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Montreal Canadiens coach Claude Julien fined $10,000 by NHL after criticizing officials

Montreal Canadiens coach Claude Julien fined $10,000 by NHL after criticizing officials

The Habs coach wasn't pleased with 'embarrassing' performance by the game's referees

After his Montreal Canadiens blew a 3-0 lead and suffered a 4-3 overtime loss to the Dallas Stars on Saturday, Claude Julien wasn't pleased. The Canadiens coach blew off some steam in his media availability after the loss and directed some of that frustration towards the game's officiating crew, which he felt put his team at an unfair disadvantage throughout the night.

Now, he's going to have to pay for his candid response.

On Monday morning, it was announced that the NHL had fined Julien $10,000 for his comments.

Canadiens head coach Claude Julien fined $10,000. https://t.co/F7mggAxGqF pic.twitter.com/pgWvwgh2Ah

— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 17, 2020

There were a number of incidents and missed calls that left Julien steaming on Saturday. Montreal didn't get a single power play all night, although there were several spots where they likely should have ended up on the man-advantage. Julien took stock of these missed calls and went down the list after the game.

Claude Julien’s full comment on tonight’s officiating pic.twitter.com/NJ5s50G3EC

— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) February 16, 2020

But here's the quote that probably rubbed the league the wrong way was Julien directly calling out the "embarrassing" performance of a referee.

"[The officials] looked frustrated tonight — the referee," said Julien. "He should have been, because to me it was embarrassing. I can't say anything else. We take responsibility for some of our stuff and when we're not good I'm going to stand up here and say we weren't good enough tonight. Well, tonight we had to beat two teams and it was tough."

Julien is a veteran behind the bench and he's not particularly known for outbursts or being outspoken when things don't go his team's way, so his grievances probably shouldn't be taken lightly. Unfortunately, his comments were costly, and so was the OT loss to Dallas. Montreal is 27-26-8 (62 points) and current sits sixth in the Atlantic division outside of a playoff spot.

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