The Montreal Canadiens were embarrassed in game three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Ottawa Senators. Not only were they white washed to the tune of a 6-1 drubbing, the Canadiens reverted to the tactics of trying to intimidate their opponent by brute force that came in the form of a line brawl, followed by multiple fights. Now with game four on tap tonight, the Canadiens must stick to playing hockey and focus on beating the Senators on the scoreboard and not in the alleys.
For those non-traditional hockey fans that believe fighting doesn’t belong in the game and shouldn’t be allowed, stop reading now because you won’t like my point of view. For the true hockey fans that have either played the game or understand why fighting is still allowed in the sport, read on.
Let’s get one thing straight. I don’t have a problem with the fact that there was a line brawl or even the two fights that followed before the game expired. What I do have a problem with is the way the Habs players were acting.
Take Rene Bourque for example, cross checking Kyle Turris repeatedly, trying to goat him to a fight. Neither Turris nor Bourque is known for chucking the knuckles and neither is P.K. Subban who stepped in and took on Turris. Give credit to the Senators, they held their own in this ruckus. Bourque doesn’t need to skate around and try and intimidate anyone. That’s not his game and to be honest, he’s not that intimidating.
But what if Subban or Bourque had broken a knuckle and was sidelined for the remainder of the playoffs? How foolish would they look then? Leave the heavy lifting for the sandpaper like players.
Yes, the timeout that Paul MacLean called was bogus and completely disrespectful to both the Candiens and the game of hockey. But when MacLean addressed the media after and was told that he was called disrespectful from Habs head coach Michel Therrien, it’s easy to agree with the Senators bench boss when he referred to the Canadiens of acting the same way.
Numerous cheap shots and stick work, all in an attempt to pick a fight to try and send a message to the Senators for game four. Did it work? We’ll find out tonight and if the Canadiens win game four then you can say that their play that resembled the Broad Street Bullies from the 70’s helped them even up the series.
But one thing the Canadiens need to do tonight is worry about playing hockey and not what happened last game. Leave that in the past and focus on the scoreboard tonight.
If tonight’s game gets out of hand…..well…..then anything can happen again.