The post-game report: Reaction to Gryba hit, Anderson loses a tooth while saving the game…and the numbers

Naturally enough, the reaction to Eric Gryba’s hit on Lars Eller differed, depending on which room you were in.

The post-game report: Reaction to Gryba hit, Anderson loses a tooth while saving the game…and the numbers

THE REACTION TO THE HIT

Naturally enough, the reaction to Eric Gryba’s hit on Lars Eller differed, depending on which room you were in.

Senators coach Paul MacLean didn’t want to get into a discussion of whether Gryba should be suspended or not — “I’m not the league,” he said – but he did have a strong opinion.

He insisted the end result came because of a poor pass selection by Raphael Diaz, who set Eller up for the crushing open ice collision.

“The player I would really be mad at is 61 (Diaz),” he said. “That’s a dangerous place to be.”

“It’s a hockey play that ended up badly for Lars Eller. The player has been there ever since the game has been around.”

MacLean says it’s the type of hit that Scott Stevens, Doug Harvey and Barclay Plager were outstanding at making.

The fact is, however, that the game has changed and in a world where we’re learning more and more about the devastating effects of concussions, head shots are treated far more seriously.

When asked about that, MacLean said he was simply giving his opinion on the play.

Montreal rookie sparkplug Brendan Gallagher said “we didn’t like the hit, but I don’t want to say too much and we’re going to let the league take care of it. To me, it was right in the head.”

Diaz felt awful.

“Of course, you don’t want want to make a pass like that,” he said. “It’s not fun.”

THE CRAIG ANDERSON STORY

Naturally, Craig Anderson was smiling widely afterwards.

But it was a Chris Neil smile – minus one tooth and with another tooth chipped, courtesy of a second period slapshot from Rene Bourque that hit him square in the face.

As the old Timex commercial went, he took a licking and kept on ticking.

“Enough said,” the Senators goaltender said as he smiled the ugly smile.

You know it’s a playoff series when the goaltender is losing teeth.

While Anderson was clearly the difference in the game, stopping 50 shots – 25 in the second period – he did his best to deflect attention elsewhere.

“My job is stopping the next shot and not worrying about what the shock clock is or the score is, but just give the team an opportunity to be in the hockey game,” he said.

Anderson said the keys to victory were the work of the penalty killers late in the second period and the club’s ability to put its terrible second period behind them.

“Our penalty kill did a great job and we found a way to limit them to just one goal,” he said about fending off the lengthy Eric Gryba major and a Jean-Gabriel Pageau penalty which left them down two men for 1:22. “That could have been the deciding factor if they score two or three goals there.”

The Senators found their composure in the second intermission, according to Anderson.

“This game is about momentum. You can’t focus on what has happened. We had an okay, sub-par second period and we put that behind us. You can’t dwell on past performances or past periods or past shifts. You have to play in the moment. You have to look forward. We were just down a goal, we knew we were still in the game.”

THE NUMBERS

50: Montreal Canadiens shots

31: Ottawa Senators shots

9:39: Montreal Canadiens power play time

4:00: Ottawa Senators power play time

29:11: Erik Karlsson ice time, tops on the Senators

28:01: P.K. Subban ice time, tops on the Canadiens

+3: Erik Karlsson, Marc Methot

-3: Josh Gorges

5: Erik Condra blocked shots

8:Brendan Gallagher shots on goal

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