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Plenty of Questions, Postgame

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA -- There were plenty of questions for Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien after his club's 4-3 setback to the Vancouver Canucks.

Some of the answers were actually inquiries of their own, for instance when the coach was asked his opinion of the emotional contest.

"Let’s not kid ourselves here - these are two teams that don’t like each other," he said before asking, "so what do you expect?"

Some questions had very clear answers, as when Julien was asked if Milan Lucic was on the ice legally after a line change that happened simultaneously during a scrum in front of the Vancouver bench.

"Absolutely," said Julien, of the "gathering" that centered around Shawn Thornton (who later said that he had grabbed Alex Burrows after the Canuck forward had speared the Boston forward in the throat).

"I’m not blaming [the referees] –- they’re in the middle of a scrum there –- but Luch was on the ice already.

"It wasn’t an illegal change; he didn’t come off the bench. There are no issues there in my mind; it’s clear. What’s unfortunate is that we lost a pretty good player early in the game, and that’s what is more disappointing [is] A guy looking forward to playing this game, he’s from Vancouver, and he gets tossed out, but he actually didn’t do anything wrong.

"We’ll let the league...take care of that stuff because there’s nothing more we can do," he said.

Unfortunately, some answers will remain completely unclear.

For example, the NHL will also have to take a look at a second period play that saw Brad Marchand duck on a hit by the Canucks Sami Salo. The Vancouver defenseman landed hard and Marchand landed in the B's locker room with a five-minute major (clipping) and a game misconduct.

Julien was asked his opinion on the play.

"Our job is not to assess or comment on referees," began Julien's answer. "I’m not stupid enough to stand up here and criticize them.

"What I can tell you is that [Vancouver] 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 they’re worthy or not, take the responsibility.

"We knew before the game started that they have a good power play."

Pressed for clarity, Julien added, "We all have our opinions on what is going on with the game and the hits and everything else. All I’m going to tell you is that I always told my players that they need to protect themselves.

"The last thing I want my players to do is 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. 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 maybe the rest of the year with a concussion, or maybe end his career like [Marc] Savard.

"So I think we have to really look at those kinds of things," continued Julien. "In my opinion, if guys start protecting themselves the way Marchand did, maybe guys will stop taking runs at other guys.

"Who knows where we’re going to go with this. I know we’re all trying hard to fix that part of the game, but it’s still there, and it’s still not fixed."

So for now, until he is told otherwise, Julien sees his lineup as solid and wouldn't answer questions that speculated on his lineup for next week's games versus Winnipeg and Montreal.

And queried as to what the B's will do if Marchand or Lucic are suspended, Julien said, "I don’t have to answer that, because that’s not the case right now."
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