MONTREAL - Claude Julien didn’t make any guarantee or any bold prediction.
Coming off their worst performance of this Round 2 series in a ugly 4-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, the Boston Bruins coach made it clear his expectations for Game 7 Thursday are high.
“I expect us to win,” Julien said.
Though he was ready to look ahead, he wasn’t at all happy with the way the Bruins played or the way his club was treated by the officials after this game turned ugly in the final minute.
Though Julien wasn’t trying to claim innnocence, he accused Montreal defenceman Andrei Markov of tripping Zdeno Chara and then putting his stick between his legs during the incident.
Julien was livid on the bench yelling at the officials with 24 seconds left on what had already been a tough night.
“Although we’re perceived as the bad guys and we’re the good guys,” said a frustrated Julien. “When Markov trips Chara and then puts his stick between his legs and nothing is going to be called then eventually somebody is going to react.
“Whether it’s right or wrong Zdeno reacted and then everything else started. There was a slew foot by David Desharnais before on (Brad) Marchand. It’s a slew foot. Those are things that we keep talking about that are dangerous in our game. It’s a rivalry and there’s some things going on both sides ... We’re not treating ourselves as innoncent here. It takes two teams to tangle and that’s what happened.”
This should set the table for a dramatic finish in Game 7 at TD Garden.
THIS N’ THAT
Chara wasn’t quite as open about the incident. “It was just a battle,” said Chara. Sure, looked like more than that and this series needed a bit of bad blood to boil over because it hadn’t in the first five games. This is the 34th time in history these two teams have met in the playoffs, you should see a little stick work along with pushing and shoving ... Give Boston defenceman Kevan Miller credit, he tried to explain his brutal turnover that resulted in the opening goal by Lars Eller. “It came along the boards, it took a bad bounce and I kind of handcuffed myself,” Miller said. “One in a million it ends up on a guy’s stick. It was unfortunate and I’ve got to be better than that. It was definitely frustrating to start. I felt ready to go and it was just a bad play.”
THIS N’ THAT
The Leafs are serious about moving captain Dion Phaneuf — as Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reported — a possible fit is Calgary. Former Leafs GM Brian Burke dealt for Phaneuf when he was in Toronto and it’s believed the Flames have more than a passing interest in bringing him back ... Boston assistant GM Jim Benning may not be in his current post much longer. He has emerged as the frontrunner to take over the GM’s post in Vancouver ... Asked how he remembered losing Game 6 in Montreal in 2011 after being up 3-2 in the series, Julien didn’t miss a beat: “I don’t. Short-term memory.” ... Habs’ defenceman Nathan Beaulieu made his NHL debut in a playoff elimination game and picked up an assist on Max Pacioretty’s goal in the second. Beaulieu hadn’t played since the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogers were eliminated from the AHL playoffs three weeks ago ... The Bruins are now 0-5 in Game 6 situations under Julien when they have a chance to close a team out. They are 3-1 in Game 7.
OFF THE GLASS
Boston goalie Tuukka Rask was frustrated after giving up four goals on 28 shots. He shot to the exit as soon as the final buzzer sounded and was in his street clothes only minutes after the game. “We need everybody to step up (in Game 7),” Rask said. “We’ve been in that situation before. We’ve got to play desperate and play our kind of hockey.” ... The Bruins are hopeful they have learned from their Game 7 experiences. “We have (played well) but we have to take that experience and use it. We played these guys in Game 7 and we have to be ready for it,” defenceman Johnny Boychuk said. “Anything can happen in Game 7 you just have to be ready for it.”
THE LAST WORDS
These two teams went a stretch of 5:11 in the second without stoppage in play. Yon don’t see that very often ... Rask made an unreal stick save diving across on Brendan Gallagher seven minutes into the first ... Loui Eriksson was shaking his head in the first after ringing off the crossbar. For his part, Carey Price was all smiles because it was the 10th time in the series Boston has hit the iron ... Montreal’s Alexei Emelin caused quite a stir in the first when he took down Chara ... Desharnais made the save of the night by stopping one on the line with 8:55 left and the Habs ahead 3-0 ... Just for good measure, Dale Weise flexed his muscle at Milan Lucic at the end of the first. Seriously.
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