All goals aside, Aaron Rome’s first period hit on Nathan Horton has drawn the ire of the Bruins. That much you can tell by their on-ice play. But it’s the ratcheted up physicality, along with the sense that there is a lack of justice for wrongs committed, that has the Bruins’ frustration festering. Even in a manner in which coach Claude Julien finds to be unacceptable.
As the Bruins piled on goal after goal, they were still testy throughout the game, getting into scrap after scrap with the Canucks. Most of it can be chalked up to the playoff atmosphere. But some of it players attributed to the heightened intensity after Rome’s hit. But Julien believes it crossed a line. Most notably when Milan Lucic mocked Alex Burrows, tempting him to bite his finger — a nod to Burrows’ nibble on Bruins center Patrice Bergeron in Game 1 that went unchecked by the league. (In Game 2, Canuck Maxim Lapierre infamously teased Bergeron to chomp on one of his fingers.)
The tension is bubbling between the two teams. And it’s not something that Julien necessarily likes.
“I said this morning that I wouldn’t accept it on our team,” Julien said. “It happened a couple of times tonight. They’ve been told that I don’t want any of that stuff.
“You know, like I said, you got to live by your words,” Julien continued. “It was disappointing for me to see that happen after what I said this morning. But part of it is my fault for not bringing it up to the guys. They did it. Emotions got the better of them. I’m going to stand here and say I’m not accepting it. The guys have been told.”
Part of it, Julien admitted, can be the emotions of the game. But he said that shouldn’t be an excuse.
“I don’t want that stuff in our game,” he said. “I think we have to be better than that. Emotions are running high. It was a very physical game. There was a lot of stuff going on. You can live with that kind of stuff. But the other stuff … I don’t want to see.”