For a little while, it seemed like things might have cooled off a bit between the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers … at least relatively speaking. The two teams at least stopped “8 Mile” battling between Game 4 and 5, but a series of hits and some rough stuff at the end of Tuesday’s Canadiens win might just rev up the distaste once again.
Most obviously, there were some questionable hits, with John Moore’s check on Dale Weise justifiably grabbing the most attention:
That being said, the two coaches seemed to agree that Moore deserved the match penalty, even if Alain Vigneault threw out the usual “He’s not the type of guy who tries to hurt people” line.
Therrien on Moore hit: "We all saw it… It's up to the league to decide." Agreed with call on ice.
Lars Eller delivered a hit that drew some criticism, even if it was on a much smaller scale:
As much distaste as the Canadiens likely had for the Moore hit, agitating forward Derek Dorsett might actually draw more ire. He got into it with various Habs including Mike Weaver and Rene Bourque late in the game. Dorsett delivered a headbutt on Weaver, as you can see from this GIF via My Regular Face:
To little surprise, Weaver was displeased after the game.
Weaver on Dorsett:"why he's doing that at the end ? He was running around head cut off. Its the kind of player he is." #tvasports
(There’s some allegations about some other poor sportsmanship, but that’s cloudy at best. Either way, Dorsett isn’t likely to receive many Christmas cards from Montreal addresses anytime soon …)
The Rangers made some comments about keeping cool heads in Game 6, but it remains to be seen if they can back that up with more disciplined play. If nothing else, it’s hard to imagine anything except a heated contest at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.