|Toronto Maple Leafs' Joffrey Lupul and Montreal Canadiens' P.K. Subban fight during first period NHL hockey action in Montreal, February 12, 2011. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi
MONTREAL — Add newest Maple Leaf Joffrey Lupul to the growing group of NHLers who don’t appreciate the feistiness of scrappy Habs defenceman P.K. Subban.
The Toronto native fought in a spirited bout with Lupul late in the first period Saturday night, a tussle which left the Leafs forward crying foul afterward.
Prior to the fight, Lupul appeared to gesture to Subban to take off his visor before they began, since both players had them. Instead, Subban tried to clock Lupul, who dodged the blow but was caught off guard by the move.
“It’s a pretty standard move when you both have visors on to take them off and go,” Lupul said. “He’s a good, young player but his name keeps coming up over and over again (around the league.)
“I’m telling ya, eventually guys are going to stop giving him the benefit of the doubt.”
In November, Flyers forward Mike Richards blasted Subban for “not earning respect” of his fellow players. For his part, Subban said he didn’t understand Lupul’s signal and said he tried to smooth it over with him when the two were in the penalty box.
“He’s the new guy to his team and he wanted to show guys he can step up,” Subban said. “I don’t know if it’s a code thing. If I would have knocked him out, that’s a problem. But we talked. I don’t think there’s any animosity there.”