NHL

Julien downplays controversial sign

Image: A Maple Leafs fan holds up a 'Toronto Stronger' sign (© @nicklachey_10/Twitter)
Rivalries are tough, but is this sign going too far?
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TORONTO (AP)

Bruins coach Claude Julien has played down a ''Toronto Stronger'' sign carried by a Maple Leafs fan before Game 3 of their NHL playoff series.

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Julien suggested it was the misguided product of a playoff-driven supporter.

The sign was seen by many as an insensitive play off the ''Boston Strong'' slogan that the Bruins' hometown adopted in the wake of the recent marathon bombings.

''Last night's sign, to me, had nothing to do with hockey,'' Julien says Tuesday. '''Boston Strong' is about something that struck our city, not our team. Maybe it's a little sensitive for the Boston people.

''Those kind of things happen in playoffs. Unfortunately the best and sometimes the worst comes out of the passion of our game.''

Tagged: Bruins

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