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Bruins coach Julien wants to see players avoid vulnerable positions

Jun 3, 2013, 9:53 AM EDT


We’re used to coaches passionately defending their players following controversial hits. Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien didn’t do that after Penguins forward Matt Cooke knocked defenseman Adam McQuaid into the boards from behind.

In fact, before Julien seemed to be more focused on what the victims of such hits can do to avoid being hurt in the future.

“And I’ve said it before, and I’m certainly not going to change my mind because it happened to one of our players, but I’ve always said that we have to educate our players to not put themselves in vulnerable positions,” Julien told the Boston Globe. “And I’m not talking necessarily about last night, I’m talking about those kind of things that are happening and right now.

“Because the rule says you can’t hit somebody from behind. Sometimes we take advantage of that rule, and it’s dangerous.

“And in order to make our game better, I think it’s gotta come from both sides. Players gotta understand that there’s somebody coming and don’t put yourself in vulnerable position. But the player hitting, have to be aware of it. And I’ve been an advocate of that a long time and I still believe in it.”

Julien added that he wasn’t “convinced [Cooke’s hit was] a suspendable thing.”

The question of whether or not McQuaid specifically put himself in a vulnerable position was raised with the blueliner.

“I don’t know why anybody would want to put themselves in a [vulnerable] position, or would want [to get hit from behind],” McQuaid said, according to CSN New England. “If that’s the way people saw it, then they’re entitled to their own opinion.”

Furthermore, McQuaid just wants to put this incident behind him going into Game 2 tonight.

“There’s so many things to focus on and get ready for and we just get ready for the next game and that’s it,” he said.


Playoffs Tonight: Penguins look to even series vs Bruins

Matt Cooke explains his hit on McQuaid

No discipline for Cooke or Bolland after iffy Game 1 hits

Bylsma doesn’t think Cooke deserved major penalty

  1. miketoasty - Jun 3, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    Glad to see a coach take the high road for once. Too bad commenters can’t do the same thing.

  2. ironyisadeadscene - Jun 3, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Can we just cut and paste the last Matt Cooke/Adam McQuaid comments thread into here and move on?

  3. FoozieGrooler - Jun 3, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    I notice he didn’t say he wants his players to quit embellishing…

  4. valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 3, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    Wow! Nice to hear from an NHL coach agree with many here who have literally written the same comment days ago. Way to go coach J. Now all you guys dissing on MC hopefully understand why he didn’t get suspended. I’m not defending the guy for the hits past, but clearly this nasty looking hit happened because McQ turned his back. I hope coaches all over the world start teaching kids to protect themselves when their playing the puck along the boards and the fore checker are barreling down, and not to hit someone between the numbers.

    • tlndma - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:14 PM

      You can’t put this on McQuaid. The puck was right up against the boards. His job is to make sure Cooke doesn’t get it. McQuaid,”I don’t know why anybody would try to put themselves in a vulnerable position”.Turning either way gives Cooke a big advantage, and a free shot. Cooke got a 5 minute penalty and a game misconduct for an illegal hit. That he didn’t get suspended does not make it a legal hit.
      Julien didn’t say the hit was legal either. Nor did he say that Cooke was innocent. Julien,”And I’m not talking about necessarily last night.”
      The league has to stop taking injury into account when disciplining these hits. This was textbook hit from behind by a notorious repeat offender. Cooke doesn’t think he deserved even a 5 minute penalty. THAT’S THE PROBLEM. He doesn’t get it!

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        I completely disagree. D men going back for a puck have to learn to protect themselves. The only reason MC got 5 for boarding, and I’m not judging the call because that’s a whole different topic, and I’m not defending or accusing MC, is because McQ turned his back on a player who is fore checking. Everybody connected to hockey knows that MC will lay on the body whenever he has a chance, so why McQ turned his back after computing all this is beyond me. What would have happened if McQ did a reverse check like we often see? That is, just before MC makes contact McQ thrusts himself towards the on coming fore checker. He surely doesn’t end up kissing the glace, MC is on is derriere, and McQ can play the puck. Another option would be to turn in stride preferably away from the net to play the puck. In this case the hit is shoulder to shoulder.

      • hockeywithdrawal - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:39 PM

        I think you can put this on McQuaid and the fact that the same hit occurs about 50 times in each game and is not called.

        Do you think it’s weird, at all, that they didn’t take him to the dark room, with his history?

      • tlndma - Jun 3, 2013 at 2:39 PM

        So McQuaid should turn so that Cooke can plaster him? With the puck right up against the boards, It’s McQuaids job to protect the puck. It’s not his job to keep Cooke out of the box.
        No matter what you think McQuaid should do, Cooke can’t hit him square between the numbers.

