The day after being called a “bug-eyed, fat walrus” by Montreal forward Brandon Prust, Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean decided to clarify things.
“I might be husky, but I’m not fat,” MacLean said. “I took offense to that.”
MacLean, 55, has been pretty vocal throughout the first two games of the Sens-Habs Eastern Conference quarterfinal, which has led to trading barbs in the media.
Following Eric Gryba’s devastating hit on Lars Eller in Game 1, MacLean ruffled some feathers by placing blame on the pass made by Habs defenseman Raphael Diaz (referring to Diaz as “Player 61,” saying he didn’t know who he was) while claiming the hit was a “hockey play that went bad.”
The Canadiens took those as signs of disrespect to both Diaz and Eller, which led to Prust’s blast — and a scathing reply from Montreal bench boss Michel Therrien.
“Inappropriate comment,” Therrien said of MacLean’s remarks. “No respect for the player on the ice who was bleeding. No respect for his family in the stands. When he compared that to a hockey hit, the comparison he made was with the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s.
“This is why we’ve got new rules, to avoid those hits when a player is vulnerable. That’s why we’ve got rules. That was a lack of respect to Lars Eller and his family and I’m never going to accept that. Never.”
Therrien wasn’t done there, though.
Following Montreal’s Game 2 win on Friday, he took another shot at MacLean by referencing Diaz.
“By the way, number 61 is Raphael Diaz,” he told reporters following the contest. “Just in case they don’t know.”