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Bruins angry about Malkin's hit on Boychuck

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Monday, March 12, 2012
 

Boston coach Claude Julien said little about Evgeni Malkin's hit but implied plenty.

The Penguins center was penalized for boarding in Sunday's third period when he forced Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk into the wall. It was a play the Bruins didn't like, but Julien seemed cynical about whether the league would further punish its leading scorer.

"It was Malkin that hit, right?" Julien asked rhetorically. "It wasn't (Matt) Cooke?"

Julien was implying the NHL might have punished Cooke, who has been suspended five times, for a similar hit. Malkin has never been suspended by the league.

A comparison to Cooke carries weight in Boston, which remembers his career-changing hit on Marc Savard two seasons ago.

"The league will have to look at it," Julien said. "It was a hit from behind. They're the ones that make those decisions. We don't like those hits."

With 6:31 left in the third, Malkin was assessed a two-minute penalty for forcing Boychuk into the boards deep in the Bruins' end. Malkin admitted the hit turned dangerous but said that wasn't his intent. Malkin saw Boychuk with the puck and aimed for the shoulder, he said, before Boychuk turned.

"It's a little bit dangerous, of course, because it's near the far boards," Malkin said. "I said sorry, of course, but it's tough to say. I've not seen (the) replay. I (did) not jump. Nothing dangerous. I (hit) with shoulder, not (the) elbow — just shoulder. But he turned a little bit quick, and it (became) a dangerous hit."

Boychuk said he was just sore from the hit.

"It was a good thing I was closer to the boards (rather) than farther away," Boychuk said, "or else it could have been a lot worse."

Asked if Malkin's hit was dirty, Boychuk's response was measured.

"Well, it was a penalty," Boychuk said. "He got a penalty."

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