athletes of the last 20 years list. Yeah, I’d say that doesn’t make any sense. Not that anybody really cares about ESPN the Magazine or anything.


*Strange times with the CWHL as Cassie Campbell Pascal has resigned from her role as a CWHL Governor ahead of the league’s marquee weekend.


*The Golden Knights and Marc-Andre Fleury are both tied together in their rise toward the top of the NHL this season.


*For something completely different: Never before has a mustache been talked about as much as the CGI mustache for Henry Cavill in Justice League, and now it’s gone forever.


Donato misses Bruins practice for Harvard class commitment

Donato misses Bruins practice for Harvard class commitment

It might have caused a ripple when Ryan Donato wasn’t on the ice on Tuesday afternoon in St. Louis for Bruins practice on the day after his brilliant, three-point NHL debut for the Black and Gold. But the 21-year-old Donato was still back in the Boston area fulfilling some class requirements at Harvard University to help him close out the current semester properly, and not lose the credits that will keep him in line with fulfilling his junior year at Harvard University.

Believe it or not, the schoolwork is important to the newest member of the Boston Bruins and he intends to study and hit the books on his road trips, and also intends to take classes in the summertime to still graduate on time next season.

“I’m planning on finishing the semester academically. I want to finish the semester academically,” said Donato, after Monday’s morning skate at Warrior Ice Arena prior to last night’s debut vs. Columbus. “Obviously it’s going to be something that’s difficult, but for me it was a dream to graduate from Harvard. I’m putting that off a little bit, but I need to be able to finish this semester in order to have that opportunity, and not put it off for another couple of years. I want to finish out the semester.”

Donato is also still living in the Harvard dorms while “moonlighting” as an NHL hockey player for the rest of the season, but that isn’t all so uncommon among some of the college players that leave school early. Charlie McAvoy was similarly living in the Boston University dorms last spring through Boston’s playoff run, and didn’t clear out of his college living situation until after the Black and Gold had been eliminated by the Ottawa Senators last April.

Missing practices on an NHL schedule is certainly a new one with, Donato, however, and takes the student-athlete concept to a whole new level for somebody that's already turned pro. One has to expect this was one of the things being discussed in full when the Donato family, Ryan's agent and the Bruins discussed his contract terms over the weekend before coming to an agreement.

Along with Donato, who is scheduled to fly into St. Louis and play against the Blues on Wednesday night, Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy, David Backes, Jake DeBrusk, Rick Nash and Torey Krug were all missing from the ice at Tuesday’s team practice ahead of a four game road trip against Western Conference opponents.