The Penguins were off Sunday, so players, coaches and management were not available for additional public comments regarding the series of unfortunate events that transpired Saturday night at Boston’s TD Garden.
The Bruins played at Toronto, where their coach Claude Julien offered the following thoughts:
>>> ON BROOKS OPRIK’S HIT CHECK TO LOUI ERIKSSON:
“I heard Dan Bylsma’s comments after the game, and I respectfully disagree that it was a legal hit. He didn’t have the puck. I saw, and watching the replays, I thought Brooks was just kind of lining him up no matter what. He was going to line up to hit, more than even attempt to play the puck. And, maybe people will argue it touched his blade, and it certainly wasn’t from him trying to get a pass. It took a weird bounce off the boards.
“So in saying that, we both have different opinions. We have to respect the league, they’re going to look at it closely and make a decision. And whatever they decide on that, I’m happy to move on.
“If you look at the rules, when a player is in a vulnerable position, if the player doesn’t really have the puck, which I didn’t think he had – it was coming off the boards – it’s a borderline decision, or discussion to have.”
Orpik’s hit on Eriksson was reviewed – as all hits are – by NHL Player Safety. The hit was deemed within the rules.
*** The same cannot be said for acts by James Neal (Penguins) and Shawn Thornton (Bruins), each of whom will have hearings with Player Safety; the latest on those hearings and Orpik: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/5219116-74/orpik-penguins-hearing#axzz2mqyqvtku
Julien referenced those acts, and seemingly took issue with Neal’s explanation from Saturday night for kneeing Brad Marchand:
“The one thing about Thorny is, anyone who knows him personally, knows he’s a pretty honest player and a pretty honest person. And if he said he really regretted it and felt bad, he really did. And I support his comment because I know he’s being truthful to that. That’s more than we can say about players that pretend that it wasn’t done on purpose, or really didn’t mean it.
“Pretty obvious when you look at it, Thorny did cross the line, and some others did too. Sometimes you have to man up to those things, and I think he did.”
*** ICYMI: The story detailing the ugliness that was Saturday night: http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/pensgalleries/5196807-74/penguins-orpik-bruins#axzz2mqyqvtku
*** See BELOW for a detailed blog with other insight about all of that.
(A stick tap to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet for sending along the Julien quotes.)
Be EXCELLENT to each other,