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Claude Julien, Bruins trying to manage media spin machine vs. Michel Therrien, Canadiens

05.06.14 at 12:51 pm ET
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MONTREAL – Claude Julien and the Bruins are no strangers to postseason wars of words.

In what looks a bit like the 2011 Eastern Conference finals, when Julien and Guy Boucher went back and forth with comments in the media, Julien and Habs coach Michel Therrien have had some things to say about one another in the second round.

After the Bruins won Game 2, Julien said that the B’s won the game despite putting up with “a lot of crap.” Therrien fired back Monday morning.

“[Claude]‘€™s not happy with all that ‘€˜crap,’ ‘€™’€ Therrien said. “They try to influence referees. That’€™s the way they are. That’€™s not going to change. That’€™s the way that they like to do their things. … But we all know what they try to do.”

Therrien’s words were similar to Julien’s comment in 2011 about Boucher lobbying for calls with his comments in the media. On Tuesday, Julien declined to take things any further with Therrien.

“You know what? Everybody’s entitled to their comments,” Julien said. “People are trying to make more out of this on-ice rivalry, trying to turn it into an off-ice rivalry. Everybody’s entitled to their comments. Some of it can be gamesmanship; whatever it is doesn’t really matter. Right now I’m focusing on my team and what we need to do. That’s what both teams are trying to do, I think.”

Therrien also asserted that the Bruins started this week’s popular storyline that the Bruins have “solved” Carey Price by shooting pucks high. That wasn’t the case, as both Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton were asked Sunday about scoring goals high on Price with him moving laterally across the net. Hamilton essentially said that goalies look low when you screen them, which was then spun into the Bruins saying that they’ve figured out Montreal’s goaltender.

“I don’t know if we’re really trying, but we’ve definitely noticed that,” Hamilton said Sunday. “I think when we can get our shots through past their defensemen — especially when they’re trying to block it — I think we have a good chance of getting it in.”

That somehow turned into a proclamation that the B’s have uncovered the secret to scoring on Price.

“We hope that people will write the things that were actually said,” Julien said in French. “It’€™s that Carey Price, I had him for several weeks with Team Canada, he’€™s one of the best goalies in the National Hockey League. I don’€™t think we’€™re here talking about weaknesses or things like that. It’€™s pretty obvious that thanks to him his team is very good at the moment, he’€™s been playing some great hockey from the start. Some things said by a young player were taken out of context, and something bigger was made of it. As I said earlier, we’€™re looking after our own stuff and we’€™re keeping the focus on what we need to do on the ice, not off the ice.”

The biggest oddity regarding the “shoot high” narrative is that the Bruins have only scored three times this series from shooting the puck high on Price. The players themselves find the storyline something between amusing and silly.

“It’s just the press and the media trying to create arguments and create banter,” Reilly Smith said. “We stay away from that kind of stuff, and if that’s the way the media wants to portray the series and talk between the teams, that’s what they’ll do.”

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