The slash heard around the world

Posted: April 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

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P.K. Subban is right. In his media scrum Thursday, he said attention should be focused on the Canadiens’ inspirational 4-3 win in game one of their best-of-seven against the Senators and the great work from Brian Flynn – in superstar form, with three points – and hometown hero Torrey Mitchell, who scored the Habs’ first goal of the series.

But all of the talk since the final buzzer has been about The Slash. If somehow you’ve been in solitary confinement since Wednesday at 7, here’s the video.

Subban savagely whacked Sens’ scoring sensation Mark Stone right on the wrist in the front of the Habs net, landing Subban a five-minute major and a game misconduct. At the time, I was saying the refs over-reacted and it should’ve just been a two-minute penalty.

But a day later, I’m thinking the refs got it just right. It was a vicious slash, the type of play that’s simply unacceptable under any circumstances and it could’ve caused an even more serious injury than it did. The Sens said Thursday Stone has a fractured wrist and, according to Sens GM Brian Murray, it is “very questionable” that Stone will make it back on the ice in the series.

There has been a bunch of talk about Senator coach Dave Cameron’s comments after the game, where he appeared to be almost saying his team would retaliate for the slash. Said Cameron: “You either do one of two things. I think it’s an easy solution — you either suspend him, or when one of their best players gets slashed just give us five.”

Cameron was wrong to make a threat like that and, in fact, the League should’ve fine him for the comments.

But what’s lost in all of the media chatter is that Subban was way out of line delivering the slash in the first place. You know how much I love the Subbanator but I have to say it was an incredibly bone-headed move. What was the point of doing that? Lars Eller was already in the penalty box and so Subban’s penalty gave the Sens a 5-on-3, which resulted in two Ottawa goals against the Habs. (Yes Eller scored that beautiful short-handed goal but that’s no thanks to P.K.)

Subban is one of the team leaders and he let his emotions get the better of him. The team had to dig deep to win in spite of the absence of their two best skaters in P.K. and Max Pacioretty. Bottomline is it was a major-league dumb move.

In his scrum, Subban said as much, saying “I can’t point fingers…it’s on me. I got the penalty and it hurt my team.”

So yeah we should be celebrating the all-heart fourth line of Flynn, Mitchell and Brandon ‘I Live For the Playoffs’ Prust. But instead we’re talking about P.K. cos P.K. mucked up. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen again.

Now can we just focus on that extraordinary victory that managed to puncture the Senators’ dream run in 60 lively minutes.

– Brendan Kelly

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