Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle thinks Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, who finished the 2013 season as the NHL’s top-ranked faceoff man, is getting a little help from the officials in the faceoff circle.
“Faceoffs are always a big part of any hockey game,” Carlyle said after the Maple Leafs’ 5-2 loss to the Bruins in Game 3 on Monday. “Specifically when you’re at home, you would think you would be afforded some of the staples of the opposition having to be down first and stopped, and in our review there were some things that were going on that we don’t agree with as far as forcing the opposition to stop.
“The explanation I was given, and I talked with the official between the period, he stated it’s supposed to be visitor down, home down, puck down. That clearly was not happening as per video.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien responded back to Carlyle.
“I’ve heard a lot about the faceoff issues and I’ve looked at the video, too,” Julien said. “It is what it is. Guys get kicked out, or not kicked out. When you lobby for something, it’s because you’re looking for a bit of a break next game and that’s what Randy’s doing right now — he’s lobbying for some breaks on the faceoffs, and it’s going to be interesting to see whether the referees and the linesmen just do their job next game and not worry about who’s crying wolf.”
Toronto center Tyler Bozak was tossed from the faceoff dot several times, but said both teams were cheating, he was just getting caught more.
“It’s tough in the game. But it’s over now. It’s part of the game,” Bozak said. “Both sides were cheating pretty good in the circle. I was getting caught more than [Bergeron]. Nothing you can do about it now. You just have to look forward to Game 4 on Wednesday.”
Bergeron won an NHL-best 62.1 percent of his faceoffs during the regular season and said with a smile that if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.
“It’s one of those things that happens in games. It’s a matter of timing and if you don’t cheat, you’re not trying. That’s what everyone says, right?” Bergeron said with a smile. “That’s what we’re all trying to do and sometimes I got kicked out a few times last night as well. … Sometimes, you’re cheating a little too much, or you’re getting a little too excited. It’s part of it, and obviously, I take a lot of pride in draws and I want to win them because it’s a big part of the game.”
Boston leads the playoff series 2-1, Game 4 is Wednesday in Toronto.
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