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Sens-Habs series gets ugly:Eric Gryba suspended two games for Lars Eller hit

Friday, 05.03.2013 / 1:05 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Sens-Habs series gets ugly:Eric Gryba suspended two games for Lars Eller hit

BROSSARD, Que. - Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien accused Ottawa Senators counterpart Paul MacLean of "disrespect" on Friday for his comments about a hit that put Habs centre Lars Eller in hospital.

Therrien said MacLean showed no compassion for the injured player when he placed the blame after Game 1 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final on Eller and Canadiens defenceman Raphael Diaz, who made the pass that led to Ottawa defenceman Eric Gryba's crushing hit.

Eller was released from hospital Friday and was resting at home.

"I'm not allowed to comment on that hit," a seething Therrien said after a team meeting. "One thing I can do though is comment on MacLean's comment.

"Inappropriate comment. No respect for the player on the ice who was bleeding. No respect for his family in the stands. When he compared that to a hockey hit, the comparison he made was with the '70s, '80s and '90s. This is why we've got new rules, to avoid those hits when a player is vulnerable. That's why we've got new rules."

The Canadiens also announced that veteran forwards Brian Gionta and Max Pacioretty would miss Friday's Game 2 with upper body injuries.

Eller suffered a concussion, as well as facial and dental injuries, when he was caught with his head down while trying to handle a Diaz pass in the second period of Ottawa's 4-2 win on Thursday.

He was bleeding heavily as he was taken from the Bell Centre ice on a stretcher.

Gryba was to have a disciplinary hearing with the NHL on Friday.

After the game, MacLean absolved Gryba of blame and said players are taught to keep their head up, comparing the hit to those dished out in earlier eras by blue-liners like Doug Harvey, Barclay Plager and Scott Stevens. He also said Eller should be mad at Diaz, who he referred to only as "No. 61."

Canadiens enforcer Brandon Prust was also still angry over the incident and at MacLean.

"I don't care what that bug-eyed, fat walrus has to say," Prust said of MacLean.

When asked if he felt Gryba should be suspended, Prust said: "I trust that, actually trust is a big word, I hope the league makes the right decision."

He paused and then added: "You know what? Actually I hope he doesn't get suspended."

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