By now, you’ve almost certainly heard the war of words between the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators, ignited by Eric Gryba’s open-ice check on Lars Eller in Game One of their first round series.
Brandon Prust likened the Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean to a walrus and Michel Therrien was not pleased either, pointing out a lack of respect shown in MacLean’s comments.
“(If I’m Eller), I’m really mad at player 61, whoever he is, because he passed me the puck in the middle of the rink when I wasn’t looking,” said MacLean. “That’s always been a dangerous place as far as I know. Ever since I’ve been playing this game, that’s a dangerous place to be — bad things happen.
“I think it’s a hockey play that ended up going badly for Lars Eller.”
Whether or not MacLean was unconcerned about Eller’s condition is up for debate, as he simply voiced his opinion on the sequence that left Montreal’s third-year center lying in a puddle of his own blood.
What is certain, however, is that MacLean was impudent towards Raphael Diaz and the number 61, as he did not even bother to learn the defenseman’s name. He addressed him as if he were a replicant that Harrison Ford should be hunting down in ‘Blade Runner’, rather than a hockey player.
Had MacLean known that Eller once wore No.61 on his jersey during a brief stint in St. Louis, he may have taken it further.
“I’m upset that player 61 sent a daring pass to that other individual who used to wear No.61.”
With that in mind, we creep inside the heads of some stand-out players who once bore this jersey number and uncover the thoughts that would surface in the event of being called out as Diaz was. (more…)