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Julien fires back at Hunter: “Being accused of headhunting is ludicrous”

Apr 18, 2012, 3:34 PM EDT

Claude Julien AP

This postseason has seen players go after players, organizations go after the league and newspapers go after superstars.

As such, it’s about time we had coaches getting after each other.

That’s what happened in Washington today when Bruins head coach Claude Julien tersely replied to Dale Hunter’s allegations Boston was headhunting Caps center Nicklas Backstrom.

“Being accused of head-hunting is ludicrous,” Julien told “It’s ludicrous. It’s ridiculous. Okay? There’s always going to be emotions in games and these are things that are happening. There were three cross-checks and they penalized one and suspended one.

“But we’re not whining about the referees and what’s going on here. We need to win a game and we need to win a series and that’s where our focus is on. That’s what it should be.”

“There is not a coach in this league — not one — that is going to tell his players to target’s somebody’s head.”

/makes obligatory New Orleans Saints joke

Julien’s outrage stems from comments Hunter made yesterday, saying the Bruins were targeting Backstrom’s head.

“If you notice, every scrum Nicky comes out with no helmet on,” Hunter told CSN Washington’s Chuck Gormley. “He gets a blocker to the head by [Tim] Thomas the game before [in Game 2]. He’s protecting his head. He just came off of 40 games.”

It’s tough to gauge if Hunter’s claims were legitimate. There are suggestions that Hunter used the “they’re targeting Nicky” angle to deflect attention/blame away from Backstrom, who was facing suspension (later received) for a crosscheck to the head of Bruins forward Rich Peverely.

  1. bcjim - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Hey fatty, Im pretty sure DH32 has a better appreciation than you for who is giving who the business and when. The man wrote the book on it. Go back to your double cheeseburger combo.

  2. treymen - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    I thought the same thing as Hunter. Every scrum you see Backstrom losing his helmit or getting hit in the head. Just go back and watch the tapes.

    • hairpie - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      To be fair, if Backstrom doesnt want his helmet knocked off, he should hack the goalie, crosscheck people in the face or grab people by the head after the whistle.

  3. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:45 PM

    Dale Hunter complaining about headhunting….how ironic.

  4. dropthepuckeh - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Yeah seeing as how Hunter is probably the only coach who would tell his players to target a head its pretty lame. bcjim should fatty wash down those cheeseburgers while drinking from the Cup? DH32 will be gone in a week, once the Caps are eliminated.

  5. capsfan19 - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    I think the bruins are rediulous. Yea sure lets take out salo’s knees and lets ram ryan miller. Bruins fan- “but the caps hit me with their stick boo hooo” GROW UP! Thats the least of the problems compared to the garbage that this team pours out.

    • rdurk86 - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:02 PM

      I love when fans justify their team’s issues by pointing out the opponent’s issues. It’s ok for Backstrom to use his stick to hit Peverley in the head because Bergeron face washed him with his glove. It’s OK that Ovechkin cross checked Seidenberg in the face because Marchand dove a couple times. Keep deflecting.

      I just think it’s ironic that the Bruins are the team staying under the radar with the league while almost every other team is under the microscope. It’s refreshing.

      • th86cj7 - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:29 PM

        When are you crybaby Caps fans going to realize the difference between “dirty” “head-hunting” play and normal chippy rough play that happens in every scrum in the NHL. Grow a pair, the face-washing, the hands to the face, the tussling, it happens in playoff hockey after every whistle, if it didnt, guess what, theyd be calling penalties! That is not head hunting, your not going to get a concussion from 165 lb Patrice Bergeron grabbing your mask, stop being babies and start enjoying a good playoff series. The Bruins of any team in the league do not head hunt. They are chippy, rough and get under teams skin, but they have lost two of their best players to serious cheap head-shots over the past two years, they know the price of head shots, they dont take them lightly so to accuse them is ludacris.

      • seahawkbias - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:33 PM

        Classic Bruin fan whine/cry/pantybunchdiscomfort.

        You strut around bragging how opponents can’t hang with your tough (read-after whistle face wash/facemask shake/goalie slasher etc) style.

        When Marchand, who is generally recognize as one of the leagues top dirty & cowardly players, gets suspended for almost ending Salo’s career you roll your eyes. Your coach says marchand is a saint etc, etc.

