- Joe McDonald, ESPN Staff Writer
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But the Leafs, and coach Randy Carlyle think the Bruins might be getting a little extra help on faceoffs.
Leafs' center Tyler Bozak was tossed from the faceoff dot on more than one occasion during Game 3. At one point, Bozak threw his hands up in disgust after getting kicked out of the faceoff dot.
"It’s tough in the game. But it’s over now. It’s part of the game. Both sides were cheating pretty good in the circle. I was getting caught more than him (Bergeron). Nothing you can do about it now. You just have to look forward Game 4 on Wednesday," Bozak said.
Carlyle was vocal Tuesday in his disgust about his centers being tossed from the circle saying.
“Faceoffs are always a big part of any hockey game, “ Carlyle said. “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 was quick to respond to his Toronto counterpart’s claims, saying he hopes it won't impact the officials.
"I've heard a lot about the faceoff issues and I've looked at the video, too, it is what it is,” Julie said Tuesday. “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."
Bozak and Carlyle said they spoke with the linesmen during Monday’s game and also watched video.
"I just wanted to ask him what I needed to change to stay in there a little longer, try to make it as safe as possible," Bozak said. "I got to be better to stay in there."
What did linesman say? "Just to stop, don’t come in on the fly, get my stick down. I was coming in on the fly too much and wasn’t really stopping on the ice."
Bergeron, who won an NHL best 62.1 percent of his faceoffs during the regular season, was also kicked out of the circle, but not as often as Bozak. Without giving away his technique secrets, Bergeron admitted sometimes slight of the hand is what helps win draws.
"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 anticipate a little too fast and the linesman is going to drop the puck and you go too fast and you get kicked out. It's part of the game and they have some really good centermen, so we have to make sure we bear down every time we have a faceoff.
"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."
"It's obviously a big part of the game," Bergeron said. "If you start with the puck it's huge. We take a lot of pride in it. It's one of those things that our centers had a good night, but they have some really good centers as well and we have to be ready for the next game."