Claude Julien meant it as a compliment, though we can hear the snickering already.
Today, ahead of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, here’s what the Bruins’ head coach had to say about his team’s opponent, the Chicago Blackhawks:
“When you look at their back end, they have a lot of Kris Letangs, let’s put it that way, that can carry the puck up the ice and attack.”
Never mind that Letang, like the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins stars, would probably like to forget their performance against the Bruins in the Eastern Conference Final.
Letang, at his best, is a smooth-skating defensman with an offensive flair, and the same can be said about Chicago’s Duncan Keith, who has 11 points in 16 games for the ‘Hawks this postseason.
Johnny Oduya, Niklas Hjalmarsson, and Nick Leddy are three other mobile Chicago blue-liners that can make it tough for a team to establish a forecheck.
As always when facing a mobile defense, the key for the Bruins will be to get possession, with speed, through the neutral zone, and if they can’t carry the puck in, at least dump it into the right spots and get after it.