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Sun, Feb 7, 2016

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Ryan Reaves calls Blackhawks taunt of Backes gutless, T-shirt disagrees

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

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The Blues and Blackhawks series has pretty much had it all and it's just two games in. There has been excellent action between two outstanding teams, there's been enough drama to last the entire postseason and of course there have been big hits with the temperature in the series escalating.

With that comes the requisite trash talking. Now nobody is naive to think players aren't constantly chirping at each other on the ice, but this series it became much more prevalent when a TV microphone caught a Blackhawks player -- most agree that it was probably Duncan Keith -- taunting a dazed David Backes "Wakey, wakey Backes! Wakey, wakey!" after the hit that earned Brent Seabrook a three-game suspension. (Watch the video above and listen around the :45 second mark.)

As to who said what, well nobody from Chicago was saying much about the incident on Monday before Game 3 in Chicago, including Keith and captain Jonathan Toews.

"There's a lot of things that get said out on the ice in the course of a hockey game, especially in playoffs," Keith said (via ESPN Chicago). "I mean I'm an emotional guy. It's an emotional game. I don't remember everything that gets said throughout there."

Toews said he was only talking to Backes because the Blues captain asked him to fight but did admit that players say a lot of things on the ice, a number of which are regrettable and things us fans don't normally hear.

Blues tough guy Ryan Reaves was a little more willing to talk about it and had some pretty harsh words for the Hawks, calling it "gutless" if anybody did taunt Backes after the hit.

Given the NHL's problems with head trauma and the issues it is causing with player to the point that some ex-players have sued the league, it wasn't the best look at all for the defending champs but these things can take a life of their own.

It has taken such a life of its own that already shirts are being produced in Blackhawks red with the now-infamous taunt (via Puck Daddy).

Sure, let's all revel in the awesomeness of taunting players after illegal hits that cause head trauma!

So should you expect some kind of revenge from the Blues in Chicago on Monday night? Not from Reaves, he knows the best kind of revenge is two Blues wins away.

It's easy for Reaves to say that in between games but when the teams hit the ice, that animosity will come right back and it could spill over. In other words: you might want to keep watching this series.

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