For the first time in a long time, the Maple Leafs-Canadiens rivalry had some bite to it.
The battles between these two teams have been a little stale over the last few seasons, which isn’t surprising considering Saturday’s win by Montreal was the 13th in a row over Toronto.
But even though the Habs continued their dominant ways over the Leafs, the two teams showed some genuine dislike for each other.
Hyman entered the Montreal zone and cut to the net with significant speed. As he’s heading to the Montreal crease, he’s pushed by Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin, which forces the Leafs forward into Price.
As you would imagine, the Canadiens became very protective of their franchise goaltender, especially because they know if something happens to him, they’re toast (see 2015-16).
Hyman picked up the only penalty on the play.
“I was driving hard to the net and he bumped me,” said Hyman, per the Toronto Sun. “A bump is a bump. No way you are going to be able to change direction at that speed.”
Hyman’s story is more than believable, but we also have to understand where Shea Weber and the Canadiens are coming from.
Less than a month ago, Price took matters into his own hands (literally) when Devils forward Kyle Palmieri went crashing into him. So even though Hyman may not have done it on purpose, Price’s teammates are on high alert because crease-crashing seems to happen more frequently to them than it does to other teams.
“It’s nice to know your teammates have your back,” Price said, per the Montreal Gazette. “I’m not sure what happened. He might have gotten hit, but I was committed to going for a poke check and I had to stand my ground.”