Love Silfverberg’s reaction to scoring the game-tying goal.
There’s something deeply gratifying about being the team with excellent goaltending and gritty, plucky, “fuck you” performances from rookies and discarded vets. It’s probably the team’s history. But this group has the fortitude to duke it out over a long and hard-fought series. As I said in my series preview, Game One was going to be huge, and you have to wonder if the Habs are feeling a little fragile today.
After all, what we saw last night was grit tinged with a little bit of trauma. You have to think nerves are exposed right now.
Really tough to see a good young player like Eller get injured like that, but I was impressed by the reaction of fans on Twitter. Not one person seemed to take the kind of pleasure in another person’s pain the way one of Ottawa’s ‘legit’ newspapers did this morning:
We can all agree that the Ottawa Sun is classless garbage, right? They’re the lowest common denominator in an equation that keeps hockey second-tier compared to other pro sports. We’ll never be taken seriously so long as these are the ambassadors of the sports. Walk east ’til your hat floats, Garrioch.
In any case, the hit was only borderline if you consider that Gryba couldn’t line his body up with Eller’s perfectly. Other than that, his elbows are down, he doesn’t leave his feet, and he’s not charging. Totally different conversation if Gryba is 20lbs lighter, or Eller is two inches taller, or if Eller doesn’t hit the ice face first. Frustrating to think that even in this day and age the game could have been decided because of the refs’ reactions to seeing blood on the ice. It’s also frustrating because the ref’s penalty now turns the hit from something to be reviewed and assessed to a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ charge. Gryba could be suspended even after he gets ejected and Ottawa plays down a man for half the game, and the Canadiens get a five minute powerplay. Ottawa’s been punished already for the horrific randomness of the game. I’m curious to see how hard the league comes down on Gryba, if only to keep things calm in Montreal tonight. If there’s no suspension, I wonder if you see the likes of Prust and Armstrong start running around like idiots. Watch out, Karlsson.