Capitals coach Dale Hunter has seen just about enough. Hunter spoke with the media after the team’s practice this afternoon and had a few choice words for the Boston Bruins regarding their treatment of Nicklas Backstrom.
Hunter feels the Bruins are targeting Backstrom’s head and with Backstrom facing a hearing with the league about his cross check to Rich Peverley’s head, Hunter tells CSNWashington.com’s Chuck Gormley he’s sick of the Bruins going after his guy and professes his innocence.
“I don’t think he’s going to be suspended,” Hunter said. “If you slow it down frame by frame, where was [Peverley’s] stick? It was up in his face first … and Nicky reacted to it.
“I think [Backstrom] was trying to protect his face. If you watch it, [Peverley’s] stick is right in his eyes and it’s a dangerous play on their part, especially for [Backstrom] because if you notice, every scrum Nicky comes out with no helmet on. He gets a blocker to the head by [Tim] Thomas the game before [in Game 2]. He’s protecting his head. He just came off of 40 games.”
Backstrom missed three months of hockey after getting hit in the head by Rene Bourque in January, so the Caps have every right to be sensitive about their star player’s head possibly being targeted.
With the nasty level of this series increasing each game, this latest accusation makes the ongoing war of words, which saw Milan Lucic and Karl Alzner join the party last night, all the more intriguing. Game 4 should prove to be an angst-filled affair.