Fireworks at Brossard

Rocket All HabsCorrespondent IJanuary 21, 2010

posted by Rocket
All Habs

While most of the camera crews and media were off covering Bob Gainey's new conference about the departure of Georges Laraque, there was action on the practise ice at Brossard.

Sergei Kostitsyn practised on a line with Tomas Plekanec and Mike Cammalleri. The younger Kostitsyn looked good and should be ready to go this weekend making his return against the Devils or the Rangers.

Carey Price did not practise. It was explained that it was a therapy day for him. Goaltender coach Pierre Groulx filled in.

But what caught my attention was the dispute between Cammalleri and Max Lapierre. It wasn't clear what started the disagreement but there was a marked difference in the moods of the two players. Lapierre was very casual and was laughing, and joking. Cammalleri was intense perhaps upset by Wednesday's loss and the team's recent poor play.

The verbal jousting between the players went on for quite some time. The players came close and tussled with Lapierre losing his helmet. At one point it got a little more physical with Cammalleri losing his stick which slid into the path of the players drills.

The two were separated by teammates but the yelling continued. Lapierre and Cammalleri came together once more. Travis Moen acted as a peacemaker.

Following the altercation, Cammalleri went off by himself and focused on stickhandling skills. Lapierre joined a group doing shootouts from the blue-line.

The entire incident was handled by the players. Coaches stayed out of it other than Groulx who tapped Laps on the pants afterwards.  Cammalleri was involved in a similar incident with Josh Gorges in November.

When asked about the fight in the practise coach Jacques Martin said: "It bodes well, I am not happy that we have lost a point yesterday, and the players aren't either. It is this energy that will bring us to New Jersey. We must prepare for a very important game."

There is an expression "hated by the opposition yet loved by his teammates" that is often said about players who similar style to Lapierre. Unfortunately, the saying doesn't apply to Lapierre. It appears that his attitude is starting to wear thin with his teammates.

Despite all the criticism of players like Matt D'Agostini, there is no one on the team who has been a bigger disappointment than Lapierre this season. Max showed some promise last season, but other than a few shifts, has been completely invisible this year.

Lapierre has been given opportunities on every line, and special teams and has done nothing.

Cammalleri clearly loves being in Montreal and hates to lose. It seems that he could no longer tolerate Lapierre's pitiful contribution to the team coupled with an indifferent attitude.

While cameras didn't capture the entire incident, there is a short clip here:

Watch TSN video here