While talking about the Edmonton Oilers ahead of their meeting Tuesday night, Montreal Canadiens forward Lars Eller compared them to a junior hockey team. Citing their unstructured and unpredictable nature, Eller was giving his honest assessment of an opponent off to a 2-6-1 record to begin the season.
Of course, that didn't sit too well in the Oilers' dressing room and things backfired as Edmonton used it as motivation during their 4-3 win over the Habs at Bell Centre.
"It's games like that you don't even have to go play them," said Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins afterward. "When you have a player like Lars Eller running his mouth before the game it makes for great banter in our dressing room and great motivation, so we thank Lars Eller for his comments before the game."
With the Oilers looking to turn things around, Eakins was incredibly thankful for the motivation help.
"They might as well sent me over a fruit basket and a bottle of wine," Eakins said. "That was a really great present Mr. Eller laid on us today."
Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien said Eller's comments were "unacceptable" and this situation will certainly serve as a learning experience for him. Teams will take any comments directed at them as bulletin board material, no matter how harmless you wanted them to be perceived.
That'll be the last time Lars Eller comes close to saying anything controversial, we imagine.
Here's Eakins' full post-game scrum:
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