BROSSARD, Que. – At the end of practice Thursday, goaltender Carey Price skated over to teammate Andrei Markov and wrapped him in a big hug.
That Price then looked up at the media seats at the Montreal Canadiens practice facility made it clear the gesture was in response to a report this week of a confrontation between the two in the club’s dressing room.
“We’re all family, we love each other,” Markov said later about the hug.
A report on Montreal radio station The Team 990 this week said Markov called out Price after a 4-3 overtime loss to St. Louis on Jan. 20 and told him “If you are not going to play with heart, stay home. We don’t need you here.”
The report said the dressing room was split between players supporting Price or Markov.
Price did not speak to the media after practice, and Markov offered little when asked about it.
“If you’re looking for a bad story, you’ve got the wrong guy,” the veteran defenceman said. “You’re supposed to help us now because we’re going through a tough time.
“But what happens in the room stays in the room.”
Perhaps the Canadiens can use a mini-controversy to take their minds off a disappointing two-game trip down south this week. The club lost 2-1 in Florida and 3-0 in Tampa Bay to drop into ninth spot in the Eastern Conference.
“Sometimes it helps, maybe,” added Markov. “We have to stay together and regroup and show to everybody we can play a better game.”
The Canadiens face the Senators in Ottawa on Saturday afternoon.