BOSTON — Bruins coach Claude Julien wasn't even aware that forward Brad Marchand had been fined for his slew foot on Pittsburgh defenseman Matt Niskanen last week until he was asked about it after Tuesday's morning skate.
"I'm learning something. Might want to tell me about that," Julien responded. "I never heard about it, so thanks for the [news]."
Julien can be forgiven. It is tough to keep track of all of Marchand's misdeeds. The Bruins' resident agitator has been disciplined by the league just one other time, drawing a two-game suspension for elbowing Columbus forward R.J. Umberger in the back of the head last March. But he's drawn Julien's wrath on numerous occasions with his antics, and the Bruins coach wasn't happy about this latest incident either, even before he knew about the fine.
"You know what, when it happened I addressed it right after the period," Julien said. "There's certain things that we can all deal with, with certain players and what they do, but slew-footing is certainly not something that I like to see whether it's for or against us. If he's going to be doing that, then he's going to be fined and he's deserving of it."
The incident occurred 3:19 of the first period of the Bruins' 3-1 win in Pittsburgh on Dec. 5. Marchand took out Niskanen's legs from behind on a hit behind the net. Marchand received a two-minute minor for tripping and each player got five for fighting as Marchand answered the bell for more immediate retribution for the play.
"He has to own up to his mistakes, and he's done a good job of that," Julien said. "Again, we're talking about a young player who's trying to find that fine line and not cross it. And there's times he does and he gets fined. We've addressed it."
"As I put it into my own words, I want him to be a good brat, not a bad brat," Julien added. "I use that term with him. That means don't cross that line, and I thought he did that time. And his response was, 'I thought I was going to get away with it.' That's not what you want to see from your players."
If Julien's message didn't get through, then maybe the league's $2,500 fine — the maximum allowed under the current collective bargaining agreement — might do the trick.
It certainly would have back in Julien's playing days.
"That would have been my yearly salary," Julien said. "I didn't even get that as a signing bonus."
Marchand makes slightly more, having signed a two-year, $5 million extension this summer, but he seems to have gotten the message nonetheless.
"They're trying to protect guys and it doesn't matter if it's a week later, or not," Marchand said. "It served its purpose. It was a dangerous play and it was definitely a slew foot. Those are dangerous plays and guys can get hurt like that. It's something I shouldn't have done and they penalized me for it and I'll move on now."