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On a tough night, Claude Julien has strong praise for Brandon Carlo

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It doesn’t fit the “Claude hates kids” narrative. It shows the kind of coach Claude Julien is.

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Boston Bruins
It was a night to forget for Brandon Carlo, but his coach has his back.
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t exactly Brandon Carlo’s night.

The 20-year-old defenseman started off the game with a beautiful net-front tap-in for the wrong team.

He then took a bad crosschecking penalty that led to Phil Kessel’s power play goal.

He was taken off of Zdeno Chara’s pair to start the second period (he’d eventually end up back there), and left the game with what looked like a seriously painful leg injury in the third period.

With all of that happening, Brandon Carlo’s going to have a lot to think about.

What he won’t have to think about, however, is how his coach is going to punish him for his mistake-filled night, as Claude Julien praised Carlo’s character and compete level after the game.

In a soundbite that’s sure to fluster the “Claude hates young players” crowd, Julien showed the patience and understanding needed to develop young defensemen.

“We need to be patient with some young players,” said Julien. “We gotta live sometimes with some young mistakes.”

After admitting that the penalty wasn’t a good one to take, Julien gave Carlo credit for sticking with it.

“What I like about Brandon Carlo is that he comes out in the second period and we get in a bit of a scramble there at the beginning and he blocks a shot that probably saved a goal,” he said.

“He works hard to redeem himself,” Julien continued. “I like the fact that he doesn't hang his head. He comes back and he plays hard. He really tries to redeem himself, and he does that most of the time.”

Strong words from a coach who (unfairly) hasn’t always been known for siding with his young players.

The words from his coach should take some of the sting out of this evening’s performance for Carlo, who will hopefully be recovered enough from his injury to get back to redeeming himself early next week.