Whether or not he took it to heart, Claude Julien got a lesson this week in the power of social media.
Within hours of the Boston coach's rant about the Montreal Canadiens embarrassing the game of hockey by embellishing to draw penalty calls, Twitter and Facebook were flooded with incontrovertible evidence that Julien's Bruins are among the NHL's most accomplished embellishers. Not surprisingly, Brad Marchand is a one-man Fearless Freep highlight reel, but there are also easily accessible videos of Andrew Ference, Tyler Seguin and even heavyweights Zdeno Chara and Shawn Thornton delivering Oscar-worthy performances.
Still, it's not Julien's breathtaking hypocrisy that defines his outburst after Sunday night's loss to the visiting Canadiens. What's most revealing and disappointing is that a guy who by all accounts was decent and honorable when he was coaching in Montreal is drinking the Boston Kool-Aid, which precludes giving any kind of credit to other teams in general and the Canadiens in particular. Presumably, the petty resentment against the Canadiens is born of their historic domination of the Bruins, whose inferiority complex persists even though they've clearly held the upper hand in recent seasons.
The ultimate irony is that a team and a fan base that sell themselves as the rough and tumble ambassadors of hockey machismo can't find it in themselves to man up on those rare occasions when they're second best.