BOSTON — Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien wasn’t in much of a talking mood Thursday night, especially when it came to his starting goaltender.
Julien was visibly agitated shortly after watching his team drop a 4-1 loss to the rival Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden. The head coach became especially tense when he was asked about his decision to pull goaltender Tuukka Rask midway through the second. The move was the fourth time Rask has been lifted from a game this season, and apparently Julien is sick of talking about his reasoning.
“It’s a lot of everything,” Julien stated when asked to describe the reasoning. “That’s a decision that I make and I don’t feel I have to explain every time.”
The coach was pressed on the issue later in his postgame press conference, and that’s when he became even more agitated.
“I just explained that,” Julien quipped. “I answered that question a while ago … I don’t think I have to explain myself, why I pulled the goalie. Because this isn’t going to be one of those things where we’re going to make a big story out of a pulled goalie. Our team was poor tonight. So, maybe sometimes you pull the goalie for different reasons. I don’t think I have to explain everything to you guys for the reasons because there’s a lot of decisions that I make that are for inside that dressing room, not necessarily for everyone to share.”
Rask was clearly heated at the time he was pulled. He had just allowed a soft power-play goal, and with the Boston trailing 3-1 with 6:14 to play in the second, the goalie looked up to see his night was done. He skated off the ice shaking his head and quickly went straight down the tunnel off of the Bruins bench. He returned soon thereafter to assume his spot at the end of the bench. At least twice he slammed the bench door after opening it for teammates coming off the ice.
He was a bit more collected after the game.
“I don’t know. I felt OK,” he said. “I play as long as they tell me to play. So I try to battle out there as hard as I can, I stay out there as long as I possibly can, and today it lasted a little over one period. It’s too bad.”
Backup goalie Chad Johnson replaced Rask and allowed a breakaway goal to Daniel Briere less than two minutes after entering the game.