By Allan Muir
If you thought the Montreal Canadiens might let bygones be bygones a day after watching bloodied teammate Lars Eller wheeled off the ice in Game 1, you’re about to have your faith in humanity shaken.
The Habs didn’t like Eric Gryba’s hit that sent Eller to the hospital. And they didn’t like the postgame thoughts offered up by Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean any better.
MacLean aroused Montreal winger Brandon Prust’s ire by suggesting that Raphael Diaz, the Habs defenseman whose suicide pass left Eller open to the hit, was to blame for the play, not Gryba.
“[If I’m Eller], I’m really mad at [Diaz], whoever he is, because he passed me the puck in the middle of the rink when I wasn’t looking,” said MacLean. “That’s always been a dangerous place as far as I know. Ever since I’ve been playing this game, that’s a dangerous place to be — bad things happen.
“I think it’s a hockey play that ended up going badly for Lars Eller.”
He was right, of course, but let’s just say that the nerves were still a little too raw in the Montreal room for that particular truth bomb. When Prust was asked today about MacLean’s comments, he responded that he didn’t care what “that bug-eyed fat walrus” said.
Clever boy. I think that one might stick even better than “fat pig” did to former referee Don Koharski.
Either way, it sets up what should be a fairly contentious rematch tonight at the Bell Centre.