Apr 18, 2012, 3:34 PM EDT
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 CSNNE.com. “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.
- Wings can’t afford regulation loss to Jackets 4
- ‘It’s obvious Tortorella can’t come back next year,’ writes Vancouver reporter 35
- NHL on NBCSN: Capitals fight to earn first win vs. Penguins in 26 months 10
- Vanquished: Isles stun Canucks with seven-goal third period 25
- Peverley asked to return to game following ‘cardiac event’ 23
- Peverley hospitalized, conscious after collapsing on Stars bench (Update) 17
- Sens’ Ceci won’t return after Weber’s shot lacerates his ear (Update) 8
- Gillis pleads his case: ‘We are enduring a challenging period’ 25
- Nolan gets a game for punching ‘unsuspecting’ Joensuu 45
- It doesn’t sound like 3-on-3 overtime is going to be a thing 39
- Canucks trade Luongo to Panthers (93)
- BLOCKBUSTER: Lightning trade St. Louis to Rangers for Callahan (82)
- Kings make splash, acquire Gaborik from Columbus (72)
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack (71)
- Report: Flyers table ‘substantial offer’ for Kesler, also inquiring about Edler (59)