        But when you get touched – now you and your coach begin crying. Its effective. Many folks buy into it.

      • th86cj7 - Apr 18, 2012 at 5:57 PM

        actually seahawk……not one Bruin player complained or said one thing about the cross-check until it was brought up by the DH and byt the Caps, I didnt see Peverly out there flopping around on the ice. And if you knew anything about hockey or good hockey teams, Marchand himself and the Coach have both said that his behavior has been unacceptable in the past and he’s been sat out of games before to get him into check, so I dont ever remember Claude calling him a Saint. No one was crying over the cross-check they were responding to DH and his ludacris claims.

        Oh and btw the tough claims, its funny how in the poll of NHL PLAYERS, yes PLAYERS 3 out of the top 5 toughest voted were Bruins, with #1 being Lucic, so I hope your boy Alzner is ready to go tomorrow night and doesnt turtle

      • pmarz1 - Apr 19, 2012 at 11:23 AM

        @seahawkbias-heard many describe Marchand as dirty/cheap but cowardly? Do you even watch any of the games seahawkbias? The guy is one of the smaller players that play the game yet he is always in the middle of things and certainly doesnt back down from anyone. FYI, the only whining and crying in this series has been coming from your side. No one from the Bruins brought up any of this stuff. Next time make an attempt to pay attention to what actually is going on before posting and embarrassing yourself……

  6. pepper2011 - Apr 18, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    again…watch the video- why and when does Backstrom get his helmet adjusted. I love Carlsson watching Bergeron tell Backstrom how to play the game right.

    • reston77 - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:07 PM

      Take a look at these clips for a more complete and accurate perspective:

      • hairpie - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:29 PM

        Thats hysterical. i wonder if anyone is stupid enough to believe that. LOL

      • pmarz1 - Apr 19, 2012 at 11:35 AM

        Anyone from out of town that complains about Jack Edwards only needs to watch that clip. At least our NESN analyst stay somewhat in the middle of the road.

  7. 8spokedb - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    Caps fans are just upset because they know you can’t win playoff hockey with their system. Now they are trying to play a physical type game that the Bruins play and they just don’t have the horses…Yeah Ovechkin has been impressive throwing his body around and is having an epic battle with sidenberg all series but when you have to rely on your most talented forward to do most of the dirty work it hurts the team. Hence he only has 1 goal and was only held to a few shots in the first 2 games. Now with Backsrom losing his temper and getting suspended just proves the Capitals are playing right into the Bruins hands.

  8. bigbadbruins1968 - Apr 18, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Apparently, Dale Hunter read, ” How to whine like Elaine Vigneault for dummies”

  9. neelyisgod - Apr 18, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    For someone so worried about being hit in the head due to missing 40 games due to a concussion or whatever Hunter stated, maybe Lil Nicky should keep his nose clean after the whistle. Same goes for Crosby. If they want to dish out the extra curricular activity be prepared to get knocked out.

  10. habsman - Apr 18, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    What’s the over/under for the first cheap shot/sucker punch from the Bruins tonight?

    Come on, we all know it’s coming.

    No team has ever got away with more crap than the B’s over the past few years. That’s why most teams are trying to “goon” it up in this years playoffs. It worked last year.

    Campbell Cup (Colie & Greg) winners.

    • th86cj7 - Apr 18, 2012 at 6:34 PM

      Did you guys feel that ? It was the wind and magically PK Subban flew ten feet to the ice! Wait hold on someone sneezed now hes down holding his leg, someone call the stretcher. Oh wait you didnt make the playoffs. Sorry i was confused, must hqve been from one of those nasty filthy dirty bruins scrums hands to the face after the whistlereally gave me a concussion. Its hockey get a clue !

    • 8spokedb - Apr 18, 2012 at 6:51 PM

      Bruins aren’t playing tonight, maybe if the Habs were in the playoffs you would of known that… Their probably at a diving clinic run by Greg Luganus.

    • pmarz1 - Apr 19, 2012 at 11:38 AM

      “No team has ever got away with more crap than the B’s over the past few years.”

      Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron, Nathan Horton……if I have to explain any more to you then you are even more ignorant that your last post indicates.

      • habsman - Apr 19, 2012 at 2:23 PM


        All have had incidents in the past two years that would/should have resulted in 3-5 games at least. It’s called the Greg and Colie effect.

