We understand players can still feel on top of the world when they just ended the 2017-18 season with the championship in hand, hoisting the Stanley Cup and partying all summer long. Sure, it was quite impressive to see captain Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals win the first championship in the history of the franchise.
However, new season, new story. Many believe the Toronto Maple Leafs have a good chance to be Stanley Cup champions, especially since general manager Kyle Dubas won the John Tavares sweepstakes back in July. However, Caps forward Lars Eller isn't one of them. Back on Saturday, after the Leafs won 4-2 against the Caps, Eller did not want to admit Toronto is now a serious contender and made brutal comments about the Canadian team.
You can see the game recap in the video above.
“We were just playing against Crosby and Malkin, so everything kind of drops off from there,” Eller said at the time, per The Washington Post‘s Isabelle Khurshudyan. “It’s not that special, to be honest. It’s a good team, like a lot of others. They’ll probably be a playoff team, I would think.”
The comments made their way to the Leafs' dressing room and Name Kadri did not waste time to reply back to the now, former Cup champion seeing that we will need to wait till June to see which team will hoist the prestigious trophy.
“I don’t know how he can be serious with that comment, but I understand they’re coming off hanging a banner,” Kadri told Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston Monday. “But, you know, you’ve got to give teams respect that have earned it, and I certainly think we’ve earned that.”
Eller had to clarify his comments today, when all reporters wanted to do was ask him what he meant. While this does not sound like an apology - as many Maple Leafs fans will say - the Caps veteran forward sure had to find a way to get out of this situation.
“The point is you’re facing top-end talent on a nightly basis in this league whether you’re going up against Toronto, Pittsburgh or Chicago or Tampa or any teams. There’s a lot of very good, talented teams and Toronto is one of them, and that was my point," Eller explained to NHL.com's Tom Gulitti.
The Capitals have gotten off to a 2-2-1 start, while the Toronto remains atop the league for now with a 6-1-0 start.
Say what, Eller?