It’s not unusual for Stanley Cup playoff games to get a little physical in the final minutes, and the Bruins-Canadiens matchup Monday night was no different.
The B’s and Habs had plenty of rough stuff in the final minute, which all seemed to start after Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov appeared to pitchfork Boston captain Zdeno Chara in the groin. That didn’t sit well with the Bruins, who decided to kill two birds with one stone by sticking up for Chara while simultaneously attempting to send a message ahead of Wednesday night’s decisive Game 7.
The result was a nasty little scrum along the boards in the final minute of Montreal’s 4-0 win in Game 6. Chara, along with Bruins teammates Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla, upped the physical ante against Markov and Canadiens defenseman Mike Weaver. The result was 26 combined penalty minutes while garbage rained down from the stands.
The Canadiens appeared to send their message via Twitter, while Bruins coach Claude Julien defended his club when speaking with reporters in his postgame news conference.
“All I said was that we’re perceived like the bad guys and they’re the good guys,” Julien said. “When Markov trips Chara and puts his stick between his legs, somebody’s going to react. Whether it’s right or wrong, Zdeno reacted and then everything else happened.”
That wasn’t the only thing that had Julien a little ticked, as he accused Montreal’s David Desharnais of slew-footing Boston’s Brad Marchand late in the period, too.
“It was a slewfoot,” the coach said. “Those are things we keep talking about that are dangerous in our game. It’s a rivalry, and there are some things going on on both sides. I’m not portraying ourselves as innocent here. I’m just saying it takes two teams to tangle, and that’s what happened.”