  5. hockeywithdrawal - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    It’s just so weird that the B fans that have been so vocal about all this just skipped right over this article…

    • hockeyflow33 - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      You can’t disagree with what your team’s coach says?

    • ironyisadeadscene - Jun 3, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      “Do you think it’s weird, at all, that they didn’t take him to the dark room, with his history?”

      Wait, he went down the tunnel and didn’t play for 9 minutes…what was he doing in the locker room then?

      • jcmeyer10 - Jun 3, 2013 at 3:15 PM

        Being told to follow a finger and asked what day it is.

  6. Stiller43 - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:37 PM


    “Turning either way gives Cooke a big advantage, and a free shot.”

    So youre admitting theres an advantage in putting yourself in a vulnerable position….

    If he doesnt turn and takes the hit, its a penalty…if he does turn, its a completely good hard legal check…

    • tlndma - Jun 3, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      He’s vulnerable to an illegal hit. Yes you are correct.
      By a big advantage I meant to take the puck away. It takes away McQuaids option in moving the puck. Cooke has to put on the brakes going into McQuaids back. Similar to how how he hit Karllson.

  7. pens5829 - Jun 3, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    I’d like to see guys stand up and be men and not act like they’re hurt when they’re really not. Stop being bush-league.

    • supercoop8 - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      I’d like to see Letang stay on his skates when he receives minimal contact; cheers to hockey in a perfect world.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jun 3, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      Because McQuaid is known for his rampant diving and not being tough?

      He missed last year’s playoffs because of concussions and then had a rib removed in the offseason because of blood clot issues….sounds like a real puss to me.

  8. supercoop8 - Jun 3, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Anyone calling for a suspension is being over dramatic and as misinformed as anyone saying it wasn’t a penalty at all. Cooke got caught between canceling a defender out and making a hit; its an obvious boarding call for 2mins. Players just pushing a defender against the glass happens 50 times a game on a forecheck but he came in with speed and cleaned Mcquaid out; I would love to see anyone calling it embellishment take that hit. Yes, Mcquaid put himself in a bad spot when trying to reverse the puck and Yes Cooke had enough time staring at the numbers to change course. Should have been 2, was 5, refs missed calls both ways, Bruins scored, Pens didn’t, outcome wasn’t decided on this play; On to game game 2.

  9. bigdaddy44 - Jun 3, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Anyone who knows me knows how much I absolutely hate Julian’s coaching system and his treatment of young players. That being said I have got to commend Claude on the way he addressed this whole situation, especially the responsibility of McQuaid and that Cooke did not deserve a suspension. It was refreshingly dead honest. You would be hard pressed to find another coach in any sport, lobbying to get his team an edge. Although my book doesn’t mean much, Claude just went up a few notches in it.

  10. junterberger22 - Jun 3, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Love how McQuaid didn’t even miss a shift after rolling around on the ice as if he was a fish out of water… Hmmmm… diving? Also it’s clear the NHL knows nothing of what they are doing when two penalties take place in a game and one of them is called a major and the other a minor. You can’t ever say that the refs were the reason a team lost because they aren’t. There’s always a way a team could be better to not put themselves in a bad position. I’m glad crosby said what he said because he’s exactly right. Just because you play in the NHL doesn’t mean you can’t voice your opinion. Anybody out there that rips on Crosby wouldn’t say anything if he was on their team. All you retards who comment on articles about Crosby calling him Cindy or a cry baby or a whiner…. It’s ludicrous. You speak out of jealousy and its painfully obvious. When “cindy” raises his second cup I’m sure there will be more retarded comments accusing him for being the best player in the world. Haters gonna hate…

    • whatdapuck - Jun 3, 2013 at 5:56 PM

      Everyone recognizes that he’s the best player in the world. It just makes all the whining and bush league antics that much more infuriating. He doesn’t need to do any of that nonsense.

  11. whatdapuck - Jun 3, 2013 at 5:52 PM

    An organization holding their players accountable and not pointing fingers or shifting blame?

    You taking notes, Pittsburgh?

  12. junterberger22 - Jun 3, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Whatdapuck, you can’t honestly be pointing the finger when it comes to “bush” league non sense. You have a guy who put a guy into a partition and broke his neck. Not to mention guys with histories like Marchand and lucic. You make your city sound like classes hypocrites. I’m a die hard pens fan but even I thought it was bs when Cooke hit savard. The difference is the guy turned his career around for which I’m not sure why because people refuse to put the past behind them. If people aren’t going to see today for today what the point of changing for tomorrow? You also have a coach who stood at a podium and accused the league of diving as a video played in the background, that was highlight of all the bruins diving… That’s just just the unbiased truth.

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