GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

March 5, 2013

Crunch Time


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — Canadiens “embarrassing”

Bruins head coach Claude Julien pulled no punches when asked about the Montreal Canadiens constant embellishment of hits to draw penalties.

In Sunday’s 4-3 win over the Bruins Montreal displayed those tactics several times and the Bruins head coach did not like what he saw.

”Right now they’ve got over 100 power plays so far, and it’s pretty obvious why,” Julien said of the Canadiens’ constant diving after Sunday’s meeting. “We’re trying to clean that out of our game, and it’s got to be done soon because it’s not about tonight, it’s about the game, and the embellishment embarrasses our game. We need to be better at that.”

Julien, however, clarified on Monday that he was not taking a shot at the Canadiens’ character.

“I didn’t question their character because they play hard and they’re a good team,” Julien said. “The only thing I talked about was embellishment and it wasn’t just directed at them, it’s directed at what we’re trying to clean up in the league here. There’s times when certain things frustrate you and I thought after the game, embellishment to me is something that embarrasses the game. I have a strong opinion on things and I stick by it and we’re a professional league here. Basketball has been through it and they’ve kind of cleaned it up and I’m hoping we’re going to do the same thing with hockey.”

Julien is right on the money with this one, and no it does not come off as sour grapes because he rarely complains about anything. The Canadiens lead the league in power play opportunities this season and a lot of it has to do with diving and faking out the referees to draw Penalties.

No franchise tag

The National Football League’s deadline to place the franchise tag on a player came and went on Monday and the Patriots chose not to tag anybody.

The team used the franchise tag on wide receiver Wes Welker last season but will not have to come to a long term contract with the Pro Bowl receiver to put him back in a Patriots uniform for the 2013 season.

Some thought the Patriots may use the tag on cornerback Aqib Talib or offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer as well but will now have to sign each to a long term deal as well for them to be back in Foxborough this coming season. This is the first time since 2008 where the Patriots did not place the franchise tag on any player.

-Compiled by Nick Curcuru