What a difference a year makes.
May 2, 2013 – Eric Gryba steps up and hits Lars Eller, who was in possession of the puck after a pass from “Player 61″, and the hit results in Eller hitting his face on the ice causing a scary incident where the player needs to be stretchered off.
Quote from Michel Therrien regarding Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean‘s comments that Eller should have had his head up
“Inappropriate comment. 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.” – cbc.ca
Fast forward to May 24, 2014, the day after Montreal Canadiens forward Brandon Prust‘s predatory hit on New York Rangers forward Derek Stepan that resulted in Stepan breaking his jaw requiring surgery, and all of a sudden Therrien is singing a different tune.
Again, Michel Therrien stepped to the mic to address the hit, this time one made by his own player.
Brandon Prust’s intention was not to hurt Derek Stepan. It was to finish his check. It was a hockey hit, and obviously Stepan got hurt.” – yahoo.com
I understand needing to defend your player somewhat, but when you are so vehemently vocal about one play, while so defensive when it is your own guy smack of hypocrisy.
Of any team in the league, the Montreal Canadeins have been vocal about numerous questionable hits (Zdeno Chara on Max Pacioretty, Gryba on Eller, Ryan Malone on Chris Campoli) calling hits dirty and and calling for suspensions.
Prust the next day:
We’re in the NHL. He should know how to fall. We call it accidentally on purpose. I don’t think he’s (Kreider) a dirty player, but he did nothing to avoid him – nj.com
Teammates were quick to come to the defense of Prust.
David Desharnais insists that Brandon Prust’s hit on Derek Stepan was legal. “He set the tone.”
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 23, 2014
Were they saying the same thing a year ago? To quote Daniel Alfredsson (in an unrelated situation) – “Probably not”
I totally understand players and coaches needing to come to the defense of a teammate, but the Habs, more than any other team, take it to extremes, like they do so many things. You live by the sword, you die by the sword. The big difference between the two incidents – Eller had the puck, Stepan did not. You can’t spout off about lack of respect and then turn the other cheek when the shoe is on the other foot.
Just another reason to dislike the Habs. No Respect.