Montreal, QC, Canada (4E Sports) – Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban called their Game 7 win over the Boston Bruins in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs “a long time coming” and a “coming out party for the team”.
“Maybe we had to do something like this to earn that respect, but I think it’s just been a long time coming for our team and maybe a coming out party for our team,” said Subban, who received much of the brunt of the Bruins’ rough play during the series.
“I think at some point a lot of people were saying, ‘Don’t poke the bear,’ ” he added.
“Well, I thought they gave us many reasons to keep competing throughout the series.”
Subban added that their Game 7 win against the Bruins at TD Garden, demands respect, not just from the Bruins, but the entire NHL community.
“But we have some good players on our team as well, guys who are great hockey players, who are driven and ready to compete at this level and at the highest stage. Maybe we had to do something like this to earn that respect,” he said.
Subban did not provide details of what he was referring to, but Canadiens forward Danny Briere offered them up as proof that Subban wasn’t alone in how he felt.
Briere mentioned Brad Marchand tossing Brendan Gallagher’s helmet across the ice in Game 4. He brought up Milan Lucic flexing his muscles at Subban in the second period of Game 5, followed by Shawn Thornton’s infamous water-bottle squirt at Subban in the final minute of regulation.
Briere also talked about the end of Game 6, when Zdeno Chara, Jarome Iginla and Lucic went after Canadiens defenseman Mike Weaver.
“We obviously felt a little disrespected by the Bruins at times with their antics throughout the series,” Briere said. “Those are all little things that we tried to use to our advantage. It’s not a big deal, we just used it to our advantage.”
For their part, the Bruins don’t feel they did anything on purpose to disrespect the Canadiens.
“There’s a rivalry here … we don’t like each other because it’s a rivalry,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said.
Julien referenced the Bruins’ pounding their chests throughout the series, but said it’s related to the “Boston Strong” mentality that has been a part of the city since the tragic bombing at the Boston Marathon last year.