The NHL find Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien $10,000 for criticizing a referee.\nA Boston Bruins player, meanwhile, was fined $5,000 for striking Habs player Brendan Gallagher in the throat.\nThe situation has Habs fans furious.\nVisit MTLBlog for more headlines.\nThe Montreal Canadiens and their fans had some choice words for the referees after an embarrassing 4-3 loss to the Dallas Stars on Saturday night. Blaming the refs for calling a bad game is to be expected in the NHL and the league usually takes this criticism in stride. However, the NHL set a new precedent by fining Habs head coach Claude Julien $10,000 for criticizing the officiating team in a post-game press conference.\nIn classic fashion, Habs fans are sharpening their pitchforks and prepared to march on the NHL's Toronto head office. But before you do, it's important to understand the context of Julien's $10,000 fine.\nJulien and his team criticized the refs for what was, in their opinion, a badly called match. In Saturday's game, the Habs held a comfortable 3-0 lead against the Stars. The wheels fell — no, exploded — off the truck as the Habs gave up four unanswered goals.\nWhile they have no one to blame but themselves, the referees didn't help the Habs' cause after missing four important Dallas penalties, according to Julien.\nNeedless to say, Habs fans are furious, and in their fury, have done everything from voicing their displeasure with the NHL's PR Twitter (665 comments and counting) and even starting a GoFundMe page for the kindly coach.\nHabs fans aren't ever shy about voicing their opinions — be it to fire the coach or fire the general manager, Habs fans really don't give a damn.\nThis time, their ire is directed at the NHL and its handling of the Claude Julien situation.\nCanadiens head coach Claude Julien fined $10,000. https://t.co/F7mggAxGqF pic.twitter.com/pgWvwgh2Ah— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 17, 2020\nMany Habs fans rightfully pointed out that only a few days prior to the refereeing incident, 6'10'' Boston Bruins player Zdeno Chara cross-checked a 5'8'' Brendan Gallagher in the throat and only received a $5,000 fine.\nZdeno Chara was fined 5000$ for violently crosschecking a player in the throat.Claude Julien was fined 10,000$ for hurting someone's feelings.The NHL, ladies and gentlemen. https://t.co/uWUHs27NvS— Habs Chronicle (@HabsChronicle) February 17, 2020\nShort of reigniting the long-held rivalry between the Bruins and the Canadiens, the NHL's reactions to the incidents is an indictment of how the NHL views player safety compared to team-referee relations, say some fans.\nFines for NHL coaches who make perhaps questionable comments to refs either during or post-game are a common occurrence.\nClaude Julien’s full comment on tonight’s officiating pic.twitter.com/NJ5s50G3EC— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) February 16, 2020\nSince 2009, NHL coaches have been fined tens of thousands of dollars. While that may not seem like much for an NHL coach, (Julien is set to make $5 million this season) the concept of fining a coach for saying mean things to refs opens up an uncomfortable conversation about the working relationships between NHL teams and referees.\nI feel bad for Claude Julien. As the HC of the oft-ignored Canadiens, he had the courage to call out the NHL for rigging the game in favor of Dallas, noted NHL darling. And then to save face, the Bettman threw the book at him to keep him silent in the future.It's just tragic.— Tyler Mair (@mairican) February 17, 2020\nIf the NHL is so quick to protect its referees, why doesn't it give that same level of oversight to player infractions that might cause severe injuries?\nAnd if coaches get fined every time they comment on a referee's job, how will coaches ever trust the NHL to be fair and balanced?\nI don't think they teach this at @NHL referee school - at least I hope they don't. Claude Julien and Brendan Gallagher had good reason to be upset last night. #Habs #HabsIO https://t.co/yiJBvsIYay— Stu Cowan (@StuCowan1) February 16, 2020\nThe same referee that Julien criticized during his post-game press conference told Habs player Brendan Gallagher to "go f*ck yourself," which was audibly caught on national television.\nThe referee, Dean Morton, received no fine or repercussions for this outburst, however.\nclaude julien.not a happy camper. pic.twitter.com/A8kS9eyM4Z— Dylan Nadwodny (@dnadders) February 16, 2020\nJulien didn't personally attack the referee on national television, but will still pay $10,000 out of pocket.\nWe might never have answers to these questions, but in the eyes of many fans, it's time for the NHL to reevaluate its priorities when dealing with these situations.