Three days have past since Ray Emery’s attack on Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, but the embers from Friday night’s Thrilla in South Phila were still burning in both locker rooms on Monday.
Capitals defenseman Mike Green said Emery’s actions were “uncalled for” and he was surprised the Flyers goaltender was not suspended by the league. Flyers left wing Scott Hartnell said he thought the Flyers “fed off” the third-period brawl that featured four fights at the same time.
“I don’t think it was a great play,” Green said. “I don’t think it was beneficial for anybody. I don’t think they benefitted from it. We didn’t. There was no animosity between the two goalies to even start anything. He just came down, he had an upper hand on it and I think it was uncalled for.”
Holtby declined to comment on his fight with Emery and Capitals coach Adam Oates offered little response to Emery not being suspended.
“I think we’ve moved on from that situation,” Oates said.
Instead, Emery recorded a 1-0 shutout of the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night and was named the first star of the game. On Monday, Emery was in Washington for a White House visit with the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, with whom he played last season.
Meanwhile, his teammates were practicing on Monday and extolling the virtues of Friday’s fight night, even though Steve Downie is still recovering from a concussion suffered in a fight with Caps left wing Aaron Volpatti and center Vinny Lecavalier has been forced to wear a cage and visor to protect facial injuries he received in a fight with Caps defenseman Steve Oleksy.
“Obviously, fighting is part of the game,” Hartnell said. “It’s been a while since you see three or four fights in one stoppage and a goalie going down and attacking another team’s goalie.
“People are all over Razor (Emery) for doing that. But look what he did. He played solid for us and got us a shutout. We were excited. Even though the crowd booed us the whole game, it felt like a win after that little scrum. We love it, fans love it here in Philly. It’s part of our heritage. We definitely fed off it.”