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Rossi: Bruins’ Julien calls Orpik hit on Eriksson borderline.


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:



“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:

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.”

Bylsma, on Saturday night, hardly approved of Neal’s collision with Marchand.


*** ICYMI: The story detailing the ugliness that was Saturday night:


*** 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,





Author: Rob Rossi

Rob Rossi is the lead sports columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has been called many names, but “Rossi” is the one to which he most often responds. He joined the Trib in November 2002 and was promoted to the columnist role in July 2014. Previously, he had covered the NHL’s Penguins (2006-14) and MLB’s Pirates (2006), while also working on beats associated with the NFL’s Steelers (2005-06) and the NCAA’s Pitt (2004-06). He has won national and local awards for his coverage of youth concussions and athletes’ charities. Also, he is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association executive committee and the Pittsburgh chapter chair. Raised in Crafton and Green Tree and a graduate of West Virginia University, he has covered a Super Bowl, All-Star Games in baseball and hockey, the NCAA basketball tournament and over 100 Stanley Cup playoff games, including the Cup Final twice. Oh, and his sports reporting has led him to brief chats with Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen; so that’s pretty cool. He is a regular contributor on TV with WPXI, Root Sports Pittsburgh and TSN. Also, he is the authorized biographer of Penguins star Evgeni Malkin.

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