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."