Anyone who has been around playoff hockey for any length of time knows that emotions can run from cold to hot quickly. The Eller incident in game one was only the trigger mechanism.
The Friday edition of the Ottawa Sun aided and abetted with their front page headline and photo, which is seen by many outside of the Sun’s editorial offices as a craven effort to sell newspapers without regard to brutality of the incident or the health of Lars Eller who was taken off the ice on a stretcher and wound up overnight in hospital.
In his post game news conference, Ottawa coach Paul MacLean in blaming Raphael Diaz for the play, would only refer to him by his jersey number. “It was a hockey play that went bad for Eller, Our player hit him, but 61’s the guy to blame.”
In his own post game news conference, Michel Therrien refused to comment, but Friday morning he said , “When he compared that to a hockey hit, the [comparison] he made was from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. This is why we’ve got new rules, to avoid those hits. When a player is vulnerable, this is why we’ve got rules. That was a lack of respect to Lars Eller. A lack of respect to his family. And I’m never going to accept that. Never.”
Brandon Prust was even more blunt. “He’s already shown enough disrespect. We don’t really care about what that bug-eyed, fat walrus has to say.” Then Prust added, “I hope the League makes the right decision. Actually, you know what? I hope he (Gryba) doesn’t even get suspended.”