The conclusion of the Montreal Canadiens’ victory in Game 7 of their thrilling Eastern Conference Semifinals series with the Boston Bruins made it clear that tensions between the two franchises aren’t at an end just yet.
Bruins forward Milan Lucic got into a heated confrontation with Canadiens players Dale Weise and Alexei Emelin in the postgame handshake line on Wednesday, just minutes after Montreal secured a spot in the Eastern Conference Finals with a 3-1 victory. Lucic confronted each man, aggressive shook their hands and had an animated verbal exchange before moving further down the line.
After the game, Weise, who scored a goal in the Canadien win, called out Lucic for his actions. “They had a couple of guys, or sorry just one, that couldn’t put it behind them and be a good winner,” Weise said, via ESPN. “Milan Lucic had a few things to say to a couple of guys.”
While Weise did not elaborate on Lucic’s comments, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that the Canadiens winger had threatened both him and Emelin in the handshake line.
Weise says Lucic threatened him in the handshake and said something similarly threatening to Emelin. Emotional series ends with tough words.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) May 15, 2014
When told that Weise had talked to the media about the handshake line confrontation, Lucic was furious. “It’s said on the ice, so it’ll stay on the ice,” Lucic said, via ESPN. “If he wants to be a baby about it, he can make it public.”
Lucic also rejected Weise’s assertion that the Bruins players had done some “disrespectful things” during the series, such as pounding their chests after scoring goals.
“Disrespect? I don’t know what they’re talking about, disrespect,” he said. “Having a goal celebration, what kind of disrespect is that? I mean, I’m not going to say anything. I’ve got nothing to say about that.”
Bruins coach Claude Julien agreed with Lucic. “You talk about disrespect, but I don’t think we disrespected them,” he told reporters. “There’s a rivalry here. We don’t like each other because it’s a rivalry. At the same time, the pounding of the chest, people who have been here have seen us do that all year because it's related to 'Boston Strong.' Our guys take some pride in what's happened with 'Boston Strong' and unfortunately everything we did seemed to be as disrespect in Montreal."
The Canadiens will face the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals. The series will begin on Saturday, May 17 at 1 p.m. ET. The Lucic handshake line video can be viewed below.
[h/t For The Win]