|Alternate captain Colby Armstrong. (JOCELYN MALETTE/QMI AGENCY)
MONTREAL — Colby Armstrong is warming to his role as alternate captain.
In a game where the Maple Leafs and Canadiens were both losing patience with referees Dave Jackson and Steve Kozari, Armstrong played diplomat on a key delay of game penalty against Brian Gionta that led to Phil Kessel’s 3-1 goal. He went around to each official and urged that they huddle about the call.
“It didn’t hit me and it didn’t hit the glass and I just was hoping that one of them had seen it,” said Armstrong, who came back from an eye injury a couple of days ago with the ‘A’ after Tomas Kaberle had been traded. “I was just checking. As they usually do, they made the right call.”
There were 13 power plays in the game and five goals scored with the man advantage.
“It was kind of an ugly game where both teams were upset with the way the calls were going with icings and different things,” Toronto coach Ron Wilson said. “They scored first when they shouldn’t have got an icing and we were stuck out there tired (unable to change).”
There were some big hits in what was a much better Leafs-Habs game then the two points Toronto mailed in 12 days ago in a 3-0 loss.
Scoring was certainly on winger Joffrey Lupul’s mind, not settling personal scores.
Earlier in the day, Lupul was jumped by some local media regarding his intentions to get back at the Canadiens’ pesky P.K. Subban. On Feb. 12, the rookie defenceman had embarrassed and enraged Lupul during the prelude to a fight, when he threw a punch while Lupul was trying to take off his helmet. As this was not the first time the abrasive Subban has riled up an opponent, Lupul was quite vocal that the youngster was asking for trouble in his NHL career if he carried on with such antics.
“Right now we can’t worry about fighting, settling scores and (trash) talking,” Lupul said Thursday. “These points are too important to us and I’m sure they’re important to them, too. The last thing we’re going out here to do is settle scores. It’s a rivalry game as it is, but it doesn’t matter who we play right now.
“(The emotional comment) was me getting caught up a little bit after the game,” Lupul said. “They asked me a question and I answered it. He apologized, he said on the ice he didn’t know I was going to take my helmet off. To be honest, it’s in the past.”
That’s not to say Lupul won’t take a goal now. He is 0-for-6 games with three assists since the trade with Anaheim.