The Chicago Blackhawks are seeing their lead slip on a playoff spot after losing three straight games.
The latest loss came Thursday against the division leading Tampa Bay Lightning and the two will faceoff again tonight.
Head coach Jeremy Colliton isn't too happy with the Lightning trying to provoke Connor Murphy into a fight for revenge regarding his big hit back on March 7.
Colliton says he specifically advised Murphy not to drop the gloves.
"For me, the hit he had in Chicago, he got a penalty for it. I think that was enough, considering he went through the guy's chest. He hit him hard but I don't believe it was a dirty hit. I don't agree with the thought you should have to answer for playing hard and finishing your check. That kind of thing is always going to be part of the game, I hope. I'm well acquainted with headshots and obviously against them in any way. But at best it was glancing, incidental contact there. Obviously the player missed the rest of the game, but it wasn't a head issue, otherwise he wouldn't have played 20 minutes the next game against Detroit.
Murph has no problem answering the bell. He probably would love to. But we've asked him not to, because he's too important to our team. We need him on the ice. We've asked him to suck it up and make a team decision and just play, and he's done that. He's a hard player, he's a physical player, and that's part of what he brings and I don't think he should have to be warding off challengers for the whole game because he's finishing his checks.
It just doesn't many any sense to me. They've got some guys who play a hard game, a physical game. If Hedman finishes a hard check on Murph, I don't think they're going to love if we've got guys chasing him around the ice or expecting that he should take a five minute major or risk breaking his hand on someone's head."
It's going to be a very interesting game tonight!.