The start of a new chapter in Montreal came at a price for Canadiens forward Max Domi when he was suspended for a total of five preseason contests when he received a match penalty for punching Florida Panthers' Aaron Ekblad in the face after the defenseman declined an invitation to fight. Domi gave Ekblad a couple light shots to the face with his left glove before shaking off his right glove and dropping Ekblad with a bare-knuckle shot.
A few days after the sucker punch took place, Ekblad met media members with a busted-up nose and a pair of black eyes to comment on Domi's actions.
“I think it’s dumb. I think he’s stupid for doing it,” Ekblad said. “But in the end, that’s hockey. That’s the way it goes.
“Scores will get settled at a later date.”
That was back in September. The Canadiens are in Florida tomorrow night and many wonder if the score will indeed be settled. Team insider George Richards of The Athletic met with Ekblad and asked him if revenge was still on his mind.
“With the emotions of it coming a few days after, you say things and things happen,” Ekblad said following practice on Thursday.
“But in the end, at this point of the season and how important the points are, this is completely out of my mind. I might have to be paired up against him (Friday) night, and there will be a lot of back-and-forth and us battling. But that’s part of the game.”
While Ekblad seems certain fighting Domi isn't a priority, his head coach Bob Boughner still informed Richards he would address the situation with his defenseman.
“It was so long ago, in a preseason game, both teams have sort of moved on from it. We have to concentrate on the points. We can’t be focused on some side deal. It has passed; hopefully, it’s something we don’t have to deal with.”
When asked about his concerns to be face to face with Ekblad, Domi told reporters he was focused on getting two points for his team and that he had not spoke to Ekblad since their bout in the preseason.
What do you think? Do you believe the score will finally be settled tomorrow night in Florida?