The Montreal Canadiens have plenty of historic rivals, particularly the much-hated Boston Bruins, but the Florida Panthers aren’t one of the teams who come to mind.
Yet if the Vancouver Canucks-Chicago Blackhawks feud teaches us anything, it’s that modern tension trumps historic laundry battles when it comes to turmoil. With 122 penalty minutes handed out in last night’s 6-2 Montreal win, things got a little chippy.
One moment involved Travis Moen supposedly landing two punches on Panthers top pick Erik Gudbranson while he was pinned against the boards and unable to protect himself because a referee was holding his arms back. Judging from the comments made by Gudbranson and Panthers coach Peter DeBoer, the team is not very happy with Moen. (source: The Hockey News.)
”I don’t know when it’s been all right for a veteran to get a young guy hurt, in a vulnerable position, and keep throwing punches,” said Panthers coach Peter DeBoer. ”It’s a play that doesn’t belong in hockey.”
Gudbranson also felt victim of a cheap shot.
”The refs hung me out to dry,” he said. ”I went after him. I wanted to fight him. I instigated it. It was a hockey fight, but the refs had me pinned to the boards and held my arm.
”I could have done the same to him at the end. I could have broken his nose, but I chose not to.”
Claiming he could have “broken his nose” is a pretty bold statement on Gudbranson’s part. While it’s unclear whether or not the young prospect will make the Panthers right away, the next Montreal-Florida game could be interesting to watch. Especially when Travis Moen is on the ice.