Bruins head coach Claude Julien  was having none of Sean Avery’s antics.
He knew what the agitator of all agitators in the NHL  was trying to do to his goalie. That’s why he kept a close eye on him as he gave a little whack to the back of Tim Thomas ‘ head during a time out with 5:24 remaining in Boston’s 1-0 win over the New York Rangers  Saturday at the Garden.
“For me, it’s just that you have to keep an eye on this guy all the time, even after whistles because when he did that, he looked around to see if anyone was looking,” Julien said . “He’s an expert at that and that’s what he tries to do so it’s important for the referees, when he’s on the ice after whistles, to keep an eye on him because you know he’s going to do something.”
Julien also wasn’t surprised when he goalie took off after Avery toward center ice and gave him a roundhouse, which got the crowd into a frenzy.
‘Personally, a coach never likes to see his goaltender get in those situations,” Julien said. “Do I agree with it? no. But Timmy’s emotional and by that time, it’s too late.’
Then there’s the take of the man himself.
“It’s a TV timeout,” Thomas said. “It’s an unwritten rule that basically nothing happens during a TV timeout. I’m stretching there, and Avery comes by, and I get hit in the head with a stick. You look up and you see who it is, and you’re like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.'”
It was no joke to Thomas and the Bruins, who kept their composure and held on for the win that sealed the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the Bruins.
“I really like the fact that we kept our composure and got the win there,” Thomas said . “That’s the key. When you react, you fall little bit into exactly what he wants you to do, but if you can react and not have it affect your game, then he didn’t do his job, and it didn’t work.”
Marc Savard  was called for a cross-check moments later, forcing the Bruins to kill a 4-on-3 after Thomas and Avery were called for roughing penalties. And they did.
As for Avery, reporters tried to approach him but they were told by the Rangers P.R. that he wasn’t talking. One of the reporters fired back, ‘He can answer for himself.’
On Saturday, it was Thomas who had the answers.