BOSTON — As frustrated as he was with his team’s overall play in a 4-0 loss to Philadelphia in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series with the Flyers tonight at TD Garden, Marc Savard also took exception with a Mike Richards hit with 5:26 left in regulation.
The hit was a bit from behind and sent Savard into the side wall in the attacking zone. Savard got up and went after Richards to earn a roughing penalty. There was no call on the initial hit.
“I just got fired up. I got one the other night in Philly from behind [which was called boarding against Darroll Powe], and then I was facing the glass again in the same situation and then I look back at [David] Booth, [David] Krejci, those guys … I mean, enough’s enough. I mean, I don’t know. That’s all,” said Savard after the loss, which sends the series back to Philly for Game 6 Wednesday night.
Savard was then asked if he was accusing Richards of trying to injure players by referring back to the concussion-causing hit on Booth earlier this season and the hit that broke Krejci’s wrist in Game 3 of this series. Of course, Savard had a similar beef with Matt Cooke of Pittsburgh for a hit that caused a concussion March 7.
“I mean, I don’t know. That’s the way he plays. It’s part of his demeanor. He’ll never change. So I don’t know,” said Savard.
It should be noted that the hit on Krejci was deemed clean by both the Flyers and the Bruins. The hit on Booth was not deemed punishable for the NHL, although there was dispute over its cleanness after the fact.
Richards was unavailable for comment by the time Savard made his statement. Head coach Claude Julien chalked up Savard’s reaction to frustration and said that he hadn’t seen a replay of the hit yet to voice an educated opinion.
No doubt there will be some ramifications from this duel of centers in Game 6.