Lars Eller is spending the night at a Montreal hospital under observation after suffering a concussion and facial and dental fractures in the Canadiens’ opening playoff game against the Ottawa Senators.
Senators defenceman Erik Gryba checked Eller as he attempted to control a pass between his skates from defenceman Raphael Diaz. Eller, who lost consciousness, fell to the ice and was carried off on a gurney. The Canadiens advised the media during the game that the 23-year-old centreman was conscious and alert.
Senators coach Paul MacLean pointed the finger at Diaz after the game, noting he passed the puck in the middle of the rink to Eller when he wasn’t looking.
“And that’s always been a dangerous place as far as I know,” MacLean said.
“I think it’s a hockey play that ended up going bad for Lars Eller,” MacLean said when asked about the hit.
“Our player hit him but 61’s the guy to blame,” he said, referring to Diaz.
Therrien said he couldn’t comment on the play after the Senators 4-2 victory over the Habs.
“We all saw the hit and the league I’m sure they’re going to review it. And I’m not allowed to make any comment,” Therrien said.
“I’m not going to blame (Diaz),” the Canadiens’ coach added.
Diaz told reporters after the game that he didn’t see Gryba: “If I see the guy coming I would never do the pass, of course.”
Therrien said he couldn’t ask for a better game from his team. “We’ve got 50 shots on net. It doesn’t happen a lot to get 50 shots on net in the playoffs and end up losing the game.”
Senators goaltender Craig Anderson “was the story of the game,” Therrien said. “He played really well.”
“And I’m really happy about the way we played tonight.”
You can hear more from Diaz below:
You can hear what Brendan Gallagher had to say after the game below:
You can hear what Rene Bourque had to say below:
You can hear what Tomas Plekanec had to say below: