Komisarek takes poke at B's

Mike Komisarek admitted that one of his hands was bare during the post-game brouhaha.(Photo...

Mike Komisarek admitted that one of his hands was bare during the post-game brouhaha.(Photo courtesy of Sun Media)

MIKE ZEISBERGER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:57 AM ET

BOSTON -- Mike Komisarek is no stooge.

Nor is he one of the Three Stooges.

The gritty Canadiens defenceman wants to make that clear to anyone who claims he deliberately gouged the eye of Bruins defenceman Matt Hunwick after the final horn on Thursday night.

Especially, Peter Chiarelli.

Informed that the Bruins GM had made that very allegation and had requested that the NHL review the incident, Komisarek broke into a sarcastic grin, the type that implied the message: "You've got to be (expletive) kidding me."

On the record, Komisarek's language was not quite as vulgar. But his response to Chiarelli was just as direct.

"It's a bit of a ridiculous statement," Komisarek said. "It's the playoffs. Facewashes happen on every second shift in the playoffs. I don't know if the kid (Hunwick) has soft skin. (But) I'm not Larry, Moe or Curly. I'm not trying to poke anyone's eye out."

Komisarek admitted that one of his hands was bare during the post-game brouhaha.

"But my right hand -- the one I used while we were exchanging facewashes -- still had the glove on," he said.

League disciplinarian Colin Campbell chose not to take any action against Komisarek, but that doesn't mean the fracas will be forgotten. No, The Great Gouge-gate At The Garden controversy is just another twist in the plot that makes this Canadiens-Bruins rivalry so spicy, so fascinating, so riveting.

Only one game is in the books -- a 4-2 Bruins victory in this best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final -- and already the trash-talking, the name-calling and the accusations have far exceeded those in any of the other playoff series to date.

This is an old-time grudge match between Original Six rivals who truly despise each other.

It is Georges Laraque, earlier this week, claiming he wanted to fight Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara.

It is Maxim Lapierre hunting down Phil Kessel and getting in his face after the Bruins forward had scored the empty-net goal that sealed the win.

It is the melee at the final buzzer, one that also saw the Habs' Tom Kostopoulos just miss Hunwick's head with a flying elbow.

"Something on the replay that I did see was the elbow go flying by my chin," Hunwick said yesterday. "That's something that you never want to see happen to any player. And, thankfully enough for us, he didn't catch me with it. Maybe that's what started the whole incident in the corner."

Moments later, the alleged gouging took place, although Hunwick himself cannot confirm if it actually happened.

"I couldn't tell, to be honest with you. It's one of those things where you are in a battle and you don't exactly know what is going on. I know he was facewashing me, I was facewashing him, so it's one of those things where in the heat of the moment you can't really tell.

"I'm not here to make any accusations, that's for sure."

This much is certain: Blood has already been spilled in this series. The evidence is on Hunwick's face.

Is all this stuff blown out of proportion? Probably. But that should not take away from the ill will that almost assuredly will continue when the two teams meet tonight for Game 2.

For his part, Komisarek -- the type of warrior who, like Lucic, thrives on the type of in-your-face hockey that dominates the playoffs -- is eating this stuff up. As far as he is concerned, the grittier, the better.

"I welcome the challenge, the physical play," he said. "Playoff hockey is rough hockey. It is tough hockey."

MIKE.ZEISBERGER@SUNMEDIA.CA


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