BOSTON (Lighthouse Press) _ Members of the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens could face disciplinary actions such as weeks of detention, demerits or expulsion from class if they don't clean up their behavior, a National Hockey League administrator has told Lighthouse Hockey.
The teams have exhibited an increased amount of horseplay, tomfoolery and unruliness during their second round playoff series, and are now being watched closely by NHL hall monitors and security officers. The disruptions have become such a nuisance that parents of other teams have complained to the NHL, and some feel unsafe sending their teams to the league until the miscreants are dealt with.
"These episodes have snowballed to the point that parents are ready to pull their teams from the NHL," the administrator said under condition of anonymity. "Fighting in the halls, pranks, cyber-bullying. These kids must be reprimanded more harshly or teams are going to start homeschooling."
The Bruins and Canadiens have a history of animosity dating back to their elementary school days. But this year, placed in the same class for the first time since 2011, tensions have mounted beyond the league's control, resulting in physical altercations in parking lots and cafeterias, and a dangerous cycle of one-upmanship.
In the latest incident, Boston's Shawn Thornton was caught squirting water in the face of Montreal's P.K. Subban while the Canadiens defenseman was skating by the Bruins homeroom late in Saturday's Game 6. Earlier in that game, Boston's Milan Lucic was seen roughhousing and taunting Subban in a hallway before the confrontation was broken up by nearby teachers.
"I wasn't doing nothing (sic)," said Lucic, who has a long record of offenses at the school. "This kid (Subban) was looking at me, so I asked what his problem was. He ran away like a little punk. I was just playing with him."
In Game 2, Thornton and Subban tangled in a hallway scuffle. Subban ducked and Thornton was injured. Rather than go to the nurse's office as he was told, Thornton returned to class and menaced Subban and his Canadiens teammates throughout the remainder of the period.
"They're scared of us," said Thornton from his remedial typing class. "They know we run this place. Everywhere they go, we'll be there. Lunch, prom, pep rally, everywhere. We always stick up for each other."
In Game 3, the Bruins accused Subban of knocking the Montreal net off its post halting play. Subban feigned innocence, but the Bruins persisted that he had started the tiff, resulting in both teams being summoned to the principal's office before Game 4.
Subban said his team has simply been minding its own business and is totally focused on graduating to the Eastern Conference finals. A loss by Montreal on Monday's Game 6 would end their season.
"It's a shame that a few bad kids have to ruin everything," Subban said. "We're here to learn, not fight. But I guess some guys are happy to just get their GED and pump tires for a living instead of being successful."
The NHL insists that it has reprimanded the teams as best it can, and that it's up to the students to take responsibility for their actions.
"This is getting blown way out of proportion," said preeminent sportswriter and Bruins guidance councilor Joe Haggerty. "This is just boys being boys. The Bruins don't need discipline. They need direction to channel that youthful energy into something more productive. We've already enrolled them in more woodshop and auto repair classes to keep those idle hands busy."
Yeah, um, this is fake. But seriously, grow up, everyone.