Go back a few months and it was the Buffalo Sabres who were being picked on, called out for being soft or whatever other similar insult people could come up with.
The shoe is on the other foot today. That's nice for a change in what has been a pretty miserable season for Buffalo up to this point.
The Sabres began the post-All-Star break push with a 3-1 win on the ice in Montreal. Paul Gaustad had a point on each of those three goals, so he was probably pretty jacked up. But with a few seconds left and the lead up the eventual 3-1 game-winning margin, there got to be some chirping by the benches.
None of this should strike you as unusual (except Gaustad recording three points in one game). Chirping happens all the time. But the Canadiens didn't like something that Gaustad had to say, specifically him asking Max Pacioretty "Where's Chara?"
That line shouldn't need a refresher at this point, but just in case it does, here you go.
Not to be outdone, the Habs responded by asking Gaustad "Where's Lucic?" referencing the situation earlier this season where Lucic ran over Ryan Miller and the Sabres didn't have much of a response.
Again, none of this is usually a big deal. That's mostly because this stuff normally doesn't make its way into the media. But this one obviously has thanks to the Habs, specifically Mathieu Darche and goaltender Carey Price. Here's Darche after the game last night (from the Buffalo News).
Price had some comments of his own, saying "He's got a big mouth and he likes to run it. What can you do? Can't worry about what he's got to say. He doesn't do much out there."
Seeing how that all took place in the Canadiens locker room after the game last night, the first chance the Sabres had to talk about it publicly was on Wednesday at the morning skate. Gaustad was pretty frank when discussing the matter (again from the Buffalo News).
"I'm just going to address it for the last time today," Gaustad said. "It's something where Pacioretty said something to me, I said something back along the same lines and the guy that kind of brought it up in the media [Montreal's Mathieu Darche] wasn't even involved with it. For Darche to bring it up in the media, in my opinion is stuff on the ice stays on the ice. I don't want to blow it out of proportion. You have to have thick skin in the NHL. I'm fine with it. Just move on."
Hey, maybe the NHL has a new marketing partner in Las Vegas: What happens on the ice stays on the ice.
Lindy Ruff isn't one to shy away from making comments on these matters either, so he had his piece. Again, not much on the mincing words front.
"I could give you one situation every night [where there is trash-talking]," Ruff said. "For them to go public that I thought was ridiculous on their part. They were looking for something to talk about or feel good about after that game and they're barking up the wrong tree if you ask me."
It brings that old unwritten rule book conversation again. What is in bounds as far as trash-talking goes? It's pretty clear that we have some differing opinions from the Canadiens and Sabres concerning injury chirps. But what's the line, if one is even there? If there were one of decorum, there's little doubt Pacioretty's would be off limits, it was a vicious hit that left him with a broken neck.
As Ruff says, there is trash-talking all the time. It's pretty much a part of the game, you know it comes with the territory. Behind the scenes shows like HBO's 24/7 have helped make that plenty clear to those who haven't played hockey or been on the ice.
I've chatted with somebody whose job it was to open the penalty box doors and he had some great stories about the cross-box trash talk, names omitted of course. There isn't a whole lot that's sacred ground.
You be the judge on this one: Did the Sabres cross the line here or are the Habs wrong for making it public?
By the way, doesn't this have to really make the Bruins and their fans laugh? Two division rivals taunting each other with things Bruins players have done to each?