Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 05/06/13 at 12:24 AM ET
So the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens engaged in a brawl during Sunday's 6-1 Senators win, and Canadiens Michel Therrien was not amused regarding Senators coach Paul MacLean's decision to call a very, very late time-out.
After the game, MacLean explained his reasoning for said decision...
I'm still waiting for the Canadiens to post Therrien's presser, if they post it at all, but the pair traded barbs after the game, as ESPN's Pierre LeBrun noted, and the ever-quote-worthy Senators GM Bryan Murray got into it, too:
"We got beat by a good team tonight, they played very well," began Montreal head coach Michel Therrien in his postgame address. "I always believe you let the players dictate the game. Calling a timeout at 17 seconds in the game, I never saw that before. ...You never want to humiliate another team as a coach and this is exactly what happened tonight. As far as I’m concerned it was classless."
Senators head coach Paul MacLean did indeed call a timeout late in the game with his team up 6-1, but he offered up an explanation for it. Just not sure the Habs will buy it.
"I didn’t know what was going to happen next," said MacLean. "I feel bad for the referees but they wouldn’t let me bring my players back to the bench so I can tell them what I wanted them to do. So my only recourse was to take the timeout because I didn’t want anyone to get hurt. It was already getting dumb enough as it was. ...
"So in order to protect my players under circumstances that were instigated by the Montreal Canadiens, I was forced to protect my players. And I will do that every time."
As far as Therrien’s assertion that Maclean was trying to humiliate the Canadiens: "I thought they were doing a real good job of that themselves. They didn’t need my help at all," fired back MacLean.
LeBrun continues, and I'm kind of shocked at how deeply Murray "stepped in it," as they say, given the fact that he's subject to fines just as coaches are subject to fines for their comments. Murray was still incensed by the precipitating factor in all of this mess--Erik Gryba's two-game suspension for hitting Lars Eller:
"Michel talks about discipline and his team that really turned it around this year," Senators GM Bryan Murray told ESPN.com after the game Sunday night. "He took a shot at Paul who was sticking up for his player recognizing that [Raphael] Diaz did make the pass that got Eller hurt. We don’t like seeing players get hurt, we sure didn’t want Eller get hit the way he did. But that’s the game. Gryba stood up. I told Brendan Shanahan it was the wrong decision on his part. I’ve watched it 100 times. I’ve talked to hockey people around the league and most of them, like 90 percent, agree it was shoulder to shoulder and then it slid across. So we didn’t think it was the right thing. And we heard all the commentary from [Brandon] Prust and from Michel. Prust had a chance with [Chris] Neil and [Matt] Kassian on the ice and didn’t do anything about it. When they left the ice, he stepped in and took a couple of cheap penalties. People shot pucks at people. I really object at that."
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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