Ray Bourque: Embellishing To Draw Penalties Is Acceptable At Times


Peter Budaj, Brad Marchand, P.K. SubbanIt seems that all conversations about the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens eventually lead back to the topic of embellishment.

That’s a dirty word for most Bruins fans, but B’s legend Ray Bourque told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich” on Wednesday that he doesn’t believe embellishing in order to draw a penalty is the worst thing in the world.

“Back in the day, the hooking and the holding was crazy,” Bourque said, “and sometimes some of the stuff that wasn’t called you felt like you had to embellish to make sure that the ref saw it. In today’s game, they see pretty much everything. Pretty much everything is called, and you’ll always have guys do it more than others.

“If (embellishing) gets you a call, why not? How many times do you see a guy that gets hit with the stick right around the helmet? And if you don’t react, if you don’t kind of send your head back or something like that, 50 percent of the time the referee won’t call it.”

To Bourque, there is a distinction between embellishing to draw a call and outright diving. The Hall of Fame defenseman also gave his take on Bruins agitator Brad Marchand, who some accused of faking an injury during Game 3 of the team’s first-round series against the Detroit Red Wings.

“(Marchand) is a great player,” Bourque said. “He plays on the edge, but he’s not in the penalty box all that much. He’s an agitator. When people say he embellished one of the calls (in the Detroit series), he was tripped. He was hit. He went down. He didn’t fake going down.

“Once he was down, maybe he grabbed his knee, and maybe he was hurt or worried about his knee for a second.

“I’m happy this kid plays for us. … He agitates, and sometimes he goes in the box, but most of the time he’s bringing somebody with him.”

The Bruins and Canadiens will begin their Eastern Conference semifinal series Thursday night in Boston.

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