Bruins coach Julien wants to see players avoid vulnerable positions


We’re used to coaches passionately defending their players following controversial hits. Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien didn’t do that after Penguins forward Matt Cooke knocked defenseman Adam McQuaid into the boards from behind.

In fact, before Julien seemed to be more focused on what the victims of such hits can do to avoid being hurt in the future.

“And I’ve said it before, and I’m certainly not going to change my mind because it happened to one of our players, but I’ve always said that we have to educate our players to not put themselves in vulnerable positions,” Julien told the Boston Globe. “And I’m not talking necessarily about last night, I’m talking about those kind of things that are happening and right now.

“Because the rule says you can’t hit somebody from behind. Sometimes we take advantage of that rule, and it’s dangerous.

“And in order to make our game better, I think it’s gotta come from both sides. Players gotta understand that there’s somebody coming and don’t put yourself in vulnerable position. But the player hitting, have to be aware of it. And I’ve been an advocate of that a long time and I still believe in it.”

Julien added that he wasn’t “convinced [Cooke’s hit was] a suspendable thing.”

The question of whether or not McQuaid specifically put himself in a vulnerable position was raised with the blueliner.

“I don’t know why anybody would want to put themselves in a [vulnerable] position, or would want [to get hit from behind],” McQuaid said, according to CSN New England. “If that’s the way people saw it, then they’re entitled to their own opinion.”

Furthermore, McQuaid just wants to put this incident behind him going into Game 2 tonight.

“There’s so many things to focus on and get ready for and we just get ready for the next game and that’s it,” he said.


Playoffs Tonight: Penguins look to even series vs Bruins

Matt Cooke explains his hit on McQuaid

No discipline for Cooke or Bolland after iffy Game 1 hits

Bylsma doesn’t think Cooke deserved major penalty

Report: Islanders cut first-rounder Barzal from camp

Mathew Barzal
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It seems Mathew Barzal has played in his last game in a New York Islanders’ uniform for a little while.

Barzal took part in the Islanders’ preseason finale against the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but after that contest the Islanders decided to return him to WHL Seattle, per Newsday’s Arthur Staple.

He was taken with the 16th overall pick in 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That selection was well-traveled as it originally belonged to the Pittsburgh Penguins, but was involved in the David Perron trade and then moved to the Islanders as part of Edmonton’s deal to get Griffin Reinhart.

Barzal is noteworthy for his skill and speed, but he may have slipped in the draft due to a knee injury he sustained during the 2014-15 campaign.

The Islanders also reassigned Kirill Petrov, Kevin Czuczman, Scott Mayfield, and Adam Pelech to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit

What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.