        ….if I have to explain it to you then you are even more ignorant than your last post indicates.

  11. arbruins - Apr 18, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Boo hoo Habsman…how is the post season treating you? GO BRUINS!

    • habsman - Apr 18, 2012 at 6:57 PM

      Post season is great. Watching lots of hockey and playing plenty of golf, just like my beloved Habs.

      Did Marchand go to the Luganus diving clinic as well?

  12. capsfan19 - Apr 18, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    You all tell caps fans to grow a pair?? Ohhh so if we had an instigator penatly on ur precious begeron or seguin u would crap ur pants! And how about those sucker punches??? Dont pull this high horse garbage b’s fans. And how about some of those cross checks with players seemingly getting hit then diving? PUH-LEASE. Gah head and eat ur beans. Member when chimera laid out mcquaid? Ohh how bruins fans wanted blood. Caps are so dirty booooo hoooo. Even john daily points out ur filth in several bits. Is that under the radar enough? That a late night host is premiering ur glorious play?

    • nolesshabitual - Apr 18, 2012 at 7:10 PM

      John Daily? The University of Colorado professor? Or do you mean John Daly, fat, drunk golfer? Late night? Hmm you couldn’t possibly mean Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, could you? because that’s not even close. Also don’t worry about our continence, the only time I’ve come close to losing control of my bowels over hockey was watch my team raise the Cup, not that you’d know how that feels. I will go eat my beans while i watch the Bruins march into the second round while you bide your time watching Teddy Roosevelt win another early season Presidents race.

  13. arbruins - Apr 18, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    Who’s leading in the series?

  14. 67nova - Apr 18, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    Pierre Turgeon called. Told Dale to STFU.

  15. 8spokedb - Apr 18, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    Hey I ” member ” when chimera skated in full stride from the red line and hit McQuaid. He got kicked out of the game because it was a blatant charge. Mcquaid turned at the last second so i agree it wasn’t a boarding but it was def a charge and the refs got it right…Chimera better watch out the next time he is on the ice with McQuaid becuase a lot of people don’t know that he is already one of the best fighters in the league.

  16. capsfan19 - Apr 18, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    Alot of people dont know but he’s a puss. He gets thrown around more than marchand. Blatant charge tho? Seriously? Go back and look at his posture as he approached. If anything he was going waaay to fast as usual (cause hes super fast) and couldnt stop. Im not talking lucic on ryan miller fast because lucics mutant body is much to hard to stop. Macquaid was getting to pretty with the puck and it happens. And the series is only up one game so dont go wetting ur pants with excitement.

    The only positive thing i can say about this is that just like all bruins fans probably though, “ah fawwwwk we’re gonna steam roooll tha cawpitals. We’re so wicked awwesome” well sadly its been a battle.
    U know its good when ur at work and these responses get u heated up!

    • nolesshabitual - Apr 18, 2012 at 7:29 PM

      Work? really, you have a job? Judging by the maturity of your posts I figured middle school. Also, Cawpitals? reeeeaaaallly? have you actually ever heard a Bostonian? (I mean besides all the championship celebrations in the last ten or so years) it’s more “ah fahck, weah gonna tool on the capitals, cuz weah wicked sick kid.” At least show you’re informed in your ignorance. Maybe lay off the web posts, go down to five guys and grab a double.

  17. 8spokedb - Apr 18, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    Haha yeah McQuaid is a real puss, you obv have no idea what your talking about…and throwing random w’s into words isn’t the Boston accent but that was really funny though…At least Lucic was born with his freak body unlike certain Capitals players who coincidentally go from being a 60 goal scorer to a 37 goal scorer in just a few years after a known steroid dealer admitted that he dealt juice to the Nationals and the Capitals. Maybe that explains why they were a dominant regular season team for a few years and couldnt get out of the second round. Or why Ovi’s wrist shot is harder than half the league’s slappas. He does have a wicked pissa shot though.

  18. blastardo - Apr 19, 2012 at 1:03 AM

    Neither team is innocent of foul play. There were a lot of missed calls in this game. If anything the refs should be keeping a closer watch for malicious plays on both teams.

    Backstrom being a victim of a concussion this season should know the dangers of cross checking someone’s head. The suspension was a good call.

    Looking forward to the remainder of this series. Go caps.

  19. arbruins - Apr 19, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    Hahahahaha….still bitter?

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