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Bear Essentials: Sunday Roundup

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
The Hansons

My mention of Coach Claude Julien fighting a Hanson Brother has elicited quite a response…

I've posted this before, but here is a small piece of an interview coach did with The Montreal Gazette's Dave Stubbs, back when he was hired by the Habs:

It's been a roundabout road to Montreal for Julien, a 42-year-old native of Orleans, Ont. In 12 seasons, he suited up for 10 different professional teams in five leagues and three countries. He put up his dukes and held his own against a Hanson brother of Slap Shot fame (whose knuckles presumably were not wrapped in foil)… A career-high 176 penalty minutes in 1982-83 with the Central Hockey League's Salt Lake Golden Eagles - but also a career-high 14 goals and 61 points.

Were you a goon (asked Stubbs of Julien)?

John Bishop is the beat writer for He covers the Black & Gold hoping to offer a positive look at the team, not only from the stands and the press box, but also from inside the locker room. A graduate of Boston U. and Northeastern, 'Bish' grew up in Connecticut and moved to the Hub of Hockey in 1993. Since then he has made all four rinks at the Beanpot schools, as well as both Gardens, his icebound homes away from home. Prior to joining the TD Banknorth Garden staff in 2005, Bishop had written for several publications, with his primary focus being college hockey. He coauthored the book Bygone Boston in 2003 and hopes someday to pen a bio of Hobey Baker.
"No, not with those kind of stats. I've been the type of guy to defend his teammates, someone who wasn't afraid to drop the gloves. I was capable of playing the game, and my stats and the amount of ice time I got is indicative of that. I was 22 (in Salt Lake), and I really respected the older guys on the team. I always went to their defense whenever they got pushed around…in the minors I played against all the Hanson brothers (of Slap Shot movie fame) at different times. I got into a scrap with Dave Hanson - and I did well. Steve Carlson was an assistant coach with Baltimore the year I was there. Jeff Carlson was the biggest. (Laughs) I just stayed away from him."

Back to the present day
The Gazette's Mike Boone did not see the game the same way I did last night.

What I saw was a Bruins team that, admittedly, left their "A" game at Logan and got by with pure guts on Saturday night (and nearly came all the way back).

And, after the game got out of hand and when the Habs started playing chippy in response to the B's physical prowess, it looked as if the B's reminded the Canadiens why the Black & Gold were once called the Big Bad Bruins.

In his blog Boone wrote:
When Claude Julien saw his team falling out of the game and decided to turn the game into Lachine vs. Ahuntsic, circa 1963, the allegedly soft and undersized Canadiens didn't flinch or give an inch.

Did you see Josh Gorges drop his gloves and go after the hulking Jeremy Reich? Francis Bouillon jumped in and took over, but not because my man Josh begged him to...

The Canadiens lost every fight, but they won the game and they won the respect of each other – the latest example of a band-of-brothers esprit de corps that seems to reign in the room this year.

Hmmm. We'll agree to disagree, because I saw the exact opposite (except for the lost every fight part) -- but obviously the only thing that matters is the final score and the Habs did play very well, especially in the third.

Montreal Canadiens' Josh Gorges, top right, fights with Boston Bruins' Mark Stuart during a fight-filled third period of an NHL hockey game in Montreal on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2007. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ian Barrett)
Julien's take
Fluto Shinzawa of The Boston Globe was in Montreal and spoke with coach after the game. He asked coach Julien why the Habs bench was so steamed at him. Shinzawa wrote:

The last few days, Claude Julien has been careful not to raise his voice, which had been slightly silenced because of a bronchial infection.

But in the third period of last night's 7-4 beating at the hands of the Canadiens before 21,273 at the Bell Centre, Julien let his vocal cords loose, aiming his full-throated vitriol at Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau and assistant coach Kirk Muller.

Carbonneau and Muller, whose boys were laying it on thick to the Bruins (6-3 at the time), took exception to Mark Stuart's one-sided beatdown of skilled winger Andrei Kostitsyn at 11:05.

At first glance, Carbonneau appeared to have a gripe. Kostitsyn (one goal on four shots last night) had never fought as an NHLer. But what Carbonneau and the Canadiens didn't see was that Kostitsyn had speared Stuart from behind, prompting the Boston defenseman to take care of business.

"Somehow, they seemed to be accusing me of sending somebody to do something," said Julien, who gave it right back to the Montreal bench during the foul-mouthed exchange. "It's certainly not my style. Never done it in my life. Kostitsyn spears Stuart. I know Kostitsyn's not a fighter, but I didn't stand up on the bench and accuse Carbonneau of sending [defenseman Francis] Bouillon out there to elbow [Aaron] Ward. It's just a matter of, 'You take care of your business and we'll take care of our own.' "

In the game's final minute, Montreal forward Tom Kostopoulos hunted down Stuart, hitting the defenseman with a cross-check that sparked another fight. Kostopoulos was whistled for instigating, fighting, and a 10-minute misconduct and will be suspended for one game because he picked a scrap in the final minute.

The Boston Herald's Steve Harris, also had the above account, but also had this snippet from the Montreal side:

Carbonneau: “Well, you know they have to find a reason why they lost the game. Hitting is part of the game. We’re definitely not looking for fighting, which is what they did.”

You can't make this stuff up, folks.

Can't wait for the next Habs vs. B's game...can you?
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