Claude Julien questions Canucks

Updated: June 6, 2011, 8:59 PM ET
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com

BOSTON -- The Bite Saw Around the World continues to be a topic of discussion during the Stanley Cup finals series between the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks and it has Bruins coach Claude Julien questioning the sportsmanship of some Canucks players.

The Canucks' Alex Burrows became the center of controversy in Game 1 when he clearly bit the finger of Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron during a scrum at the end of the first period.

The NHL decided not to discipline Burrows, who scored a pair of goals, including the game-winning tally only 11 seconds into overtime, in Game 2.

During a scrum in the third period of Game 2, the Canucks' Maxim Lapierre was taunting Bergeron by sticking his finger in his face.

Julien was asked Monday morning about Lapierre's gesture toward Bergeron.

"I can't really talk about their team," Julien said.

Then he did.

"I don't handle those players. I don't deal with those players on a one-on-one basis. It's not up to me to comment on it and if that's acceptable for them, so be it," he said. "Certainly wouldn't be acceptable on our end of it. There's not much I can say about that.

"The NHL ruled on something and (the Canucks) decided to make a mockery of it. It's totally up to them. If that's their way of handling things, so be it. We can't waste our time on that sort of stuff. We have to focus on what we have to do. Last time I looked, we're down two games to none, and all our energy has to go towards that."

Julien said he wouldn't allow Lapierre's behavior on his team. Lapierre had several dustups with the Bruins when he was with the Montreal Canadiens, saying he had been raised to hate Boston.

"It doesn't surprise me, that's how he is," Julien said of Lapierre. "There might be a reason he's played for the number of teams he's played for already."

When asked about Julien's comments in both English and French after Monday's morning skate, Lapierre declined to comment.

During the same scrum, Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid dragged Burrows out of a pile of players on top of Boston goaltender Tim Thomas. McQuaid and Burrows were nose-to-nose and the two were shown chirping at one another on the video board.

It was quite clear McQuaid said to him: "You gonna bite me?"

Also during that scrum, Lapierre was taunting Bergeron by sticking his finger in his face.

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said he didn't see what had happened.

"If that happened in between whistles, I didn't see it," he said. "I focus on the play that's going on between whistles, so I can't really comment on that."

Other Canucks stood behind Burrows and Lapierre, refusing to condemn their behavior as anything abnormal, particularly in the contentious postseason.

"If they put a lot of focus on that, that's good for us," Canucks captain Henrik Sedin said Monday. "If they're not thinking about hockey and thinking about that instead, that's up to them, but we're focused on hockey. A lot of things happen after the whistles. Boston does a lot of things, too."

Joe McDonald covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Joe McDonald

Reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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