Boston Bruins

The Bruins drew six penalties against the Canadiens in their 2-1 overtime win on Saturday. And Claude Julien was none too pleased with at least two of them.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Julien took an opportunity to share his thoughts about the officiating. He did not hesitate to call out the Bruins’ Rick Nash for embellishing on a high-sticking penalty against the Canadiens’ Mike Reilly, as well as a slashing call against Sean Kuraly that he believes should’ve been ruled a penalty shot.

“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. “What’s embarrassing is Nash embellishing it. 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 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.”

Does He Have A Point?

Well, looking at Julien’s argument in a vacuum, he’s 100 percent right about Nash. He clearly embellished here, when Reilly’s stick pretty much grazed his shoulder. The non-call on the potential penalty shot could be debatable, but this one really isn’t. Pretty garbage acting job by Nash, even though it worked.

That being said … would Julien be going on this rant about embellishment if his team didn’t blow a lead with less than three minutes to go in regulation? If his team didn’t allow 50 shots on goal and barely survive because of their goaltender?

Unlikely. So as much as you loved Julien when he railed against flopping and embellishing during his time as Bruins coach, it’s becoming a pattern of sounding like a sore loser. He has a history now of doing this after losses; he also complained about diving when the Bruins lost to the Canadiens in 2013 and again when the B’s lost to the Lightning in 2015.

Head coach of the Montreal Canadiens Claude Julien (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

Head coach of the Montreal Canadiens Claude Julien (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

The Harsh Reality

Habs winger Brendan Gallagher had a better take on the loss. Maybe don’t take so many penalties.

“I think you have to stay out of the box,” said Gallagher. “Our penalty killers did a really good job tonight. That’s what usually happens when you’re tired. You get behind the play and end up taking penalties.”

Flopping, diving, and embellishing is a maddening reality in the NHL. But every team has players who do it. Yes, Rick Nash just did it for the Bruins. But on the other side in this case is the Canadiens, the all-time champion of such behavior. Regardless of who’s behind the bench, that’s a bit of a pot-and-kettle situation.

As easy as it is to agree with Julien’s stance on flopping, it’s hard to really get behind him when he only brings it up after a loss. And on top of it all, the Canadiens flat-out stink this season (25-29-11, 13th in Eastern Conference). So maybe Julien should worry more about his own team.

— By Matt Dolloff,

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at