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Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens ReDefining Rivalry

Hey guys in stripes – remember what it was like to have control of a game.  The Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators tested the boundaries of that in game three of their first round matchup – and ended up playing the game with significantly shortened benches.  In a series where the terms, humilated, classless, and sending a message are becoming the buzz words, you have to wonder if the National Hockey League will take a long look at game three, and keep a closer eye on the rest of the series that pits two Canadien teams against one another.  While neither team liked playing against him, they put up Rob Ray like penalty numbers, combining for 210 penalty minutes in the third period alone.  When the best team in the Northeast Division gets bested by five goals by the worst team in the division to make the playoffs, tempers were sure to be on edge.  Game 4 is sure to be a powder keg.  Remember earlier in the season when the Buffalo Sabres crushed the Boston Bruins 7-4?  The date was January 31st, 2013 – and there were only 14 ticks on the clock.  Buffalo was a lock to win the game, and then head coach Lindy Ruff called a timeout.  He was doing it to protect his players – and it angered Bruins nation and Brad Marchand called it disrespectful.  The game, in the grand scheme of things was one of the sole highlights in the end of the long tenured career of Lindy Ruff – and of the team as a whole as the Sabres spiraled out of control after that, getting their head coach fired and missing the playoffs by a significant gap.  In the long run of things, that timeout was insignificant because the Boston made the playoffs, and the Sabres didn’t.  For the Montreal Canadiens, the Ottawa timeout with 17 seconds left is going to be one of many fuses on the powder keg of game four.

“You never want to humiliate the other team, and that’s exactly what MacLean wanted to do,” Therrien said. “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.”

The war continued in the post game press conference among the coaches.

“I think they were doing a pretty good job of that themselves,” Maclean said. “They didn’t need my help at all.”

Game four is scheduled to take place tomorrow night in Ottawa.

There will no doubt be a discussion with the officials and coaches, and penalties will be called almost immediatly so the refs can set the tone of the game.  You never like to see the refs control the game especially in the playoffs, but this point it’s almost necessary.

If the Ottawa Senators make it into the second round and get by the division winning Montreal Canadiens – they stand a really good chance of playing the Pittsburgh Penguins, and that could be a dangerous matchup if the Sens continue this style of play up.


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