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  • Vigneault’s bad blood for Julien, Marchand continues

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    Vigneault’s bad blood for Julien, Marchand continues

    Tim Rosenthal November 28, 2015

    Just 24 hours after losing to the Boston Bruins, 4-3, at TD Garden, New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault is still having a war of the words with the Black and Gold, particularly with Claude Julien and Brad Marchand.

    To an extent, Vigneault had a right to be upset yesterday over Matt Beleskey hitting Derek Stepan a few seconds late during the middle stanza. Dylan McIlrath was the next man in after the hit and challenged Beleskey to drop the gloves. Beleskey wasn’t penalized for the hit on Stepan, who suffered broken ribs according to Vigneault, but received a five-minute major for roughing. McIlrath got an extra two minutes for instigating and a 10-minute misconduct, which gave the Bruins a power play. Brett Connolly scored on the man advantage to tie the game at 2-2 at 9:34.

    But rather than call Beleskey out for the late hit itself, Vigneault had to bring up another incident from the 2011 Stanley Cup Final while he was coaching the Vancouver Canucks.

    “In our opinion, it was a late hit. More than a second, and he was a couple of feet away from the boards. So we’ll have to wait and see,” Vigneault said. “I remember Aaron Rome in this building, 0.6 seconds late, getting suspended four games in the Stanley Cup Final, so [it will] be interesting to see. Step [Derek Stepan] broke some ribs, so he’ll be out indefinitely.”

    Vigneault must have forgotten that Rome left his feet when delivering his shot to Nathan Horton, who suffered a concussion on the play and did not return for the remainder of the series. The league suspended Rome for the rest of the Cup Final.

    That wasn’t the only controversial incident that took place on Black Friday at the TD Garden. In the third period, Brad Marchand was called for interference, but it was Henrik Lundqvist who sold the penalty with an embellishment worthy of an Academy Award. J.T. Miller converted on New York’s power play to give them a 3-2 lead at 9:28 of the third.

    Both Marchand and Julien had some choice words for Lundqvist afterwards.

    “I know he does some acting on the side, but I don’t think it needs to be on the ice,” Julien said during his postgame press conference. “Referees are there to protect goaltenders and they should. Goaltenders shouldn’t take advantage of referees, and you know, you may think it’s a good play for his team to get a power play, but we’re all trying to get that out of our game.”

    “I mean he must have gotten hit with a cement block the way he went down – I didn’t know I was that strong,” Marchand added. “But you know it’s tough when it seems like they don’t call goalies on that one, maybe they should.”

    Those comments got the attention of Vigneault before the Rangers tilt with the Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Instead of letting it go and focusing on bouncing back after blowing the 3-2 third period lead to the Bruins yesterday, the Rangers bench boss added more fuel to the fire by calling out both Julien and Marchand.

    “I mean it’s a little disappointing. Obviously everybody saw the knee to the head. The comments on Hank were very inappropriate,” Vigneault said to reporters (via Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News). “The way Hank conducts himself, on the ice, away from the rink, off the ice, the example that he sets. Who would you rather have as a son, Henrik Lundqvist or Brad Marchand? For him to say things like that about Hank, totally wrong, and probably Claude is getting a little older and needs to check his eyesight.”

    We’ll leave the question up to the public on who they would rather have as a son. What isn’t debatable, however, is that the bad blood between Vigneault, Julien, Marchand and company will only intensify when the Bruins and Rangers meet again on January 11th in New York.

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    Tim Rosenthal

    Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.


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