Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma took a shot at Philadelphia Flyers forward Scott Hartnell for going after Kris Letang, saying it felt a little like “a guy picking on a guy who had a stroke.”
In the third period of Saturday’s game, Hartnell hit Letang, who was playing his second game back after suffering a stroke in January. Each player was given a two-minute minor for roughing as they mixed it up after the whistle.
After the Flyers’ 4-3 overtime win, Bylsma was asked if — even though doctors assured the team and the 26-year-old defenceman that hockey would not put him more at risk for another stroke — he had a little pause seeing Hartnell and Letang shoving each other.
“I did have that thought when that was going on there,” said Bylsma. “(Letang) kind of had the play there and the puck on his skate to try to score a goal. It fell off his stick and the whistle and everything ensued after that. Yeah it does, a guy picking on a guy who had a stroke.”
Told of Bylsma’s comment regarding Hartnell, Flyers coach Craig Berube fired back.
“Then he shouldn’t play,” Berube said. “He shouldn’t be out there playing, bottom line. It’s a stupid comment.”
Letang, who scored 10 minutes later, said it’s “part of the game.”
“I got hit from behind, I turn around and it was him,” Letang said. “I was not really shocked. but things happen in the game fast. I don’t regret (it).”