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Habs coach Therrien: ‘Number 61 is Raphael Diaz, just in case they don’t know”

May 3, 2013, 10:38 PM EDT


After his Canadiens made a statement in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal against Ottawa, head coach Michel Therrien made one of his own.

“By the way, number 61 is Raphael Diaz,” he told reporters following the contest. “Just in case they don’t know.”

Therrrien’s comment was in response to Sens head coach Paul MacLean, who suggested Diaz was responsible for Eric Gryba‘s hit on Lars Eller in Game 1.

Well, sorta.

Diaz was roundly criticized for throwing Eller a suicide pass.

MacLean took it a step further by claiming he didn’t know who Diaz was.

“I thought player 61, if I’m … was it Eller that got hit? I’m really mad at player 61, whoever he is,” MacLean said during his postgame press conference. “Because he passed me the puck in the middle of the rink when I wasn’t looking, and that’s always been a dangerous place.”

It’s possible Friday’s performance made MacLean aware of who Diaz is.

While he wasn’t the star of Friday’s 3-1 victory — that honor went to goalie Carey Price, who stopped 30 of 31 shots — the Swiss blueliner was definitely a factor.

Diaz played 22:49 (only PK Subban saw more ice) and finished with four shots, four blocks, three hits and a plus-1 rating.

He was also the catalyst for a pretty good line from his head coach, who did a masterful job of rallying his troops.

Montreal won Game 2 despite being without Eller, leading scorer Max Pacioretty and captain Brian Gionta, yet seemed to play with a renewed desire for victory.

Chalk it up to Therrien, who showed the utmost confidence in his group.

“I didn’t ask my team to bounce back,” he said. “I told them to play the same way. As a coach this is the only thing I ask.”

  1. tomnickle - May 3, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    Therrien’s comment was in response to The Fat Bug-Eyed Walrus pretending that he didn’t know which Canadiens’ player was injured last night.

    • Mike Halford - May 3, 2013 at 10:48 PM

      Yes, yes.

  2. Stiller43 - May 3, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    I was going to say earlier that lots of coaches i hear strictly call players by numbers, but i didnt see he literally said he didnt know who he was…thats pretty bad when you should be preparing a team to play against them in a 7 game series…and of course theyre in the same division.

  3. TestSubjekt - May 3, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    I wouldn’t know Raphael Diaz if I ran him over with my car 😉

  4. longcutskolvikes - May 3, 2013 at 11:44 PM

    Go Habs Go!!!

    • sabatimus - May 3, 2013 at 11:55 PM

      I seriously think Habs fans (or at least those who attend the games) are so used to the diving that they don’t know what a penalty really is.

  5. hockeyflow33 - May 4, 2013 at 12:37 AM

    Last time I checked, games aren’t won by crying coaches during press conferences. I never expect anything less from this franchise.

    • valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 4, 2013 at 1:06 PM

      You guys get so caught up in this whole ‘my franchise/team is better than yours”. Don’t you fell like you’re back in kindegarten claiming your dad is the stronger that all other dads. Seriously! Grow up!

      • hockeyflow33 - May 4, 2013 at 6:03 PM

        Nope, this franchise is despicable.

      • valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 5, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        Really! Why so?

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