After two highly contested and exciting games in Boston, if the Round 2 matchup between the Bruins and the Habs wasn't already at a fever pitch, the coaches of both teams are certainly doing their part in dumping fuel onto the fire.
|War of Wards: coaches for both teams are playing the media|
After Game 2, Bruins coach Claude Julien spoke to the media and went out of his way to give some subtle jabs at the decision making on the part of the zebras on the ice:
We had a tough second period, and at the start of the third you got that other powerplay goal, but the way we just battled back through, what I felt a lot of the crap we put up with today was pretty indicative of what our team is all about. It just shows that if you focus on the things you need to focus on, this is a pretty good team that can accomplish a lot...The referee, I kinda told him I didn't agree with his calls.
Today, it was Michel Therrien's turn to pull the strings at the podium, and when asked the comments coming out of Boston, he played the game right back:
They try to put pressure on the other team regarding the media. It's the same thing with Claude [Julien], you know, he's not happy with all that 'crap.' I thought they got away with a lot of things, as far as we're concerned, but they try to influence referees, that's the way they are and that's not gonna change. That's the way they like to do their things, but for us, we're not paying attention to those things, honestly. But we all know what they try to do but it does not affect us at all.
Well, Michel, it's rather obvious that you do pay attention to those things, as it would seem.
It seems almost laughable that someone involved with the Canadiens would say, with a straight face, that the Bruins are the team that often jockeys with the media in attempts of gaining a competitive edge for upcoming games. These are the Candiens we're talking about here. A team that's perfected the European art-style of playing the media, playing the refs and feeding off the hostility of their home crowd in hopes of gaining an upper hand with the officials.
The Bruins have been called for nine penalties in the two games played, while the Habs have been called for five. Montreal has scored four times on the man-advantage. The Bruins have not.
With Games 3 and 4 to come in the hornet's nest that is the Bell Centre, it seems both coaches have taken an aim to put some thoughts into the minds of the refs ahead of the action.
Certainly sounds like playoff hockey to me.