To hear Edmonton Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins explain it, Lars Eller did his club a huge favour to help inspire the Oilers to a 4-3 comeback victory over the Canadiens on Tuesday night.
Prior to the game, the 24-year-old Eller was asked what to expect from his opponents by Chris Stevenson of Sun Media.
"It can be anything, you know? They (the Oilers) play a little bit like a junior team, I think, sometimes," Eller said. "They take a lot of risks, a lot of chances, they're a little all over the place. There's not a lot of structure, always, in their game."
Well as things go in hockey, the comments made it straight to the proverbial bulletin board in the Edmonton dressing room. The players were made aware of it, and afterwards Eakins explained the mood of his club.
"It's games like that where you don't even need to go play them. You've got a player like Lars Eller running his mouth before the game," Eakins told the media. "It makes for great banter in our dressing room and a great motivation. So we thank Lars Eller for his comments before the game. Awesome.
"They might as well have sent me over a fruit basket and a bottle of wine. I was like, man, that is just perfect. That was a really great present that Mr. Eller laid on us today," said Eakins.
Eakins, in his first season behind an NHL bench, described his thought process after the Oilers fell behind 2-0 after the first period.
"I knew (the game) was going to turn (in our favour). That is a total Hockey God thing, and I'm sure that young man has learnt his lesson and I highly doubt that you'll see anything like that out of his mouth again," said Eakins.
On Wednesday, Eller spoke to the media in Montreal and gave his side of the story.
"It wasn't my intention to say something disrespectful to the Oilers," explained Eller. "I was asked about their style of game...I said a bunch of things. One thing was taken out and highlighted.
"I'm not the kind of guy who trash-talks in the media."