A day after the Canadiens’ P.K. Subban scored in double overtime of Game 1 for a 4-3 win over Boston, the Bruins denounced fans who made racist comments via social media about the defenceman.
“The racist, classless views expressed by an ignorant group of individuals following Thursday’s game via digital media are in no way a reflection of anyone associated with the Bruins organization,” Bruins president Cam Neely said in a statement.
Subban’s brother, Malcolm, is a goalie with the Bruins’ farm team in Providence, Rhode Island.
Following the long overtime game Thursday night, the Canadiens cancelled plans for a practice on Friday. Only the players who didn’t play in Game 1 skated at 1 p.m. at Boston University. Coach Michel Therrien and some members of the team were made available to the media at their Boston hotel at 2 p.m.
Therrien said he only learned about the Subban comments about 30 minutes before meeting the media.
“This is inappropriate,” the coach said. “There’s no one who (deserves) to be treated like this. No matter what, if you’re a professional athlete, no one deserves to be treated like this. And P.K. has all our support.”
Therrien said he planned to talk with his star defenceman about it.
“I didn’t get a chance right now, honestly, because I just found out,” Therrien said. “I’m certainly going to sit down with him and talk to him tonight. But he’s got all our support.
“I’m shocked,” Therrien added. “Honestly, I’m shocked to hear those type of comments. I’m shocked.”
Game 2 is Saturday in Boston (12:30 p.m., CBC, NBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).
Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher also spoke about the comments about Subban.
“It’s not something that you really want anyone to go through,” Gallagher said. “He’s had to deal with it a couple of times now. He handles it really well. He understands that those are opinions of people that don’t matter. It’s something that he doesn’t care about. He goes on with his life and doesn’t let it affect him. He’s very strong in handling it that way.”
Thomas Vanek, who was held without a shot and demoted from the first line with David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty in Game 1 while logging only 18:58 of ice time, also met with the media on Friday.
“When things aren’t going well, the coach has to make changes, try to get something started,” said Vanek, who was minus-1. “That probably won’t be the last time (lines are shuffled). You take it as we weren’t good enough, I wasn’t good enough. Today is a new day, we’re happy with the win, but we know we have to be better as a team and myself as well.
“A big part of why we had success as a line is because we played with the puck, not chasing the puck. Even on faceoffs, Patch and I need to help out Davey a little bit – start with the puck instead of chasing it.”
Desharnais had one shot on goal in 22:33 of ice time and was minus-1, while Pacioretty had three shots in 23:33 of ice time and was minus-1.
Said Therrien after Game 1: “When you look at the Bruins’ record throughout the season, you can see that the TD Garden is a place where it’s difficult to win. Every time you pick up a win here, it’s an accomplishment, no matter how you get the job done. Carey Price was outstanding and the power play clicked. We wanted to win the first one. Now, I feel that our team will get more and more involved in the series as it goes on. It’s a big boost of confidence for us.”
(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Videos by The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell in boston)