WILMINGTON, Mass. — It seems that Montreal winger Andrei Kostitsyn’s hit from behind on Boston defenseman Aaron Ward last night has provided a little more fuel for the fire roaring in the rivalry between Bruins head coach Claude Julien and Canadiens bench boss Guy Carbonneau.
The hit resulted in a five-minute boarding penalty, which turned the momentum in the Bruins’ favor. Zdeno Chara scored the game-winning goal while Kostitsyn was in the box.
After the game, Carbonneau had this to say:
“I didn’t think it should’ve been a major; in fact, I’ve looked at it and I don’t think it was a penalty.”
You can read the rest of Pat Hickey’s story in the Montreal Gazette.
After the game, Julien expressed his disappointment with the hit and the fact that, he said, Kostitsyn had throw similar hits in the past. Today Julien lessened his anger but still didn’t side with his Habs counterpart and future All-Star Game coaching partner.
“I don’t think it was a vicious hit, as far as the league needs to look into it. The referee made a decision. And I think, honestly, that call could’ve gone either way,” Julien said today after his team’s optional on-ice practice.
When informed of Carbonneau’s opinion, Julien then said: “Maybe (it should’ve been) a two instead of a five. Saying everything is clean is maybe not that accurate. We’re trying to cut down on hits from behind.”
Last season, Julien and Carbonneau exchanged heated words from bench to bench during a March game. And then there were plenty of veiled verbal attacks during the seven-game playoff series in April. Now this. Oh to be a fly on the wall at the first Eastern Conference coaches’ meeting in Montreal next weekend.