The war of words between Chris Neil and Johan Franzen continues.
On Friday, less than 24 hours after Franzen said Neil “tried to be the hero” by picking a fight in the late stages of Detroit’s 6-1 blowout win, the Ottawa tough guy fired back with a litany of disparaging remarks.
Plenty to material to cover, so let’s just excerpt. From the Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan:
“I’m there first shift and any shift he wants,” said Neil. “He wants to drop his purse, take the lipstick out, put it on his lips and ‘Let’s go.’ Anytime. Any day. Anywhere.
“I’m 6-foot-1, 215 lbs. He’s 6-foot-4, 240 lbs. I’m giving up height. I’m giving up weight. I’m not scared of him. Bring it on.”
“He was chirping about my cape or something…I will take my cape off whenever he takes the yellow streak off the middle of his back,” Neil said.
“You know that streak? It means a gutless streak,” said Neil. “When a guy comes across the blueline and pokes you in the groin with his stick in a 6-1 game and chops guys that’s a no brainer. He’s going to get it.”
Still more, from the Citizen’s Ken Warren:
“The guy has never fought a day in his life. I go out, stick up for my teammates day in day out, he just goes out and causes problems for his teammates.”
Barring an unlikely playoff match-up between the teams, the Senators and Red Wings won’t meet again this season, but it sure sounds like Neil will have a long memory.
“It doesn’t go unnoticed, we will be playing them again,” he said. “For a guy of his stature, who has won Stanley Cups, a gold medal (for Sweden)…I have respect for the good players in the league, for all the players in the league, and for him to go out and play like that, you lose some respect for him.”
As Warren points out, a playoff matchup between Detroit and Ottawa is unlikely — which is kind of unfortunate, because Thursday’s game was the last regular-season meeting of the year between the two.
Oh, and for what it’s worth, the Sens and Wings split the season series 2-2.