There were many aspects that were frustrating for the Boston Bruins in their 4-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens Sunday night at the TD Garden. The third period collapse, the slow opening 20 minutes and not having a complete 60-minute effort are just a few examples of the frustration displayed from the Black and Gold.
What was most frustrating for Boston, however, were the events that unfolded late in the second period.
After a sequence where Alexi Emelin cross-checked Tyler Seguin that broke his stick in the process – one of several missed calls by the officials – captain Zdeno Chara took exception dropping the gloves with the Habs defenseman. Chara pummeled Emelin, but the 6-foot-9 defenseman earned an extra two minutes for instigating and a 10-minute misconduct.
“I mean obviously the guy just broke his stick cross-checking Tyler and when he went down I was just reacting to it,” said Chara. “I was just reacting to it but he’s one of our best players and I’m not going to watch him get crushed like that.”
While Seguin didn’t see Chara drop the gloves with Emelin, he was appreciative of the captain displaying his character.
“I didn’t see it, but everyone told me,” said Seguin, who scored his second goal in as many games midway through the first period. “Everybody always has each other’s backs, and he’s the first guy I went up to after I went back to the dressing room after the period.”
The immediate aftermath of Chara’s instigator did not haunt the Black and Gold. But eventually, the shortened bench and sloppy D caught up to them.
With Chara out until the midway mark of the third period, the Habs took advantage of some Bruins miscues in their own end – after trailing 3-2 in the second intermission – and squeaked out a victory thanks to goals from Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais at the 5:31 and 9:17 marks, respectively.
Perhaps if Chara were on the ice for the majority of the final stanza, the Bruins would not have had as many miscues. And it is why Claude Julien ripped the officiating for not calling a penalty on Emelin, and the Canadeins’ embellishments, afterwards.
“The frustrating part is that you end up with 17 minutes in the penalty box when you should have been on the power play. It’s as simple as that,” said an irate Bruins bench boss. “And it’s frustrating because, you know, tonight as everybody saw there was a lot of embellishment. And this is embarrassing for our game – the embellishing – and right now they’ve got over 100 power plays so far and it’s pretty obvious why. And we’re trying to clean that out of our game, and its got to be done soon because it’s not about tonight and the embellishment embarrasses our game.
“It’s pretty obvious, you know, when PK [Subban] gets hit and he throws himself into the glass and holds his head. And you know what? If we start calling those penalties for embellishment then maybe teams will stop doing it. But until we take charge of that, it’s going to be an issue.”
It wouldn’t be a surprise if Julien gets a call from the National Hockey League offices and gets hit with a fine.
In any event, despite the outcome, Patrice Bergeron says the burden is on the team for allowing the Habs to establish the tempo in the third period while Chara was in the locker room.
“Obviously he stood up for Seggy there,” Bergeron said. “But we should have done the job.”