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Canadiens and Senators: The anatomy of a rivalry

Who would have thought that on Cinco De Mayo a hockey brawl would break out?

But then again, who is really surprised?

Let’s take a look back to Thursday night where Ottawa’s Eric Gryba laid a hard boarderline hit on Montreals Lars Eller, the hit caused Lars Eller to suffer serious facial injuries and prompted a classless front cover in the Ottawa Sun on Friday morning.

Game two was Friday night and in all honestly, despite good hits, it was rather dull in terms of any hostility. The game had just 20 penalty minutes but 8 were assessed at the 20:00 mark of the third period when Ryan White and Guillaume Latendresse were assessed 4 penalty minutes each which was the only extent of ugliness in that game.

And the first two periods of game three went off without any problems. In fact it was 2-1 Senators after two periods of play, so the game was close and hard hitting but nothing over the top. Let’s fast forward to the 7:04 marker of the third period. After Kyle Turris made it 4-1 the ensuing face-off had Zack Smith give Ryan White a little cross check, fairly harmless, it was a light one. Then Ryan White gave Smith a vicious two handed slash to the legs of Smith and that is when Jared Cowen stepped in and the start of the line brawl happened. The brawl had the following pairings Jared Cowen vs Ryan White, Chris Neil vs Travis Moen, Zack Smith vs Francis Bouillon, Jarred Tinordi vs Chris Phillips, and Matt Kassian vs Colby Armstrong, so you know the teams had the right guys on the ice for it to happen.

Here is a video of the brawl:

Credit: hockeyfights.com

That was only the start of the embarrassing display by the Canadiens, PK Subban got into the act, when he started a fight with Kyle Turris of all people and picked up an instigator, and game misconduct along with his fighting major. Turris got a fighting major as well, but best off worded as five for being a victim of circumstance. On that same play Cory Conacher took an elbow to the head from Rene Bourque and was pushed to the ice after that by Josh Georges.

And as if that wasn’t enough there was more Canadiens thuggery, at 16:58 of the third period Brandon Prust elbowed Conacher in the head and then Conacher was attacked by Brendan Gallagher and Conacher was forced into a fight with Gallagher.

Worry not though, that was not all, Rene Bourque took two minor penalties and then Ottawa coach Paul MacLean called a timeout which ticked off Michael Therien and apparently Josh Georges because on the very next play Georges took a slap shot and was trying to hit Kyle Turris with the puck and it ended up beaning someone else. And as time expired Georges had words for the Senators bench.

All in all, there were 236 penalty minutes, 14 fighting penalties, and 11 misconducts (10 min or game) were handed out.

And at the end Michael Therien called Paul MacLean “classless” for that timeout.

In reality, it was really the Candiens that were the classless ones, but they will never admit to that, they would call it protecting themselves. Which we all know is a bunch of malarkey.

Game four if you are wondering is Tuesday night in which I don’t expect any backlash from Sunday’s game, I would think the score settling will happen next season. But for now enjoy the rest of what has been an amazingly ugly series.