Canadiens vs. Senators war of words escalates after Game 3 brawl

Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo

The Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators have been battling in an intense Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. Following a fight-filled Game 3, the teams' coaches engaged in a war of words.

When emotions are high, logic is low. Following three games in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals between the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators, logic is practically nonexistent.

Especially from Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien.

Despite a fight-filled third period, which resulted in a lengthy penalty summary, the Canadiens' bench boss was questioning the ethical nature of his Ottawa counterpart, who decided to call a timeout with 17 seconds left in a 6-1 blowout, via NHL.com:

"You never want to humiliate the other team, and that's exactly what MacLean wanted to do. To me, it was a total lack of class. Even when I said that to the referee, he said he'd never seen a timeout with 17 seconds to go. It was 6-1."

Of course, given the events that occurred earlier in the period and the highly defensive nature of the Senators' faceoff formation (centerman Kyle Turris was the only player remotely near the faceoff circle), it seemed likely that Senators coach Paul MacLean was attempting to protect his players more so than embarrass the Canadiens:

"I had 10 players left on my bench, I put them on the ice and I didn't know what was going to happen next. I felt bad for the referees, but they wouldn't let me bring my players back to the bench so I could tell them what I wanted them to do. So my only recourse was to take the timeout because I didn't want anyone to get hurt.

"In order to protect my players under circumstance that were instigated by the Montreal Canadiens, I was forced to protect my players. I will do that every time."

In terms of the Canadiens being embarrassed, MacLean stated they didn't need any help from him because they had already done a good enough job of embarrassing themselves.

Potentially -- and this could be a bit of a stretch -- Therrien might be attempting to deflect attention away from his players. Given the events of the contest, a timeout seems like the last thing any one would complain about. The coach might want to take some heat off his guys by making a big deal out of a little thing.

Or, this is merely another chapter in a highly emotional series that continues to intensify.

Starting with the Eric Gryba hit, continued with the war of words before Game 2 and extended through Game 3 with the line brawl, these division rivals have quickly become hated enemies. With Game 4 scheduled to take place on Tuesday night, all the players involved in Game 3 will be available as the NHL Department of Player Safety has decided not to administer any supplemental discipline for the events on Sunday night.

Questionable as it is, this decision will likely lead to another notable game in this series.

The Senators carry a 2-1 lead into Game 4 on Tuesday night.

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