Brandon Prust does not like Chris Neil.
So much so, that the former called out the latter in the wake of the Canadiens’ 5-1 loss to the Senators on Wednesday night.
Via the Ottawa Sun:
"I hope he gives me that fight in our building (Sunday)," said Prust.
Told of this Friday, Neil was quick with a comeback.
"What, fake dropping the gloves and sucking me into an extra two minutes?" he said of the unsportsmanlike minor he was given with the major. "That's why I got the extra two. We'll see how the game plays out and go from there."
Neil doesn't feel he owes Prust anything.
"I fight when it's right for my team," he said. "Obviously, I know what I have to do and what I don't. I've been around long enough. Obviously, whenever a guy fakes dropping the gloves, that's when I drop my gloves and grab him. I got an extra two for it, because I think he's going to go. He said no the first time. We'll see how it goes."
How dumb does Prust sound here?
Not only does he come off like someone who just lost a dance off, he’s not even cognizant of the fact that the building this past Wednesday had a massive contingent of Habs fans.
Considering the ubiquitous disdain for each other – although to Neil’s credit, he took the high road, gave Prust some compliments in that aforementioned Sun article — you’d assume that the two players have a relatively long history of scraps.
According to HockeyFights.com, Neil and Prust have only fought twice – the first coming in last season’s Eastern Conference quarterfinals series versus the Rangers. (Note: for what it’s worth, which is absolutely nothing, both scraps have occurred in Ottawa.)
It was from this fight that Prust took exception to Neil’s antics.
It’s nothing new to see Neil do his signature raise the roof post-fight celebration to get the crowd going but with the crowd chanting his name during the fight itself, Neil gestured to the crowd to make more noise; pretty harmless stuff.
Working on a behind the scenes piece on Hockey Night in Canada for the Ottawa Citizen, I happened to be down in the vicinity of the production truck, located closest to the Ranger’s dressing room tunnel when the two respective players were sent to their respective dressing rooms after the fight. (Note: the fight occurred with less than 5 minutes remaining in the first period.)
It was in this tunnel where Prust screamed “F#@*ing showboating d#@*head” loud enough for his intended target to hear.
Hopefully these two to tangle sometime during this afternoon’s 2 pm matchup with Montreal, culminating in a Mikhail Grabovski-like exit for Neil.
Other News of Pithy Importance…
– The Senators Extra Prediction Panel has weighed in on this afternoon's game. I picked Les Canadiens.
– PK Subban is back, Carey Price will be the starting goaltender for Montreal and Max Pacioretty is reportedly ready to play in today's game – seven days removed from having his appendix taken out. That's a quick recovery process that even Ray Lewis can appreciate. Hey, at least Sergei Gonchar is expected to make his return to the lineup for the Senators, right?
– Bruce Garrioch from the Sun looks at the trade market and potential fits like Stephen Weiss and Ryan Getzlaf. Garrioch states that Bryan Murray won't rush into a move but he has familiarity with both players. As an aside, he wasn't mentioned within the article itself, but wouldn't Ryan O'Reilly make more sense from an asset management perspective? Why move a number of future assets for an impending UFA when you could acquire a productive 21-year old player whose age meshes with that of a rebuilding team?