11.23.08

Claude Julien, Pacifist Of The Year

Posted in Hockey at 7:56 pm by

If Patrick Roy can manage to bury the hatchet with the Montreal Canadiens, why can’t the Habs see past mild, meek Milan Lucic having his fists assaulted by Mike Komisarek‘s face? The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa reports Montreal selected Georges Laraque for a fight with Boston’s Lucic that never happened during the Bruins’ 3-2 shootout win.

Laraque, itching to shed his gloves and teach the 20-year-old a lesson, was tapped to trail Lucic (above) and goad him into a fight. On their first shift together, Laraque tapped Lucic on the leg with his stick, then got in his face, asking the Bruin to drop his gloves. Lucic didn’t bite. For the rest of the period, Laraque was talking to Lucic, no doubt questioning his courage in the most explicit of ways.

Lucic continued to decline, prompting the Montreal fans to boo the forward and chant his name. But Lucic had someone more important to answer to than Laraque. Namely, his boss.

“There was no way it was going to happen,” said coach Claude Julien, who had, before the game, forbidden Lucic from fighting Laraque. “[Shawn] Thornton was there, ready for Georges. Nothing happened. My tough guy was ready for their tough guy. Simple as that. I told him not to fight. It was me.”

Julien’s theory was that Lucic is a first-line player who has clicked with fellow gunners Marc Savard and Phil Kessel. Laraque, on the other hand, is scoreless and averaged only 7:50 of time on ice per match before last night.

First-line wing to square off against a fourth-liner who’s considered one of the toughest guys in the NHL? Julien wasn’t having it.

“A guy has to do a job,” said Julien. “[Laraque] shadowed Lucic tonight. That was his job. Simple as that. For us, I think Lucic is a good player. And if they want Georges to shadow him, more ice time for him. Good for him.”

One Response to “Claude Julien, Pacifist Of The Year”

  1. Ben Schwartz says:

    Yeah, if a guy started making a Jerry Lewis faces at me, I’d want to fight him.

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