Of course the Ottawa Senators put a body on rookie Montreal Canadiens defenseman Brendan Gallagher, one the three finalists for the Calder Trophy this season.
As Pro Hockey Talk notes, the lad scored a power-play goal in Game 1 of this playoff series and put eight shots on goal. He scored the winning goal in Game 2 and put four shots on goal.
So the Senators came after Gallagher again and again in Game 3, taking three roughing penalties on him during the first period. Not coincidentally, Gallagher put no shots on goal and fought Cory Conacher during the third period as the game spiraled out of control.
“Physicality in the first round is important and tonight was no different,” Senators coach Paul MacLean told reporters after the game. “It was stupid at the end but that’s hockey.”
Ottawa rolled to a 6-1 victory that left Montreal coach Michel Therrien fuming. He became furious when MacLean called a timeout with 18 seconds left to order his players to refrain from further shenanigans.
“I’ve never seen that before,” Therrien told reporters. “It was 6-1. He was trying to humiliate us.”
MacLean’s response: “I think they were doing a real good job of that themselves . . . they didn’t need my help at all. Blame Paul MacLean, great. I’m protecting my players. I’ve got big shoulders. That’s fine with me.”
Expect more high jinks as this series moves along. Brendan Shanahan may want to put a pot of coffee on after Game 4.