When given a chance to say nasty things about that nasty 4-2 loss against the U.S., Canadian players mostly refused to take the bait.
Jonathan Toews probably said the most, admitting that matches between the two countries are “not just any exhibition games” to many players.
“Without saying too much, I think there were a couple of borderline hits there where our guys were put in some awkward positions and there’s not much you can do there,” Toews said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “The one on Weber was the right call there. We just have to try and protect ourselves and expect that the officials are going to do what they have to do. We have no problem with the chippiness and the physical play (but) it doesn’t matter where you’re playing, I think you always have to respect the player when he has his back to you.”
Toews’ phrasing was the key there, really, as those were the closest you could find to “explosive” comments considering the attitudes displayed on the ice.
Even so, Crosby did acknowledge some “late hits” while Price nodded to moments that “crossed the line.” Player seemed to appreciate that they stood up for each other, including situations where Shea Weber was the recipient and the aggressor of some “chippy” play.
U.S. players aren’t oblivious to the obvious heat between the two teams, as NHL.com reports.
“When the U.S. plays Canada, you’re going to get that type of game whether it’s an exhibition, preliminary game, semifinal or final; you’re going to find yourself in that situation in this rivalry,” Patrick Kane said.
In that case, it should be that much more interesting to watch how the two teams behave in another exhibition tonight. Perhaps the most important note is that there reportedly won’t be any additional discipline heading into the warm-up: