Claude Julien: 'Lundqvist sold it'

BOSTON -- A day after New York Rangers coach Alain Vigneault criticized Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien and forward Brad Marchand, the Bruins responded Sunday to those comments.

Vigneault was upset that Julien had said Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was "acting" when Marchand was called for a goaltender-interference call during Boston's 4-3 win over New York on Friday at TD Garden.

"I think it's pretty obvious what I said. I felt Lundqvist sold it," Julien said Sunday. "Not for a second did I ever question Henrik Lundqvist as a goaltender or as a person. We all know how good he is as a goaltender, and I know he's a good person. It certainly wasn't any more than the situation, so that's all I've got to say on Lundqvist."

Vigneault had said that Julien's "acting" comments were inappropriate and that the Bruins coach was getting older and needed his eyesight checked.

After Friday's game, Vigneault said he thought Matt Beleskey's hit on Derek Stepan was late and deserved a suspension. Stepan suffered broken ribs and is out indefinitely. Beleskey, who was not penalized on the play, was not issued supplementary discipline by the NHL.

Vigneault compared the hit to former Vancouver Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome's on former Bruins forward Nathan Horton during Game 3 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals.

"As far as my eyes, I'm not the one that compared Beleskey's hit to Rome's, so we'll just leave it at that," Julien said.

Horton suffered a serious, season-ending concussion, and Rome was suspended for the remainder of the series.

After practice Sunday, Beleskey responded to Vigneault's comparison.

"I think it was a little different than that hit, obviously," Beleskey said. "There was no suspension. [Rome's] was a serious hit. I think [mine] was a clean hit, came from the front. I think it was, what, point-nine seconds after, or something? I don't know what the rule is, 0.8? I don't know. Tough to count 0.8 in my head. Like I said, I don't think he really braced himself for the hit, and that's what resulted in the outcome."

On Saturday, Vigneault made a personal comment about Marchand when talking about the forward's knee to the head of Lundqvist.

"Everybody saw the knee to the head. The comments on [Lundqvist] were very inappropriate," Vigneault said. "The way [Lundqvist] conducts himself on the ice, away from the rink, off the ice, the example that he sets. Who would you rather have as a son, Henrik or Brad Marchand?"

When asked what his parents thought of the comment, Marchand laughed.

"I don't know if my mom has seen it yet, and I haven't talked to my father yet. I think they love me, though," Marchand said Sunday with a smile.

This isn't the first time Vigneault has made comments about Marchand since the Bruins defeated Vigneault and the Canucks in the 2011 Stanley Cup finals. Asked why he is so disliked by Vigneault, Marchand said, "I'm not sure. I thought I was a likable person. Again, it's something you'll have to ask him. We just want to play the game and try to keep everything on the ice."