Marchand, Julien and Vigneault: a tale of totally different views
The only time Henrik Lundqvist’s name was brought up after the Bruins’ 4-3 victory over the Rangers on Friday was when the Boston media asked about the play where Lundqvist drew an interference call on Brad Marchand. Clearly, Marchand and head coach Claude Julien did not appreciate “King Henrik” embellishing the call in a performance that was seemingly worthy of an Academy Award.
The very next day, Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, who already was upset with Matt Belesky’s late hit on Derek Stepan as he compared it to Aaron Rome’s shot on Nathan Horton in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, had some sharp words for 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. The way Hank conducts himself, on the ice, away from the rink, off the ice, the example that he sets,” Vigneault told the New York media prior to the Rangers 3-0 loss to the Flyers on Saturday (via Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News). “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.”
Unlike Julien and Marchand, who commented on Lundqvist’s antics itself, Vigneault took it to a personal level with the ninth year Bruins bench boss and “The Little Ball of Hate.”
After a day off, the Bruins returned to practice on Sunday. It was the first opportunity for Julien and Marchand to answer questions from the scribes about Vigneault’s comments. The two clearly wanted to discuss other things, but they did take the time to respond.
First up was Julien, who spoke on Lundqvist’s antics, his skill as a goaltender, his eyesight and Vigneault’s comparison to the hits by Beleskey and Rome.
“I think it’s pretty obvious what I said [on Friday] that I thought Lundqvist sold [the call],” Julien said during his press conference. “Not for a second did I question Henrik Lundqvist as a goaltender or as a person and all that. We all know how good of a goaltender he is and I met him at All-Star games and all that stuff, but it certainly wasn’t any more than the situation.
“As far as my eyes [are concerned] I’m not the one who compared Beleskey’s hit to Rome’s, so we’ll just leave it at that.”
Up next was Marchand, who had a little fun with the media about being a son and the history he has with Vigneault (who he hasn’t spoken to off the ice).
“I’m not sure, I thought I was a likable person,” Marchand jokingly said about Vigneault’s history of comments towards him. “You have to ask him [about the history]. We just want to play the game, and try to keep everything on the ice.
“I don’t know if my mom has seen it yet, and I haven’t talked to my father about it yet,” Marchand added about Vigneault saying he would rather have Lundqvist as a son over him. “I think they love me, though.”
Clearly Vigneault has a history with the Bruins and sounds like a coach who is still upset over the Black and Gold capturing the 2011 Stanley Cup while he was behind the Canucks bench. It’s likely that his bitter history with Julien, Marchand and company will continue when the Rangers welcome the B’s to Madison Square Garden in their next meeting on January 11th.
The Bruins, meanwhile, are shifting their focus and preparing for their three-game trip to Western Canada that begins Wednesday in Edmonton.