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Greig on Rielly's cross-check: 'Not sure if he meant to do that'

Ridly Greig slapshot Ridly Greig slapshot - Getty Images

Ottawa Senators forward Ridly Greig spoke Tuesday on his controversial empty-net slapshot against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

Greig spoke after a 6-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, with Maple Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly having received a five-game suspension earlier in the day for a cross-check to Greig's head immediately after the goal. 

“I don’t think you’re ever expecting the guy to come cross check you in the face. But I also am not sure if he meant to do that,” said Greig, who scored in a second straight game Tuesday. 

“It was just a lot of adrenaline," he added of the slapshot. "Just the heat of the moment. The game was an emotional game. Just got a breakaway and thought I’d bury it.”

Greig's empty-netter has drawn no shortage of opinions from around the hockey world, with Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe and veteran Ryan Reaves calling Rielly's reaction "appropriate."  

The 21-year-old said Tuesday he's been looking to stay away from the debate. 

“I’ve tried to stay offline,” said Greig. “Everybody’s gonna have an opinion on it. Probably either gonna love it or hate it. It doesn’t matter to me.”

Selected 28th overall by the Senators in the 2020 draft, Greig has nine goals and 20 points in 39 games this season. He made his NHL debut last season, posting two goals and nine points in 20 games.