In 1967 legendary song writer Aretha Franklin wrote a song asking for it. Here and now in 2014 the Montreal Canadiens feel the Bruins didn’t have enough of it.
What is that “it” I am referring to? Respect, and according to the Canadiens, the Bruins didn’t give them any.
When the Bruins look back at what went wrong in their seven game series loss to the Montreal Canadiens in the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, they will have many issues to point to. Their lack of scoring, missed opportunities, defensive breakdowns and slow starts are just a few things that haunted the Bruins in the series.
From the Canadiens’ standpoint, there are a handful of things that helped them advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since the 2009-10 season. Carey Price’s stellar play, P.K. Subban’s timely goals, their power play success and shot blocking ability are just a few. But according to the Canadiens, motivation from the Bruins’ “disrespect” played a huge role.
This is not the first time the Bruins have been given the label of a disrespectful group of hockey players. The same accusations came after the Bruins ousted the Vancouver Canucks in seven games in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final.
For forward Dale Weise the Bruins lack of respect was all he and the Canadiens needed to take the final two games of the series and send the Presidents’ Trophy winning Bruins home for the season.
“Yeah I think as the series went on our motivation grew. They just disrespected us in every single way and I don’t think they had any respect for us as a team,” said Weise who also spent time in Vancouver with the Canucks. “We’ll leave it at that. The better team won.”
The Bruins used their best game of the series in Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead over the Canadiens. With the Bruins’ best effort of the series came some actions from the Bruins that the Canadiens felt disrespected their club. The Canadiens say they used that to fuel them in their wins in Game 6 and 7.
“We all saw the muscle flexing, the helmet tossing and the water bottle spray— those are all things we tried to use to our advantage,” said Danny Briere who scored his first goal of the series Wednesday night.
To no surprise Milan Lucic was upset with the team’s performance in Game 7, but in regards to the Bruins being disrespectful, he has no idea what they’re talking about.
“Disrespect? I don’t know what they’re talking about, disrespect,” stated Lucic. “Having a goal celebration – what kind of disrespect is that? I mean, I’m not going to say anything. I’ve got nothing to say about that.”
Lucic was surrounded by one last bit of controversy as the two teams were completing their post-series handshake.
Obviously Lucic wasn’t happy with Weise’s comments.
“It’s said on the ice so it’ll stay on the ice, so if he wants to be a baby about it, that’s – he can make it public,” added Lucic.
Whether it’s a heart-breaking loss in the past, being booed every time you touch the puck or being disrespected by the opposing team, motivation can go a long way. Canadiens’ defenseman P.K. Subban can attest to that.
“You know they’re a classy organization, but they gave us a lot of reasons sometimes to compete a little bit harder and to make sure we were winning battles. You know as a player I know that I’m a guy who feeds off of that,” said Subban.
“I know we have a bunch of guys who feed off of that as well and when you mix that with the loss we had last time in game seven it’s a pretty lethal weapon to have when you’re playing coming into this building and like I said there’s nothing better than shutting up everybody here.”
Montreal can talk about how disrespected they felt and how much it motivated them all they want, but the fact of the matter is the Canadiens were the better team and they’re moving on because they were the better team.
Bruins’ head coach Claude Julien says in no way did his club disrespect the Canadiens.
“You talk about disrespect, and I don’t think we disrespected them. There’s a rivalry here and what I said in French was we don’t like each other because it’s a rivalry,” said Julien. “And at the same time, the pounding of the chest — the people who have been here, have seen us do that all year, because it’s related to Boston Strong. Our guys take some pride in what’s happened in Boston Strong, and unfortunately, everything we did seemed to be seen as disrespect in Montreal.”
Since it was a hot topic in the Canadiens’ dressing room after Game 7, maybe all the New York Rangers need to do to defeat the Canadiens and earn a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals is show the Canadiens a little respect.
A little R-E-S-P-E-C-T can go a long way, right Aretha?
Hear what the Bruins had to say following their Game 7 loss to the Canadiens: