Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’

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After Saturday’s mess of a game between Boston and Pittsburgh, Bruins head coach Claude Julien relayed a simple – but potentially inflammatory – message: Shawn Thornton admitted he was wrong, while Penguins players didn’t.

“Thorny did cross the line, and some others did too. You have to man up to those things, and I think he did,” Julien said. “He’s being truthful. That’s more than we can say about players that pretend that it wasn’t done on purpose.”

While Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma said that he believes Brooks Orpik’s hit on Loui Eriksson was legal, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Josh Yohe reports that Julien disagreed with that assessment.

Julien’s comment regarding players pretending something “wasn’t done on purpose” was directed at James Neal, who delivered this knee on Brad Marchand:

Again, Julien isn’t saying that the Bruins are faultless; it appears that he’s mainly claiming that the Penguins players aren’t holding themselves accountable. (Surely this won’t generate some venom from coaches, players and fans …)

Julien acknowledged that Brendan Shanahan and the NHL face a few difficult disciplinary decisions, as Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston reports.

“He’s got some tough decisions to make,” Julien said.

In case you’re wondering, the Bruins and Penguins won’t face each other again in 2013-14 … unless they meet in the playoffs.