Gryba available, likely to return

After all the bad blood and colourful words from Paul MacLean, Michel Therrien and Brandon Prust, Eric Gryba has served his two-game suspension and is eligible to return Tuesday for Game 4.

Gryba available, likely to return
Ottawa Senators' Eric Gryba takes part in an optional skate at the Scotiabank Place in Ottawa on Monday, May 6, 2013. The Sens are leading the first round of NHL playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens 2-1. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

After all the bad blood and colourful words from Paul MacLean, Michel Therrien and Brandon Prust, Eric Gryba has served his two-game suspension and is eligible to return Tuesday for Game 4.

Gryba received the punishment for his questionable open ice hit on Lars Eller in the opening game of the series.

Senators coach Paul MacLean said Gryba “is available to us,” but he wouldn’t confirm Gryba’s spot in the lineup. It’s likely, though, considering fellow defenceman Patrick Wiercioch suffered a lower body injury early in Game 3 and won’t play Tuesday.

“I’m not sure,” Gryba said, when asked if he felt he would be targeted by the Canadiens. “I’m going to come back and try to help the team win however I can, if I get the opportunity, and it’s not something on the top of my mind right now.”

Gryba has naturally been a keen spectator as the nastiness between the teams has grown from game to game. “It’s a physical series, an emotional series and you can tell things are escalating quickly and those are fun games to play.”

When MacLean was asked if he felt the Canadiens would go after the 6-foot-4, 222-pound defenceman, he paused before answering.

“If he goes back in, I will be interested to see.”

MacLean said there’s nothing overly complex about Gryba’s game.

“I hope he picks up where he left off and not try to be more than he is,” he said. “He’s a big strong guy that can play physical in the middle of the ice.”

TURRIS ATTRACTION

In the latter stages of Sunday’s blowout, the Canadiens appeared united in at least one cause: Targeting Senators centre Kyle Turris. Following a scuffle at the Montreal blueline, Subban jumped Turris and then punched him while he was on the ice. Turris says he was frustrated that Subban didn’t wait for Turris to drop his gloves before initiating the fight. In the final minute of the period, fellow Canadiens defenceman Josh Gorges rifled a slapshot at Turris’s feet.

While there was some thought the Canadiens might receive supplemental discipline from the NHL for those actions, they were cleared Monday.

“Nothing surprises me,” MacLean said, when asked about the lack of suspensions.

A PAIR OF 40-SOMETHING BLUELINERS

Faced with a short bench and not enough defencemen in the final seconds Sunday, due to the string of fighting penalties and misconducts, MacLean looked at his available players and told captain Daniel Alfredsson to man a point position. “The last time I had a 40-year-old play defence, it was Chris Chelios,” MacLean said of his days as an assistant coach with the Detroit Red Wings. “(Alfredsson) was the oldest guy. He has played the point on the power play.”

kwarren@ottawacitizen.com
Twitter.com/Citizenkwarren

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