TAMPA — Claude Julien didn’t mince words after the Bruins lost, 5-4, to the Tampa Bay Lightning Wednesday night, forcing a Game 7 Friday night back in Boston. From the power-play to the officiating, there were a lot of dislikes and “disagreements” the coach expressed to the media afterward.
“Obviously [special teams] was a difference maker,” Julien said. “They scored three goals on the power play and it took us a long time to get our first one, and that certainly dictated the game.
“And what was more disappointing is probably the fact that, you know, I don’t know if I agree with those calls. And hopefully what was said today didn’t have any impact on that, because if it did, I’d be really disappointed.”
Julien was alluding to Lightning coach Guy Boucher’s comments before the game that seemed to criticize the officiating of Eric Furlatt — Wednesday night’s referee. Boucher was asked about the 24-9 power-play differential that favored the Bruins when Furlatt was officiating.
“24-9 against, right? Yes, I’m aware of it. Very aware of it. Very, very aware of it,” Boucher said. “It has been a part of our discussions quite a few times in the last game, the last games we did have that particular ref. And it is lopsided. But the only thing we can control is what we do on the ice and hope that things will be fair like it is with everybody else.”
The Lightning were whistled for five penalties; the Bruins were whistled for four, and Nathan Horton got a roughing call at the end of the game. Dennis Seidenberg was called for cross-checking, which led to a Martin St. Louis goal and Rich Peverly was called for interference that led to Teddy Purcell’s go-ahead goal.
“But when you look back at those … that’s really tough to swallow,” Julien said. “And at the same time, you want your team to kill those penalties, which we’ve done a pretty good job throughout the series. But tonight that wasn’t the case.”
“When you hear what happened today, I guess it certainly makes things look even worse,” Julien said later. “So referees have a tough job to do. One thing you don’t want to do is criticize them. You’re allowed to agree or disagree, but they’ve got a job to do. My job is not to criticize them. But it was something that was tough to swallow tonight.”