It was a half-hour after the Bruins’ season had ended, and Milan Lucic was still steaming, especially when apprised of the comments made by Dale Weise in the postgame locker room. Weise had told reporters, “Even in the handshake they had a couple of guys — or, sorry, just one — that couldn’t put it behind them and be a good [loser]. Milan Lucic had a few things to say to a couple guys.”
Asked to be more specific, Weise said, “You look at a guy like Shawn Thornton who has been around the league and he plays hard and he plays that role and he had good things to say to everybody. He won with class and Milan Lucic just couldn’t do that. Well, I won’t get into what he said, it’s just a poor way to lose.”
Given the chance to respond, Lucic said, “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.”
It was clear on video that Lucic had words for both Weise and Alexei Emelin in the handshake line after Boston’s 3-1 loss in Game 7 Wednesday night.
The story line coming out of the Canadiens’ side, at least in the last couple of days, was that the Bruins had “disrespected” them, with Montreal citing the pounding of their chests after goals, the Lucic biceps flexing at P.K. Subban — which Weise later returned to Lucic — and the water bottle squirt by Thornton.
As Weise said, “They just disrespected us in every single way and I don’t think they had any respect for us as a team. We’ll leave it at that. The better team won.”
He added that the Canadiens used the perceived disrespect as motivation in the series. As Subban said, “They say, ‘Don’t poke the bear,’ well the bear gave us plenty of reasons to compete harder and harder.”
But the Bruins didn’t exactly agree with that line of thought.
“Disrespect?” Lucic said. “I don’t know what they’re talking about, disrespect. 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.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien did, though.
“You talk about disrespect, and I don’t think we disrespected them,” he said. “There’s a rivalry here and we don’t like each other because it’s a rivalry. 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 disrespectful in Montreal. We heard a lot of that whining in terms of the series, but it had nothing to do with disrespect, and whether it’s flexing a muscle — that’s gamesmanship. It’s like that in every round.
“So it’s too bad that it gets blown out of proportion, but you know what? They won the series fair and square. They were the better team tonight, and you have to respect that.”
Emotions really only spilled over in one game in the series — Game 6 — with some scrums at the end of the game. Jarome Iginla, for one, said, “I thought it was actually extremely tame as far as the ugliness or whatever, so they can say whatever they want.”
That scrum was, in fact, started when Andrei Markov tripped Zdeno Chara, followed by a stick between the legs that set off an altercation between Chara and Mike Weaver. It was a sequence that had Julien railing against the Canadiens’ tactics after the game.
By now, Brad Marchand knows that he’s not going to get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to penalties. But it seemed like he got even less than usual — especially given that there’s generally a higher threshold in the postseason.
Marchand got called for interference on the goaltender at 6:18 of the first period after he fell into Carey Price after a clear cross-check from Markov, and he got called for unsportsmanlike conduct at 0:07 of the second for snowing Price.
“It’s frustrating,” Marchand said. “But I dug that hole for myself and I’ve got to live with it. It is frustrating at times, but I can’t really do anything about it. If they’re going to call it against me, then they’re going to call it.”
Marchand struggled at times in the series, not scoring a goal, though he did have five assists in the Montreal series after zero points against Detroit.
“I think the opportunities were there,” he said. “Every game I had opportunities, but sometimes they go in, sometimes they didn’t. Maybe it was a lack of focus or I didn’t bear down enough, but I didn’t come up big when the team needed me and [it’s] very frustrating.”
A moot point
Julien acknowledged that it was a “possibility” that defenseman Dennis Seidenberg would have returned for the Eastern Conference finals if the Bruins had won Wednesday night. Seidenberg started taking contact Monday, just four months after undergoing knee surgery. “He’d been skating for almost a month and he started taking a little bit of contact, and I think that would have been a discussion that we would have had heading into the next round,” Julien said.