Ah, can you smell that? The NHL playoffs have been upon us for a week now, and I’d say they’re in full swing after watching the Ottawa Senators put a beating on the Montreal Canadiens Sunday night. The smell of sweat, blood, and tears of players beat to a pulp during a best of seven series fills the air.
So what really happened last night? Well, the good old cliche of, “I went to a fight and a hockey game broke out.” would sum it up quite well. The series tied at one a piece between two teams that have never met in the playoffs before this year, the Senators scored first on the powerplay in the first period. Followed by a powerplay goal for Montreal about eight minutes later. Ottawa had 6 penalties in the first period to Montreal’s 4. It was a close game that was becoming more and more physical.
The Senators scored the only goal in the second period to gain a 2-1 lead. And on to the third period, where the game got interesting. 1:18 into the third Ottawa scored again. The physical game got more and more intense. Then Kyle Turris scored with 13 minutes left in the game. On the faceoff following the goal Zack Smith gives a little cross check to the arm of Ryan White, who in turn retaliated with a slash to the leg of Smith. Jared Cowen stepped in to defend his centerman and pounded White with his right fist repeatedly. Jarred Tinordi squared off with Chris Phillips as they exchanged shots for a few moments. Zack Smith took on Francis Bouillon. Chris Neil put a beating on Travis Moen, and Matt Kassian and Colby Armstrong exchanged shots.
The game didn’t get any better from there. The fights and ejections continued ending the game with a total of 234 penalty minutes. Ottawa showed up to play, and they played physical and got under the skin of the Candiens. Montreal didn’t keep their composure and they played a game of hockey with absolutely no discipline.
With 17 seconds remaining in the game, a face off was coming in the Montreal zone when Paul MacLean called a time out. Now this is interesting because, at this point in the game Ottawa was up 6-1. The Candiens were not very happy about the call. After the game Paul MacLean explained,
“I had ten players left on my bench, I put them on the ice and I didn’t know what was going to happen next. I felt bad for the referees, but they wouldn’t let me bring my players back to the bench to 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.”
I think he did the right thing. The Canadiens may think otherwise, but at that point in the game, with 17 seconds left, and both benches are down to a very minimal amount of players, there’s no saying what Montreal was going to do.
Montreal played a classless game on Sunday. They didn’t keep their heads, and they let Ottawa get to them. The Senators played the way they’re supposed to play. They played a hard physical game and it got to the Canadiens. In my opinion, Montreal has already lost this series. Ottawa showed that on Sunday. Ottawa now has a 2-1 lead on Montreal and play another game at home on Tuesday night. It should be a very interesting series to watch going forward.
Topics: 2013 Nhl Playoffs, Brawl, Chris Phillips, Francis Bouillon, Game Three, Jared Cowen, Jarred Tinordi, Kyle Turris, Matt Kasian, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Paul MacLean, Ryan White, Travis Moen, Zack Smith