The officials tried their best to put an end to the bad blood developing between Chris Neil and Johan Franzen Thursday night, ejecting both men from the game late in the third period of the 6-1 Red Wings blowout.
It didn't work. The next day, the two men were still going at one another.
After the game, Franzen had some choice words for Neil, who went after the Red Wing winger in the third period, long after Franzen had registered a hat trick and the game was decided.
“He usually shows up when the game’s over and tries to be the hero, puts his cape on and goes and flies out there," Franzen told the media. "He doesn’t like to take heat from fans and coaches, I think. He usually steps up when the game is over and shows everyone that he really fights hard.”
Taking offense to the suggestion that he's a late responder, Neil responded the next day.
“I’m there first shift and any shift he wants,” he said after Senators' practice Friday. “He wants to drop his purse, take the lipstick out, put it on his lips and ‘Let’s go.’ Anytime. Any day. Anywhere. I’m 6-foot-1, 215 lbs. He’s 6-foot-4, 240 lbs. I’m giving up height. I’m giving up weight. I’m not scared of him. Bring it on.”
Not sure why you'd put on lipstick before a fight. But I never played the game, so I'll defer to Neil on this one.
“I’d take my cape off he took the yellow streak off down the middle of his back," Neil added, and when asked what in the Hell that even means, he continued.
“You know that streak? It means a gutless streak. When a guy comes across the blueline and pokes you in the groin with his stick in a 6-1 game and chops guys that’s a no brainer. He’s going to get it."
And there's the heart of the matter. Franzen had said he had no idea why Neil went after him. Neil alleges a groin poke. The video backs him up.
In this clip, Franzen lightly pokes Chris Neil in the groin and Neil goes ballistic:
He poked him! In the groin! This injustice will not stand.
Kudos to Franzen, who may be one of the NHL's most passive-aggressive troll. Recall the time he snatched Patrick Kane's mouthguard and threw it on the ground.
He puts that in his mouth, Johan! Now it's on the ground!
Anyway. I'm gonna give the win here to Franzen, both because he was delightfully subtle on the ice, and because he didn't resort to casual misogyny in his postgame comments.
Sadly, we'll have to wait a while for a round two. The Senators and Red Wings don't play again this season.
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- Chris Neil
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