Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien shared his thoughts on the officiating after a 4-2 Habs loss to the Dallas Stars in Montreal.
He didn’t hold back. Neither did the league. The NHL has fined Julien $10,000 for his comments.
The Habs led the game 3-0 before allowing four straight Stars goals, including the game-winner in overtime. Only two penalties were called in the game by referees Dean Morton and Garrett Rank, both against the Montreal Canadiens. Dallas went 1-for-2 with the man advantage.
Julien unloaded in his post-game, via Eric Engels:
“We’re up 3-0, we’re playing well. We make a bad mistake and give them the puck on the first goal. But in those situations after that we could have had power plays… there’s so many… it was such a poorly managed game, let’s put it that way.
“I think [the stick slash on] Kovalchuk gets an automatic penalty, that slash. I think on Chiarot, if you look at the penalty, or the replay, he gets tripped and he gives a one-hand slash, so we get the slash and no trip. Armia – if that’s a hook, well then in overtime there should have been a penalty on him. Max [Domi] overtime there, is a stick in the mouth, he’s bleeding from the mouth, there’s no penalty there.”
“[The officials] looked frustrated, or one of them looked frustrated tonight – the referee. He should have been, because to me it was embarrassing. I can’t say anything else. We take responsibility for some of our stuff and when we’re not good I’m going to stand up here and say we weren’t good enough tonight. Well, tonight we had to beat two teams and it was tough.”
Montreal’s Brendan Gallagher got into a heated argument with referee Dean Morton at the end of the game, via @GinoHard:
— Gino Hard (@Ginohard_) February 16, 2020
This isn’t the first time Julien has voiced his frustrations with officials.
Earlier this season, a disputed icing call led to a delay of game penalty as the coach and officials were in opposition about which players should be on the ice.
“First of all, the first reaction was that it was touched at center ice,” said Julien. “I think everyone sees that on the replay. But then they say, ‘Okay, so it’s icing.’
“Now you get into ‘What’s the rule?’ You gotta put the same guys on the ice. I’m trying to put the same guys back on the ice and they’re not letting me. And I’m telling him that, ‘You want the guys that are on the ice, I’m giving you the guys.’ And he gives me a delay of game penalty.”
“There’s a point there that [the officials have] to take certain responsibilities […] I was disappointed in the way it was handled after [the delay of game penalty]. If we embarrassed them, maybe they embarrassed themselves by not letting us do the job that we’re supposed to do by putting the right guys on the ice.”
Julien is the second coach to be fined for criticizing officials this season.
John Tortorella of the Columbus Blue Jackets was fined $20,000 earlier this season for a rant charging that the “refs [didn’t] do their freaking job and now we lose a game, and we lose our goalie [to an injury in the shootout].” Torts is also effectively on probation, with the league assessing a conditional $25,000 fine for any future violations within a 12-month period.