WASHINGTON -- The Bruins are pretty fed up with Washington cross-checking their players to the head and face.
The latest was a Nicklas Backstrom hit on Rich Peverley at the end of the third period of Monday nights 4-3 Bruins win over the Capitals at the Verizon Center. But it wasnt close to the only one for the Caps, who've taken on some of the characteristics of their coach, Dale Hunter, as theyve wielded their sticks like Roman gladiators.
David Krejci was the first victim in Game 1, when he took a Jay Beagle butt-end to the mouth and nose during a faceoff at center ice. That was followed by Alex Ovechkin jamming the shaft of his stick into the mouth of Dennis Seidenberg in Game 2.
The Beagle warranted a minor penalty for cross-checking, but the Ovechkin incident went completely uncalled -- or unnoticed -- by the referees. Backstrom was hit with a match penalty Monday night, but the Capitals were expecting the match penalty to be rescinded.
Bruins coach Claude Julien was happy to let the NHL Player Safety Department make the final call on Backstroms dangerous stickwork, but noted that hes getting tired of seeing Washington sticks making contact with the unprotected faces of his players.
Its normal that theres some intensity and the rivalry is getting better and bigger as we move forward, said Julien. You understand those things are going to happen. The one thing you find a little disappointing, for me anyway, is that this is the third time in three games that one of our players has been cross-checked in the face.
We saw the one with Krejci in Game 1 and you saw Ovechkin on Seidenberg in Game 2 and now Backstrom. You hope those things dont get out of hand. Im going to say the same things as I said last time: Somebody else has to deal with that, and not us. Im just going to get my team ready for the next game.
Red Sox manager John Farrell said today on WEEI's Dale and Holley Show that he has not apologized to Dennis Eckersley for the recent incident on a team flight in which David Price ripped into the Hall of Fame pitcher -- to the applause of some teammates -- for being too critical in his role as a team broadcaster.
“Yeah, that’s a no,” Farrell responded when asked specifically if he had apologized to Eck.
MORE ON PRICE-ECKERSLEY
According to Brooks Sutherland's story on WEEI.com, Farrell said he has spoken to Eckersley since the incident and has a "positive in a professional way" relationship with Eck.
Sutherland quoted Farrell as saying: “I’ve had interactions with Eck, yes. I have, yeah. Whether it’s been at the hotel, or whether it’s been at the ballpark, there’s been interactions there, yes . . . At the time when we did meet, which was down in Texas, as I mentioned, and then again in the ballpark there. I’m aware that people reached out to him the morning after the incident when we were headed in to Toronto. So, knowing that that was in place, you know, I followed with my conversations with Eck as I’ve always done. They’ve been cordial, there’s been professional respect on both side and I think my relationship with him is positive in a professional way.”
Farrell said he heard Price yelling at Price on the plane.
“You know at the time when it did happen,you heard some loud talk,” he said. “but I can’t say that that’s . . . you know there’s banter that goes back-and-forth that’s relatively calm, and I would say this was a different situation. I can’t say that the banter is in this nature. After it did take place, I know Eck came up to the front of the plane to talk to Dave Dombrowski and myself. Obviously outlined what took place and that’s why we met with David the next day in Toronto."
What about the games?
You know. The games that are played between the lines. The controversial calls, the second-guessing of strategy, the why-the-hell-did-he-shoot-that?
This all came to me today. The games have become secondary. The main theme of what we do is drama.
Yep, we have done it. David Price being a complete asshat. Does Belichick really love Jimmy Garoppolo more? (Bill does have a history of trading for a younger model.) Should the Celtics do whatever it takes to trade for Kyrie Irving?
We have become a soap industry. It’s all about the gossip, the in-fighting, the free agent offseason.
And you know what?
I LOVE IT!