Max Pacioretty and the Canadiens no longer have a problem with just Zdeno Chara and the Bruins. They now have to worry about Paul Gaustad and the Sabres, too.
Gaustad ensured that he shot up the ranks on the long list of perceived Montreal villains on Tuesday night when he got into a verbal bout with the Canadiens bench.
According to a number of Canadiens, Gaustad got into it with Pacioretty late in Buffalo's 3-1 win, and he asked the Montreal forward "Where's Chara? Where's Chara?" That, of course, is a reference to the season-ending hit that Chara delivered to Pacioretty in Montreal last season.
CJAD-AM in Montreal (another stick tap to Yahoo's Puck Daddy blog) has audio from a few Canadiens players, and as you might imagine, they were none too pleased with Gaustad referencing the controversial hit.
"I don't think it was the right thing to talk about a guy who broke his neck," Mathieu Darche said after the game. "I thought it was classless. … I don't think it was right."
Goaltender Carey Price discussed it as well, but he was quick to dismiss Gaustad.
"Well he's got a big mouth," offered Price. "That's about it. He's got a big mouth and likes to run it. Can't worry about what he's got to say; he doesn't do much out there."
Them's fighting words.
Gaustad didn't deny using the taunt, either. In fact, in another Bruins connection, Gaustad says that the Habs got him riled up by referencing an altercation between the Bruins and Sabres earlier this season.
"They asked me where [Milan] Lucic was and I asked them where they were with Chara, so it's the same thing," Gaustad said.
The Lucic reference goes back to a Nov. 12 game in which the Bruins forward ran over Sabres goalie Ryan Miller. The Sabres were criticized by some for a lack of response in that game, as Lucic wasn't called on to drop the gloves and answer for his actions right after the hit or later in the game. Two weeks later, though, Gaustad challenged Lucic during the Bruins winger's first shift. Lucic earned a decisive win in the bout.
Gaustad did get the last laugh on Tuesday night, though. He figured in all three of the Sabres' goals, as he totaled a goal and two assists in the win over the struggling Habs.