The rivalry between the Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers has gone up a notch since Game 5 of their first-round series.
The teams’ current off-ice spat began Thursday when Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault downplayed the injury Brendan Gallagher suffered - which was later diagnosed as a broken jaw - after Matt Niskanen cross-checked him during the fifth contest of the series.
Niskanen was suspended one game for his actions.
“In my estimation, Gallagher got up and seemed fine, he was talking to the referees, the whole time that he was on the bench he was talking to our players for the rest of the game,” Vigneault said, according to The Athletic’s Arpon Basu .
Habs general manager Marc Bergevin met with media on Friday morning ahead of a do or die Game 6 and revealed how he didn’t like how Vigneault downplayed Gallagher’s injury before knowing the severity of the ailment.
“I was expecting more and I was extremely disappointed that AV would make a comment about a player’s injuries without knowing the extent of it,” Bergevin said Friday, per Sportsnet’s Eric Engels . “Brendan Gallagher will be missing an extended period of time and will be eating his meals out of a straw, and I don’t wish that on anybody, and that includes the Flyers’ players.”
That comment didn’t stop Vigneault from taking another shot at Gallagher when it was his turn to meet with reporters ahead of Game 6.
“You don’t like to see any player get injured. At the end of the day, I can only state the facts, and the fact is Gallagher got up and his mouth didn’t shut up for the next five minutes.”
He then added: "I don't know if (Gallagher) aggravated his injury from talking to us so much, I'm not a doctor..."
That might motivate the Habs even more to get a win for Gallagher, who may have surgery Friday and will be “out a while.” After for Niskanen, he would be back in the Flyers’ lineup if the Canadiens force a Game 7.
“The authority of the NHL has made their decision and we’ll live with it. We’ll respect the decision,” Bergevin said . “It’s unfortunate that our player, Brendan, is going to miss an undetermined amount of time while their player will miss one game. I don’t have more comments on it.
“We agreed to disagree.”
Will he simply agree to disagree with AV’s latest blow?